Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Rural Development Initiatives

by Sadhana Mishra

AHYMSIN supports local communities by providing opportunities for enhancing skills and for economic advancement.   Objectives of the Rural Empowerment Projects are:

  1. To train villagers with specific trade based skills that would create earning opportunities in a sustainable way (need based employable vocational and income generation training).
  2. To provide a platform for basic education, training, health awareness, career counseling and support to young and adolescent girls and boys of the village.

Sewing and Stitching Centres

Consequently, AHYMSIN has introduced a Sewing project and established a Sewing & Stitching training centre for women from the three villages of Khairikhurd, Thakurpur, Khadari, Shyampur and Vipur Khurd, Rishikesh.

The Sewing center for women and young girls provides training for tailoring and embroidery to women that helps them build skills, gain self-confidence and become financially independent.

This initiative is now on its 7th year.  In 2014, 62 women benefitted from this initiative.  Towards the end of the 2014, feedback was sought from participants. The feedback clearly indicates that women feel confident and empowered.

Some participant feedback is mentioned below:

Anju Ranakoti, a participant, says, “Ever since the training centre was set up, it has helped our village significantly. It has given me new skills. Now I stitch clothes for my entire family. This has reduced expenses and freed up money for other uses. Earlier, we would have our clothes tailored elsewhere, and it was never satisfactory. It has also helped that I did not have to pay a fee to learn this skill. I feel the benefits have been great. I am grateful to Ahymsin for the support extended to me.”

Naina Panth says, “I have been able to help my family with my newly gained skills. We girls have gained significantly from the Sewing Project. We can design our own clothes. It has helped in family economics. I have saved money. I am grateful to Ahymsin and hope many more women take this opportunity to gain skills and benefit from this project.” 

AHYMSIN received a unanimous request from the village to continue the project. The project has been extended for another one year.

Subsequently, the aim is to extend this support to other areas as well such as beauticians, housekeeping, etc.

Computer Training Center

At the village of Kairi Khurd, a computer centre has been established. The main aim of the Computer Training Centre is to encourage children of the BOXA tribe to learn computer courses that would empower then and help pursue higher education.  Children from a cluster of 11 villages have access to the training center.

The syllabus for Computer Training Center is adopted from NCVT (National council for Vocational Training, Government of India). The endeavor is that each child in the class understands the basic computer hardware, software as well as application like Microsoft Office. Apart from computer experts, our selfless volunteers make sure that each child gets the best out of these classes.  Computer center provides free training to the children.

With the support of Erase Poverty Group we shall soon start vocational training for plumbers, electricians, fitters.

Adolescent Resource Centres (ARC)

We have set up ARCs at Dehradun and Rishikesh.

The ages of 12-19 years are a crucial developmental period in a child’s life. About 25-30% of the population of Uttarakhand is in this age group. In recent years India has recognised the tremendous impact of good physical, mental and emotional health on its youth. This 150 plus-hour programme offered by ARC to adolescents and community addresses many of the challenges faced by our youth. The community survey was done in order to address the specific needs of this community before initiated the above programme in two different locations.

The ARC programme covers the overall development of adolescents and focuses on health concerns – but not just physical health. The emotional health of a growing young person is equally important. ARC’s aims are to convey critical information needed at this time of life, reinforce healthy attitudes and behaviours regarding health, hygiene and interpersonal relationships, address a range of questions from reproductive health to career planning, and enhance the emotional health and internal development of adolescents. The tools used for this programme appeal to today’s youth – interactive games, participative activities, videos and other formats to hold their interest.

ARC’s overarching goal is to prepare tomorrow’s leaders for the challenges they will face. An integrated, holistic model of change will be implemented that focuses on sensitising youth through innovative interventions that embrace gender equality and enhance self-esteem through self-reliance.
The ages of 12 to 19 years are critical for changes affecting physical, mental and emotional maturity. We want to provide the best possible tools to the children of Uttarakhand, so that in the future they have the skills to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families.

Other contributions

Ahymsin also makes adhoc contributions on the request from the village.  In 2014, in addition to our regular programmes, we also:

  1. Built a bus stand for the convenience of the villagers in the Veerpur village. 
  2. Extended help to 82 children of primary school namely Rasjkiya Prathmik Vidyalaya in the same village by distributing pullovers in the winter season.

Donated old used carpets to the nearby schools and to the panchayat bhavan.



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