Let me first express my heartfelt thanks to you on behalf of VSSS for extending your kind assistance to us, by donating 12 Solar Bogo Lights on 12th March 2010, for the welfare of our village beneficiaries at Harangheri. Being deprived of electric lights they found the gifts extremely useful and valuable. Their blessings go all the way to you.
A few words about VSSS will probably help you assess the work that we have undertaken at Harangheri for its holistic development.
VSSS- VIVEKANANDA SWASTHYA SEVA SANGHA (registered by the Govt. of India – S/488815 of 1986) is an organization dedicated solely to work for primary rural healthcare. Our primary objective – is to provide primary health care to the underprivileged mass of rural Bengal.
VSSS provides primary health care service to 106 villages spanning 6 districts (of approximate population 1.25 lakh). And our approach in this regard is holistic development of the villages. All our activities are designed and formulated as per the World Health Organization guidelines of eight major components of Primary Health Care program.
But as you will acknowledge all our efforts will be fruitless if the rural mass still remains impoverished. No medicine on earth can supplement them the nourishments of 4 square meals a day. In order to assist them in this regard we have set up literacy centers both for the toddlers and their mothers. And more recently we have also undertaken income generating socio-economic projects to make them self reliant. Experience has taught us that without socio-economic development health care will remain ineffective. Development of Harangheri is a part of our collective income generating socio-economic project.
Under the able guidance of Ramakrishna Mission we have taken up a micro-finance scheme there at Harangheri. We have collected 38 women of Harangheri to form 4 Income Generating small savings groups and are assisting them to save a part of their meager income every week. They have also opened 4 group accounts in local Nationalized Bank which they visit almost every month to deposit their monthly savings. Regarding their exact requirements and extent of poverty the following data will perhaps give you a small insight.
HARANGHERI: VILLAGE LOCATED IN NORTH 24 PARGANAS – Block Haroa:
The population (approximately 2500) comprises of extremely backward Scheduled Tribes – Munda, Sardar, Singh etc.
Topographically it is a village comprising of 25% land and 75% water. And to make matters worse the water bodies being used for prawn cultivation contains high quantities of salt making the adjacent land extreme saline. The village is a clear reflection of manmade hazard.
On soil testing we found two things: 1) the salinity is unevenly distributed i.e. very high in some plots; 2) moderately high in some. But experts who have visited the place and seen the soil test reports have confirmed that green leafy vegetable can never be cultivated on the ground of Harangheri. As a result you will not see any trace of greenery in any part of Harangheri.
Regarding the climatic condition one can only wish that there would be no monsoon on earth to save the tribes of Harangheri. Their mud houses are so strategically located in and around the water bodies that a little bit of rain either wash off their thatches or dissolve the mud roofs every season. Illiteracy is high over there with only handful few knowing to sign their names only. Consequently their only means of earning livelihood is working as day laborers in distant lands where crops are cultivated.
On survey we found that a woman earns about Rs. 6000/pa after working for 6-7hours in fields. Men are slightly better off they earn approximately 12,000/pa. To top it all they normally are given assignments for only 6-8 months a year because the rest of the months their labors are not required by their employers.
Their deprivations are too many to note: no four square meals a day, no regular means of earning livelihood, no electric lights to light up their homes after dark, no education etc.
The solar lights you provided to them will light up their homes and also make their festivals days happier. We have distributed them among 12 members of the 4 aforementioned groups on condition that they will lend them to other members if and when required. They have been overjoyed. But our mission is light at least 38 homes of our 38 members.
Our fervent appeal to you Sir is to help us in this regard by providing at least 38-12=26 more similar Solar Bogo Lights to the group members of Harangheri to illuminate their homes after dark. It will be an unforgettable gesture on your part both for us at VIVEKANANDA SWASTHYA SEVA SANGHA, and the deprived villagers of Harangheri.
(Asst. Sec. VSSS)
VIVEKANANDA SWASTHYA SEVA SANGHA
(A Registered voluntary organization for rural health care – Regn.No. S/48815 of 1986)
Regd.Office & Working Centre:RC-20/11, Raghunathpur,Kolkata-700059
Email: email@example.com, Web: www.vsss.org