Working Towards Making A Garvi Gujarat

HERVA Foundation, India

Shreya Mehta

Shreya Mehta on June 27, 2018 in Health & Sanitation

“The future of India lies in its village”. These are the immortal words of Mahatma Gandhi.

While the cities have grown and developed at an exponential speed, the rural areas haven’t seen this kind of development yet. With limited services like primary healthcare centres (23,000 approx.), the people living in more than 6,00,000 villages of India are unfortunately deprived of all basic amenities. In order to tackle with the similar situation in the state of Gujarat, the HERVA Foundation was founded.

HERVA stands for “Healthcare Education for Rural Villages Adopted”. As rightly pointed out by its name, the NGO adopts villages with the goal to facilitate proper growth and development. The villages are chosen based on the particulars like how remotely are they located, if they lack basic amenities like infrastructure, healthcare, education, sanitation and supply of good quality drinking water? The ultimate goal of the NGO is to make the chosen villages self-sufficient and reliant.

The HERVA Foundation is currently working with 9 villages in Gujarat namely, Kaloli, Asjol, Zanzarva, Rudatal, Ghoda, Jalampura, Radhu, Rasikpura and Varsang. The NGO has been recently awarded with the “NGO Leadership Award in Gujarat” for its contribution made to developing basic amenities in these villages.

As far as healthcare facilities are concerned, aid is provided with the help of a mobile van. Modern technology and mechanisms are used for diagnosis and various other healthcare services. Focus is also made to educate the villagers about various diseases and preventive care. ‘Eye camps’, ‘Medical camps’ and ‘Adolescent and Women Awareness Programs’ are conducted at regular intervals.

Since 2014, more than 2500 patients across these adopted villages have benefitted from the services of the NGO. Medicines, spectacles and sanitary pads are also distributed across the villages during these camps. Diabetes, Anaemia, BP, Vitamin deficiency tests are also conducted in these camps and medicines for each of these are provided for the identified patients.

The NGO also aims to improve the Sanitation facilities in all the adopted villages. To implement the same, various campaigns and programs are conducted in all of these villages informing them about personal hygiene and cleanliness is the surrounding areas. Programs also stress the need to have safe drinking water to remain healthy. Till date approximately 60 toilets have also been built in the ambit of the Swachh Bharat Mission. Various waste management techniques are also encouraged by the HERVA team as part of the mission to keep the villages clean.

Adolescent and Women Awareness Programs are conducted in all schools of the villages. Short movies and videos like “Hello Periods” from Menstrupedia are shown in these schools as part of the program. Fun books and comics in Gujarati are also distributed in all the schools of the villages. Free sanitary pads and iron tablets are given to girls of the village so that they have a healthy lifestyle.

To increase business opportunities and livelihood options, basic skills like tailoring, handicraft, charkha weaving are taught to the villagers. In November 2017, a team from the GAP (Global Action on Poverty) Intensive was invited in Jalampura and Ghola villages as part of the Livelihood Program of the HERVA Foundation. Since then, with the support from GAP, women in these villages prepare cotton bags and earn money for every bag made.

Today, women in the program are self-reliant and self-sufficient to fulfil all their basic needs. Marginal farmers, woman and the youth of the villages are also kept informed about the various vocational courses available in the vicinity. Guidance and counselling is provided to adolescents in the villages so as to discourage the rate of juvenile delinquency and crime.

In the near future, the NGO seeks to collaborate and assign a HERVA Saathi/Sakhi to communicate between villages. They are also looking to create financial opportunities for the villagers and encourage them to pursue a healthy and lively environment. Under the guidance of the founder trustee Subramaniam.R.Puthucode, the HERVA foundation with the support from its members is leading the way for NGOs attempting to help and collaborate with villages.

To read more about the inspirational work they are doing, visit HERVA Foundation today!

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