By Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan RSKS India

 

 

By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In the following our interview with Deepak Sharma, CEO of the Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan in Ajmer, India, caring about empowerment of women, marginalized communities, and communities in many Indian villages, and struggling against child labour in Rajastan. Would like to thank Deepak for his detailed answers and the photos he sent us.
 
 1Which are the objectives of RSKS?
 
Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan RSKS India is situated in the holy city Ajmer surrounded by Aravali hills. Youth committed for social service founded an organization in 1992. Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan has been committed and diligent for several consequential issues as economic and social development of marginalized community, sustainable livelihood, education, health and sanitation, women empowerment, gender equality, environment conservation for the last 24 years. The organization is active in more than 250 villages at present.
 
Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan simply deals on the principle of “May all live happily” without any discrimination on the grounds of caste, religion, high-low. We are strongly committed to achieve our objective i.e., the development of the marginalized community at remote locations.
 
How would you define your approach?
 
Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan always deals with a pre-action plan i.e., before initializing a project, a base line survey is done for knowing geographical, economic and social problems of the region where the project is to be run. A descriptive project report is prepared after the survey by integrating the solutions and long-term effects of the project. After initializing the project, for its evaluation, an evaluation committee (Project Evaluation and Monitoring Committee) is constituted. The committee ensures the successful administration and execution of the project. The organization follows up the beneficiaries from time to time and the staff prepares project report on daily basis.
 
Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan has a governing boards which consists of 7 members. The Management works at the lower level of the board and manages all the projects efficiently.
 
 
What are the main gender-related issues in Rajasthan?
 
There are several problems related to gender in Rajasthan of which social evils as purdah system, child marriage, dowry are majors. The main problems related to gender are as follow :
 
Ø  Discrimination between son and daughter as people send son school to learn but they keep daughter busy with household chores.
Ø  Willing to have son, sometimes, people perform Gender Prediction Test and practice female feticide if they come to know that the fetus is female.
Ø  People get their sons Higher education.
Ø  Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan had an experiment with more than 1000 women. Each of them was given a paper chart and asked to draw an image of a child on the paper. Amazingly, 95% of the women drew images of a boy child and hence, we came to conclude that women also want to have boy instead of having girl.
Ø  In fields, both men and women do agricultural operations, but the society considers man as a farmer only.
Ø  In marriages, family members of bridegroom demand for dowry from the family of bride. Moreover, bridegroom’s family is considered superior to bride’s family.
Ø  A son is always entitled for the patrimony of the family. Only son becomes an heir and owner of the wealth and everything which he gets as patrimony. 
 
In what ways do you promote women empowerment? Do you involve men as well in these projects?
 
Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan works for women empowerment with solidarity. The organization helps women to become empowered economically and socially. Up to now, the organization has been executing the following projects for women empowerment.
Ø  Women Self-Help Group Program: – In this program, women become self-reliant through togetherness. Women become financial literate by getting information related to micro-finance and savings, insurance protection and banking through Self-Help Groups.
Ø  Eradication of Violence against Women Program : – In this program, Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan made women aware of their legal rights in the male dominated society by “Her Voice” campaign. Moreover, the society is made aware of prevention of female feticide, eradication of child marriage, save girl – educate girl, dowry, gender equality by public awareness programs.
Ø  Sustainable Livelihood Program : – Under this program, Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan helps more than 700 women of marginalized community every year to become self-reliant by providing them benefit of vocational training. Training for life skills and EDP is also provided to these women along with the vocational training.
 
The organization also involves men in the activities of women empowerment. The organization involves men and get their support and contribution for the programs as per the requirements of the circumstances.
 
 
Is children labour a main issues in your region? How do you address it?
 
Child labour is practiced on a large scale in Rajasthan even though there are so many strict laws have been constituted it can be seen in factories, shops and many other places that children are involved in doing labour. Poverty and Ignorance are the major reasons for child labour. Due to financial problems, parents are bound to send their children for work (labour) so that they earn.
Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan, to prevent child labour, has counselling with the family of the child labour and makes them aware of the demerits of it. Also, the organization notifies the factory owners, shopkeepers and other who practice child labour and set the child labors free from their grip.
 
Do you cooperate with local authorities and institutions? If yes, how?
 
Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan establishes coordination with all government and semi-government’s local departments and thus executes the projects successfully. The organization has coordination with Panchayat Samiti, Education and Health Departments, Gram Panchayat in rural region and supports them.
 
If a Gram Panchayat is to start a new program in its region, then Rajasthan Samgrah Kalyan Sansthan supports the Gram Panchayat in it. We suggest local departments and institutions in the meetings. The organization promotes every ideal project of local government department on its own level so that each and every person belongs to marginalized community gets the benefit of the program.

 

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