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MSSO Vision

  • Sustainable economic and social development of the less fortunate in India, leading to their independence from external assistance

MSSO Mission

  • Create long term partnership of Canadian donors and hardworking, selfless, grassroots social workers in India to build the future and respond promptly to emergencies
  • Enhance the value of donations by carefully selecting NGO partners and effectively managing development projects
  • Empower women to be equal partners in achievement of social justice and equitable development
  • Promote balance between development and environment

MSSO Silver Jubilee

 On June 28, 2009, the Maharashtra Seva Samiti Organization (MSSO) celebrated 25 years of 'Bridging Miles and Minds' between North American donors and the less fortunate in India. During this period, MSSO contributed more than four million dollars using matching funds from both the federal


government of Canada and the provincial government of
Alberta for development of destitute women, the physically
and mentally challenged, orphans, youth, tribal people,
persons afflicted with leprosy, slum dwellers, nomadic
communities, oppressed farmers, deserving but financially
deprived students, innocent prison inmates, earthquake
victims and many others.

MSSO’s silver jubilee event was held on the University of
Calgary campus, where around 150 guests witnessed the
passionate presentations of several social workers who came all the way from India to report on the success of their
MSSO funded projects. These included Prakash & Manda
Amte, Naseema Hurzuk, Vasant Tamhankar, Swarnalata
Bhishikar and Chandrashekhar Sankurathri. Aparna
Velankar, of Lokmat newspapers, presented a video
Bridging Miles and Minds, on the work of
MSSO. Anuradha Naimpally, with her daughter Purna,
danced an eclectic Bharatnatyam performance. As part of the celebration MSSO recognized a few of the many persons who significantly contributed to the growth of MSSO





An evening with the visitors prior to the silver jubilee celebration




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David Oke was recognized for being the outstanding CIDA
Program Officer providing compassionate co-operation in
Bridging Miles and Minds across the oceans. He was the
first CIDA program officer assigned to MSSO after the
reorganization of their International Development Program
for the volunteer sector in 1995. In recognition of his very
high level of compassion, Sahakarini organization based in
Camrose refers to him as “Saint David”. His keen interest in
assisting the less fortunate beneficiaries of CIDA's matching
funds program was an important factor in the growth of
MSSO work.

Attendees for silver jubilee celebration

Eilish Hiebert is a convert from being an independent
evaluator to a regular donor of MSSO. Here is the statement
from Eilish on her involvement with MSSO. “What drew me
to Dr. Wani’s projects over other good projects I could have
chosen to work for at the time was the sound development
philosophy underlying MSSO work. I feel this philosophy is
encapsulated in a poem written by an Australian Aboriginal
If you have come to help me
You are wasting your time
If you have come
Because your liberation is bound up with mine;
Then let us work

MSSO does not presume to interpret what is good for
people; they decide that; MSSO facilitates their carrying out
this work.”
Later on Eilish started to actively participate in the activities
of MSSO. Since 1996 she has been editing our annual
newsletter MSSO NEWS. Her involvement culminated in
her becoming a board member of MSSO in 2003.

Ramesh Aggarwal is one of the very generous donors of
MSSO who consistently donated over many years. Whenever
we approach him for a donation for a worthy cause, he
always donates generously. One of his favourite causes is
donation of cows to social organizations and prevention of
cruelty to animals.
The majority of active members of MSSO have well passed
the age of 55 years. A natural question many people ask:
What is the future of MSSO? We are very pleased that the
younger generation is taking initiative to cross this bridge



connecting the West with the East. Vicky Chand-Prasad,
Nilesh & Sonal Kavia were recognized for their volunteer
services to MSSO partners in India and
Srinivas Pabbaraju
for diligently examining the accounts of MSSO and
preparing financial statements for eleven years since 1996.

Distribution of silver jubilee souvenir

With great pleasure we recognize the generous financial
assistance from the Government of Alberta under their
Community Spirit Grant program to help us celebrate our
Silver Jubilee.

Public Engagement

As part of the MSSO project Integration and Rehabilitation
of Physically Challenged, Ms. Naseema Hurzuk, the
president of the Kolhapur based Helpers of the Handicapped,
visited Canada in the months of June and July. Public
meetings were held in Calgary, Kelowna and Toronto.
Calgary meeting was organized by MSSO, the Kelowna
meeting was hosted by OK ROTI Society and Shree
Ganeshyag Pariwar took the leading role in the planning and
the execution of the meeting in Toronto. Naseema was also
hosted on talk show of Radio Sursangam. The visit was part
of Public Engagement program to create awareness about
international development issues. Discussions at all of the
public meetings were preceded by the screening of a MSSO
funded video When Aspirations Transcend the Sky. The
video was scripted and directed by Devendra and Madhavi
Kotwal from Pune.

Drs. Vasant Tamhankar and Swarnalata Bhisikar, of Jnana
Prabodhini, Solapur, also visited Canada as part of the
project Agricultural Development of Rural Population in the
month of June. They addressed Public meetings in Calgary,
organized by MSSO, and in Toronto, organized by Marathi
Bhashik Mandal of Toronto. MSSO’s newly published video
Un Gaon Hasala! was screened at these meetings.

MSSO Chapter in Toronto

Annual General Body Meeting of MSSO took place in
Calgary on 4th April 2009. The following were elected to
serve on the Executive Committee for a period of one year
term ending on 31st March 2010.

Jagannath Wani, President
Jivan Kayande, Vice President
Eilish Hiebert, Secretary
Chandrakant (CD) Lad, Treasurer.




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With a view to expand the activities of MSSO, it was
decided to revise the MSSO by-laws to allow formation of
chapters in different cities of Canada. The relevant by-law has received the ministerial approval from Corporate Canada on 5th June 2009. At the request of Toronto donors, the first chapter has been formed in Toronto. The chapter elected the following members for administrative purposes.

Sudhir Joshi, Chairman
Ajit Bapat, Secretary
Harish Athale, Treasurer.

Jagannath Wani, MSSO President, attended a meeting of 22
donors in Toronto on 9th August 2009. All the donors
unanimously voted to establish a chapter in Toronto. All
financial transactions of the Toronto chapter will be
processed through a separate independent bank account in
the name "MSSO Chapter, Toronto" to be opened at the
State Bank of India (Canada).

MSSO New Projects

Integrated Education for Physically Challenged: In 2004,with financial assistance from MSSO, Helpers of the
Handicapped based in Kolhapur (HHK) were able to set up
farming and cashew nut processing units at their rural
agricultural centre. The income from the production at these
two units has made the centre self-sustaining.

Since there was no school in Kolhapur and surrounding
districts promoting integration of physically challenged
students, HHK started a disabled-friendly, inclusive school
with adjoining Hostel-cum-Rehabilitation Centre for students
with disabilities, where at least 15% students are physically
challenged. The present school, based in the village
Unchgaon, can accommodate students only up to grade 7 for conventional education. The project will provide financial
assistance to expand the school from grade 8 onwards till the high school stage. The complex will include nine classrooms, a library, a reading hall, a study room, a science laboratory and a computer laboratory. To prevent staff turn-over, the project will also provide staff quarters. The total construction will be 14,000 square feet. The project also provides for operating expenses for a period of three years. Additional information on the activities of HHK is available on their website <>.


MSSO president Jagannath Wani laying the foundation


Ek Cup Chya: A common Indian person is not aware of the powerful tool given to him by the Right to Information Act which can be effectively used to curb corruption and to find solutions to the problems created by the bureaucracy. To create awareness about this Act and to educate the common man in the use of this Act, MSSO assisted K.S. Wani Memorial Trust and Schizophrenia Awareness Association to produce Ek Cup Chya, a feature film on this issue. The film has been selected for screening at the international film festival organized by Mumbai Academy of the Moving Image (MAMI) from 28th October till 5th November 2009.


Canadians donated more than $10 billion in 2007

Canadians support causes they believe in with their time as well as their hard-earned dollars. Quoting Statistics Canada, CBC News reported on 8th June 2009 that 23 million Canadians donated more than $10 billion dollars in 2007 to charitable or non-profit organizations. The average amount donated was $437. During the same period, 12.5 million Canadians, or 46 per cent of the population, volunteered their time through a group or organization.
In total dollar terms, donors in Alberta were most generous, giving $596 on average in 2007, the highest among the provinces and territories. Though total dollar amounts werenot as high as elsewhere, 91% of the Newfoundland and Labrador residents made some sort of financial donation in 2007 compared to the national average of 84%.
Total concentrations of time and money can largely be
attributed to a select group: 25 per cent of donors provided 82 per cent of total donations, and the top 25 per cent of volunteers contributed 78 per cent of the total unpaid work.


MSSO Projects in Progress

Education of Hemalkasa Tribals: MSSO NEWS 2006
contains details about the project. The hostel constructed for
250 tribal students is already over crowded and it is currently providing a safe and enabling environment for education and career development of more than 300 Madia Gond students. The project is in its final phase which includes certain operating aspects of the project.
Training of Tribal Athletes: MSSO approved financial
assistance to eight talented tribal athletes from the Narmada
Ghati for purchasing special shoes (with spikes), sports kits




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and incidental expenses for participating in various events at
the state level and other competitions held at different places. One of these athletes was selected as the captain of the team which won awards at the national level. The funds are being administered by the Naralkar Foundation, based in Pune.


School of Agriculture: The details of the project undertaken by Jnana Prabodhini, Solapur, (JPS) have been provided in MSSO NEWS 2008. The project will bring about significant improvement in quality of life of poverty stricken farmers by eliminating the cycle of debt and suicide. The construction of the agricultural school complex is completed on schedule. The school now has its own classrooms, laboratory, students’ residence and staff quarters. JPS is also conducting awareness meetings to increase participation of women in the education program.


The main building of the Agricultural School Complex

Demonstration of the grafting technique

Shreewani Printing Institute in Dhule is the only
educational institution imparting knowledge and training in
printing technology to 40 students annually within the region
of three districts – Dhule, Nandurbar and Jalgaon. Partially
funded by the matching funds from the Wild Rose
Foundation, the institute is in the second phase of the project
acquiring modern printing equipment. Financial assistance
from MSSO will provide an opportunity for sustainability of
the program.

MSSO gratefully acknowledges assistance of the following in the production of MSSO News.
Canadian International Development Agency
200 Promenade du Portage, Hull, Que., Canada K1A 0G4
Polyphase Engineered Controls Ltd.
3555 - 93 Street, Edmonton, AB, Canada T6E 6N6


Krishibhushan Mrs. Bankar addressing
awareness meeting for women’s participation in agriculture


Right to Life is a documentary to explain the concept about
socio-legal practice while defending human rights of the
downtrodden. Produced by Human Rights & Law Defenders with financial assistance from MSSO, the film would appeal to the legal professionals as well as the lay people.

Heartfelt Thanks to Volunteers

Jivan Kayande organized the following team of volunteers to
help MSSO in its fundraising activity for two days on 20th
and 21st November 2008. The proceeds from this event were utilized for the production of the movie Ek Cup Chya on creating awareness about Right to Information Act.

Kumud Acharya

Yash Kalra

Deepak Aggarwal

Jivan Kayande

Ramesh Aggarwal

Ramesh Khullar

Sandhya Bagwe

Vishal Kohli

Krishna Bukka

Vinod Marwaha

Munawar Chaudhari

Mukund Mehta

Magan Chavada

Sharad Mokashi

Krishan Chawla

Nagy Nageswaran

Kusum Dalal

Renu Narang

Jagdish Dalal

Jitendra Patel

Rohit Desai

Savita Patel

Urwashi Dhanda

Rajiv Ranjan

Padma Dhodia

M.P. Sharma

Vasudev Dhodia

Madhukar Sharma

Balwant Gandhi

Sudarshan Sharma

Nilay Garge

Tilak Sharma

Gulshan Grover

Durga Singh

Makarand Gulawani

Rajeshwar Singh

Prashant Hyatnagarkar

Jagannath Wani

Suresh Jani

Nilam Zilka

Jyoti Jani

Natwar Zilka


Donations to MSSO are eligible for tax credit
(charity registration No. 10765 4410 RR 0001).
You may send your donations to:
Maharashtra Seva Samiti Organization
4 Strathbury Circle SW
Calgary, Alberta
Phone: (403) 288-0048, email:
Visit <> for
Past issues of