Rural Community Development Centre
   
         
     
 

It is an established fact that there is a wide gulf in the social status of urban women and rural women in India. Illiteracy, poverty and illness still provide huge challenges in rural areas and women are among the most vulnerable groups.  The empowerment of women in rural India could change the face of the whole country.

Rural extension programs undertaken by All India Women’s Conference were taken up with a definite objective of sensitizing urban women towards this situation and to expand and extend the activities of women and child welfare to rural areas.    The present program of Rural Development undertaken by All India Women’s Conference Mumbai Branch, located at Talasari  started some decades back.  Mrs. Hilda Seligman a British resident had stayed in India and was deeply distressed by the plight of Rural and tribal women and children.  She was a writer and wrote children’s storybooks.  She had written a story around the pranks played by a small goat named “Skippo”.  Out of the royalty of this story book and other donations and gifts acquired with the help of Lady Pathick Lawrence and Lady Stafford Cripps, she founded a “Skippo” Fund in 1945 in London.  From this fund a mobile health van was custom built in the United Kingdom.  This van was offered to All India Women’s Conference to start a rural health project in India through their village mobile medical work committee.  “A Skippo Project” was worked out by Lady Ramrao and Mrs. Awabai Wadia.  Initially the work started at Khattawala in Umargaon Taluka where the van visited the villages situated in the innermost areas.  But soon through the generosity of Kashibai Mohite, a local resident of Talasari, a piece of land admeasuring approx. one acre was donated to AIWC.  Gradually a simple building with a well was constructed and the centre was localized with three staff members who visited these villages regularly.  Reaching India’s villages is not a problem now that it was in 1940s and 1950s and Skippo Project was certainly one of the first of its type in the pioneering effort of providing medical help to tribal population by reaching them with a mobile health van.

In the year 1962, three new structures were added and more medical facilities were made available with the help of building grants received from the Central Social Welfare Board and the Social Welfare Department of the Government of Maharashtra.  And the Skippo Project was officially registered under the name of “Village Mobile Health Van Committee” of the Mumbai Branch of AIWC.

The centre was fortunate in securing the services of Dr. S.B. Vyas and Smt. Indirabai Vyas .  Dr. Vyas visited the villages of surrounding area within a radius of 30 km. in addition to looking after the medical needs of the tribals through the centre.  After a long period of dedicated service, Dr. Vyas expired in 1978, and Smt. Indirabai Vyas also retired on the ground of old age and indifferent health.  In view of the development of the centre and its multi dimensional approach towards the welfare of the community, the project was renamed and re-registered as “Rural Community Development Centre”.

After five decades of continuous service, it was necessary to repair and renovate the property of the centre.  This was made possible by a very timely and generous donation of Rs.3 lakhs by Dr. Mohanbhai Patel, an eminent industrialist, and ex-sheriff of Mumbai.  The donation was channelised through the Leo Club of Juhu under the Chairmanship of Shri Pagur Desai.  The buildings were already equipped with electric fittings but there was no running water facility.  Another well was bored and plumbing facilities were installed with the help of donation received from London Council of Rural Development.  At present, the centre is spread out in four buildings including staff quarters and is equipped with electric and plumbing facilities, and a telephone connection with a fax service and Internet facilities.  This structure accommodates medical centre, Balwadi, Training centre for women and residential quarters for the staff.

The centre has land admeasuring approx. one acre.  At present the members are busy to start a regular Full Time Training Centre to equip the young population, particularly girls with vocational training required by and suitable for surrounding areas.  At the same time it is planning to run a school leading up to Std. X to provide academic base necessary for the training courses.  It is requested to the donors to help the centre – for these developments according to the changed needs of the area.

SOME GLIMPSES OF OUR PRESENT ACTIVITIES

  1. SMT. CHANDRABEN MOHANBHAI PATEL RURAL HEALTH CENTRE:
    The centre at present provides elementary medical attention and medicine to tribals at very nominal charge.  Approximately, 12000 patients take advantage of the centre annually.  The centre was strengthened by the generous donation from Dr. Mohanbhai Patel.

  2. SMT. MANJULA PRATAPSINGH SHISHU MANDIR:
    There is a Balwadi at the centre made possible by the generous donation of Shri Chhatrabhuj Narsee in memory of his sister Manjula Pratapsingh.  Approximately, 50 tribal children are taking advantage of this facility.

  3. A Primary School in a mixed medium viz. Marathi and English is started to train the students further for higher education.

  4. ADULT LITERACY PROGRAM
    This program has been started in collaboration with Tata Consultancy and focuses on developing the reading and writing ability of adults (35 years and above) with the help of the software programs specially prepared for the purpose by the Tata Consultancy Research.

  5. MATUSHREE MONGHI KESAR VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE
    The centre has started to provide income generating training programs to women in the surrounding areas.  Started with a generous donation on the part of Shri Deojibhai and Smt. Ramilla Dadhia.  The centre accommodates the following courses at present.  Each course has been further strengthened financially by the respective donors whose name is given to the course.

    1. SPECIAL EDUCATION AND LITERACY PROGRAM FOR SCHOOL DROPOUTS
      This program was specially started for children who dropped out from regular schools for one reason or another, but would like to continue their education.  These children are given regular coaching in school subjects for 4 hours every day.

    2. SMT. CHANDRIKABEN GARDI INCOME GENERATING PROGRAM FOR WOMEN.
      This facility was made possible by the generous donation of Shri Dipchand Gardi in the name of his daughter-in-law Chandrikaben.  The centre at present conducts sewing classes and approximately 50 women are taking advantage of this facility.  The Sewing and Tailoring Class was further upgraded by a generous financial aid from Shri Jayantibhai J. Shah Rural Development Foundation.

    3. LION JAYANTIBHAI J. SHAH AND FAMILY RURAL DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION COMPUTER CLASSES

      1. A computer training program of regular training courses in computer operation of duration of three months is conducted under this program.  These courses are approved by the Govt. of Maharashtra and are meant for those students who have cleared their HSC examination as well as for those who are already in Govt. jobs and for whom this training is necessary.

      2. The computer operation for those students who do not want to appear for the Government Certificate Examination.  The course is the same and these students are given certificates by the Centre.

      3. Computer games and elementary keyboard operation for children (7 to 12 years of age) with an objective to acquaint them with computers.

    4. KUMARI PUSHPA MANSUKHLAL SHAH TRAINING CLASS IN BEAUTY CULTURE AND HOUSEKEEPING

    5. PRE PRIMARY TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE
      This course is specially to train teachers for Balwadi and Pre-Primary centres.

    6. NURSE’S  AID COURSE
      The course gives elementary training especially to the tribal girls in nursing and sick care, so as to provide the hospitals and dispensaries in the surrounding areas with assistants to the practicing doctors.  These two courses were possible because of the generosity money provided by Mr. & Mrs. Dedhia of Rs. Five Lakhs and are run under the academic guidance and in collaboration with the Seva Mandal Education Society of Matunga.

  6. SHRI NAGINDAS DUNGARSEE CHARITABLE TRUST – PERIODICAL MEDICAL CAMPS AND HEALTH CHECK UP PROGRAMS
    Every year two general health check up programs are taken up under this program and each time approximately 200 patients take advantage of it.  Apart from these check-ups, the children of Balwadi are examined medically every month by a qualified specialist.  Besides the above mentioned funds, many more donors help in sponsoring other camps also for special check-up.  A medical relief fund has been started to cope up with the increased cost of the medicines provided to the patients free of charge.
     
  7. AWARENESS CAMPS
    Awareness camps are conducted every month to create awareness among the local women towards elementary facts and basic principals of :
        a)  Preventive medicines
        b)  Socialization process leading to healthy and balanced personality of women and children.
       c)  Socio-economic measures to improve the status of women in general and tribal women in particular
       d) Legal awareness of women and acquainting them with their legal rights.
       e)Life skill education to adolescents.
     
  8. LIONESS DISTRICT 323 A BALVATIKA
    Swings, see-saw and other facilities are provided for the children of Balwadi and the children of the surrounding area by Lioness District 323 A.  Lions Club of North Mumbai has donated furniture for two classrooms under their Classroom Project through the goodwill of Lioness Rashmi Arvind Desai.
     
  9. VISIT AND CAMPS OF OUTSIDE AGENCIES
    To sensitize the urban women to rural problems, various branches of All India Women’s Conference Mumbai Branch arrange periodical visits of their members to the centre.  Through such visits, members are acquainted with the activities of the centre and get a feel of the problems of the rural area.  N.S.S. Camps and Internship programs for the trainees of the Home Science College of Seva Mandal Education Society affiliated to S.N.D.T. Women’s University are also arranged at the centre and the centre has developed into a rural campus for the college at present.

OUR FUTURE PLANS

  1. For Strengthening our present activities and introduction of new activities, the centre would need large funds.

    1. Salary Fund / Medicine Fund
      We have at present medical centre with the following trained personnel who work full time at the centre.
      (i)  1 Resident Doctor          (ii)  2 Nurses          (iii)  1 Ayah
      We need some corpus year marked for the salary fund of our staff.  So that we can increase their salary and strengthen these activities further.
      We would like to increase the salary of the Resident Doctor and other staff members especially in view of the inflation in the cost of living of the staff  members.

    2. Training Centre:
      To appoint more trained instructors (specializing in a particular skill) to teach various skill oriented courses to rural women so that the courses taught at the training centre can be upgraded from time to time.

    3. Equipment and other accessories for the courses newly introduced.

  2. To develop the land attached to the property:
    A present we have four buildings standing on approximately one acre land.
    These structures accommodate - Medical Centre, Balwadi, Training Centre for Women and Residential Quarters for Doctor.
    It is necessary now to construct a multi-purpose building so as to expand these activities and to introduce new activities like a primary school and Ambulance Centre which are some of the requirements of the community.  Construction of the building would need large funds as the cost of construction at Talasari is quite high.

  3. To provide a base to educational institution for their rural extension program Any welfare activity needs a Research base.

    1. As such we have already organized a nucleus for conducting small surveys to identify the socio-medical needs of the tribal population in the surrounding area.  This is done with the help of students from Mumbai who use our centre as a base to hold rural service camps to conduct internship programs and special camps for the N.S.S. projects.  The centre provides accommodation for all these purposes along with office facilities for the co-ordination of these activities including typing and computer facilities.  We would like to provide more facilities for converting the same into training centre with internship facilities for students of colleges from the city of Mumbai and surrounding area.

    2. A small vehicle would be very useful to provide transport facilities for the group of students and research workers to undertake these types of programs in various Padas in Talasari.  We want to develop the centre gradually into an information centre for the 27 villages of the five Padas that form the Talasari block.
     
  4. AN AMBULANCE CNETRE
    Being situated on the Western Express Highway which is an accident prone area especially during monsoon an Ambulance Centre is one of the requirements in this area.  With the given infrastructure that the centre has at present a First Aid Centre combining ambulance facility can be started very easily, provided finances to purchase and maintain a proper ambulance service is made available. 
     
    We need an additional corpus of more than Rs.10,00,00,000/- (Rs. Ten Core) to satisfy these needs and appeal to the philanthropic public to help us out in conducting and developing these activities at our Rural Community Development Centre at Talasari.

Approach

Rail :   By Western Railway to Umergaon & Dahanu
           From Station Rikshaws & Buses are available to reach Talasari
 
Road : From State Transport Mumbai – Surat Buses stop at Talasari
           By Private Transport 136 kms from Mumbai via Western Express Highway.


 

RURAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CENTRE

 TALASARI
 
“SKIPPO’ Rural Project of ALL INDIA WOMEN’S CONFERENCE
(MUMBAI BRANCH)

 
Mumbai Address:-
Savitri Sadan, N.S. Road No. 12, J.V.P.D. Scheme, Mumbai – 400 049. Tel.: 26206154
 
         

Talasari Address:-
Surat Udhwa Road, Talasari, Taluka Dahanu,
Dist. Thane, Maharashtra,
India 401600.
Tel. No. 2521 220084
Mobile No. of a person to contact at
Talasari -  Ms Mrudula Chari - 09860585234
Registration No.- F-1252(BOM)
PAN No. AAATR4187P

 

CHAIR PERSON
Smt. Shashi R. Gandhi.                      Flat No A-703 Om Khushal, B.P. Deshpande Marg,Next to Thakre Udyan Vile Parle (E).Mumbai 400057.           Tel No 26821512.                           Mobile No 9320325992 

 

HON. SECRETARY
Mrs. Mohna Malhotra
Mobile No. – 98214 10722
HON. TREASURER
Mrs. Panna Bhatia
Mobile No. – 98697 10565


   
The name on which the Cheque of donation is to be drawn – “Rural Community Development Centre, Talasari”
 

 

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Annual Report

  Report of the 82nd annual conference
     
 

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