“Good morning to all on this memorable day, when we complete a journey of 18 years. I am delighted to have all of you together here, and to be able to address you all. First and foremost, it is my duty to extend a hearty welcome to all of you who have gathered here for the occasion of Mukti’s 18th foundation day. It is my wish that this day be memorable to you and provide you inspiration during the year ahead to continue the much-needed work that you are doing. I would like to thank all the board members and distinguished guests sitting on the stage for gracing this event.
From my perspective as the Mukti secretary, I would like to give you a summary of our activities of the past year. In my 15 – 16 years with Mukti, the last year has perhaps been the most eventful. We have had to witness events like the second and third waves of Covid, and cyclone Yaas. In spite of all of such exigencies, the work we have been able to do has been commendable. The contributions from each and every one of you, no matter how small individually, have collectively made such great work possible.
I will present the work of the past year to you in four parts:
The first part is operational excellence – The operational team that provides vital back-end support to the organization, often operates behind the scenes to enable our projects to run smoothly. This team manages funds efficiently, pays salaries on time, maintains compliance twith legal requirements, etc. One of the main reasons why Mukti has been able to do voluminous work, more work than other non-profit and even for-profit organizations, in spite of all restrictions imposed by the pandemic, is the support of our operational team members and their IT-enabled skills. Those who are salaried employees in Mukti, if they read their agreement paper carefully, then they will realize that according to the government requirements, the safety of the employees associated with the organization has been considered of greater importance than the organization itself. The recruitment procedure has been streamlined to a level equivalent to any big organization. We have focused on IT to increase efficiency. We have a variety of websites through which we showcase to the whole world the work of our field workers. Without these, we might not be able to make a global impact.
The second part is a strong partnership – There are two types of partnerships – 1) with those who fund us and 2) those who implement the work enabled by the funds. Remarkably, this very year, we have partnered with 80+ organizations! It’s a remarkable achievement for Mukti. Mukti would like to enable many other small organizations to develop such partnerships, because Mukti’s ideals are not limited to its own geographical area of work – rather Mukti would like to see such successful partnerships across all of West Bengal and indeed across all of India. That’s why we have supported 40 smaller NGOs this year, to give direction to their efforts. We are glad to associate with ASFHM (Advanced Society for Headmasters and Headmistresses) as our partner organization, which has around 7,000 headmasters and headmistresses from all over West Bengal. They helped us to spread our work throughout West Bengal. I thank Tapas Da as the ASFHM representative.
The third aspect I would like to talk about, and would like to continue focusing on in the future, is molding ideal individuals. The greatest thing we learn from our parents, our teachers, and others who we respect, are values and humanity. While animals don’t need to prove their animal nature, humanity is not a given in humans – it must be demonstrated. And to demonstrate humanity, a human being must have certain qualities. What we want is to build a society where the seeds of goodness will be sown in individuals, where they will be tolerant of others, and will work for others. With this goal, we launched the “Mukti Saathi” initiative last year. As part of the “Mukti Sathi” initiative, we talked about good health, started yoga sessions, and created playgrounds for kids. With your cooperation, we will do more in the future. As part of Value Educatio,n we have encouraged TSS students to do social work and we are proud they have given 5,000 hours in community service.
The fourth aspect is Project Implementation – We have worked in a very structured way to enable successful project implementation. We have appointed one project manager for each of the projects. You know we refer to our core work as HEALER. This year HEALER has been extended and renamed to HEALER AID.
The H in HEALER AIS stands for Health, Hygiene and water – this project consists of Hello Beta, Gram Clinic, Telemedicine, Potable water, etc. This year we have distributed 2,000+ oxygen concentrators, helped 2,500 senior citizens of Kolkata through the Hello Beta initiative, and provided medical care to 18,000 patients in our various clinics.
In the area of E (Education and Enablement), we have been able to give scholarships to 200+ students, our highest number ever in our 18 years of work. 2,000 students have been supported through 21 Mukti Support Schools. 5,000 books have been distributed to 1300 students through Book Bank. 70+ students have received technical education through the Mukti Institutes of Technology (MIT).
In the area of A (Agriculture Reforms), 1000 farmers have been provided training on organic farming, 400 tons of organic vegetables have been produced by Mukti farmers (a remarkable achievement), 103 farmers received PGS certificates, and 600 farmers have been provided seed support.
In the domain of L (Livelihood and Employment), 4000+ women entrepreneurs have been supported with loans, and skill development training has been provided to 10,000+ women.
Under the Environment and Sustainability umbrella, this year 1.7 lakhs mangrove plants have been planted, 5,000+ coconut saplings have been distributed. Under the Resilience Recovery initiative, we have built 3 prototype houses, 48 more houses are under construction this year, and we believe next year we will take the figure to 100.
Awareness and Empowerment – 400 families are associated with us and they are receiving rights-based advocacy.
Under Integrated Development, you all know the work that has been done in the model village. These have been mentioned under the other categories mentioned above. In addition, we have supported 500 families under the disaster response initiative during cyclone Yaas, and 2 lakh patients have been supported with medical care during the pandemic.
At the end of my speech, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to all of you for the way you have been with Mukti during the pandemic. I hope we can do even more with your help next year.”