The J.P. Naik Centre for Development and Education of Rural Women, popularly known as Grameen Mahila Vikasini (GMV) was established in 1994 Shivapur village (Taluka Haveli, District Pune) for conducting research studies and experimental programmes concerning education and empowerment of rural women. Vocational education programmes both related to agriculture and non-formal education for girls and women from surrounding villages of Shivapur, have been organized in the light of the Institute’s main objectives viz. Education for All and Health for All. All these programmes are interlinked with rural development. Organization of women’s Self Help Groups, updating the skills of women farmers, improving the health status of women and children, are given priority. To produce marketable goods, trainings are also conducted to develop skills required in sewing and tailoring. . All these programmes are conducted within the framework of action-research and the activities of GMV have been financed from Trust funds of the Indian Institute of Education.
I. Vocational Education
The centre has been conducting vocational education classes for local women. At present Vocational classes were conducted in Aarvi village, especially in sewing and tailoring. These classes were conducted based on the demand of the local women. Around 30 women including college going girls benefited in acquiring skill in basic as well as blouse stitching. The ‘Kushala section of vocational education at GMV produced 120 seminar bags for i-earn international organization, as well as different variety bags, door mats, quilts, saree bags, rexin purses, throughout the year. ‘Kushala’ took part in ‘Deccan Jatra’ had a stall for seven days. This was organized by Zilla Parishad. But the season, timing of month of Deccan Jatra was not suitable for the public. But it was good experience.
II. Community Learning Centres
Community Learning Centres are located in Shivapur and seven surrounding villages, viz. Shriramnagar, Khed, Kasurdi, Aarvi, Gauddara, Kalyan and Awasarwadi. These are managed by the Prachetas (women Animators). The Prachetas are also trained as Arogya-Preraks in order to treat simple illnesses under the guidance of the Public Health Centre, which also trained them as ‘Depot Holders’. Monthly in-service trainings are conducted for Prachetas by resource persons, who train them in the areas of health, hygiene, rural development, bank-linkages, and related government schemes. In their monthly meetings they are given legal information as well as information regarding the important National Day celebrations as well as festivals. They even manage the SHGs activities from their own villages and the maintain registers, which are checked periodically at the GMV centre, Shivapur.
Several agricultural development activities were conducted in the villages surrounding the Institute’s well equipped centre located at Shivapur village. Intensive programmes have been undertaken in seven villages including the Institute’s Community Learning Centres which are located in six villages including the Shivapur village. By and large, the non-formal agricultural education has become popular during this process. The other activities conducted by these centres are;
- Training programmes: Periodically training programs are conducted for the members of Self Help Groups to update them in writing the SHGs registers in accurate financial transactions. To make them aware about the responsibilities and duties of office barers. They were given the situations of common difficulties they face and to perform role plays accordingly. These training programmes have helped them enormously for their improvement in conducting SHGs. Even special training programmes are organized for BPL Self Help Groups.
- Health: The sanitation project commenced in the year 2005 under the guidance of Dr. Chitra Naik. Dr. Chitra Naik had donated Rs. 2.5 lakhs for this project. A woman from SHG is eligible to get the interest free loan of Rs. 4000/- in two installments, which can be repaid in 20 installments. It is a rolling fund. Uptill now 180 women are beneficiaries 12 toilets are under construction. This project has played an important role in personal health, social health as well as environmental problems. The project is continued and the awareness about the need of toilets is created among the villagers. A video film was produced with the main acting role of famous Marathi actor Makarand Anaspure. Also a puppet show is produced by GMVs Prachetas on this topic. GMVs prachetas are trained as ‘Arogya Preraks’. They are also selected as ‘depot holders’ by Primary Health Centre. They and ASHA workers take care of the health problems of the respective villages.
- Legal Literacy Centre: This centre was started in GMV with the cooperation of ILS Law college, Pune. Once in two months the professors from the college come to the centre to give free advice to the women who need legal advice.
- Camps: GMV Shivapur campus has good infrastructural facilities viz. common hostel, VIP guest room with attached toilets, 3 seminar halls, LCD facility and Annanda mess facility. GMV campus has beautiful natural surroundings of hills. Outside organizations arrange their training programmes/workshops/seminars throughout the year. Campus repairs – All electrical, carpentry, plumbing repairs are completed in the campus.
- Agricultural Activities: Workshops for farmers related to organic farming, poly-house farming, and other horticulture practices are conducted at the centre.
- Vikas Ghar: Since June 2012 IIE/GMV has entered in collaboration with Gyan Prakash Foundation which has started ‘Vikas Ghar’s in 5 surrounding villages for the 1st and 2nd std. students from Z.P. schools. The young girls from the respective villages were selected, trained and given the responsibility as teachers of Vikas Ghar. Maths and science and English are taught in a play way method. These Vikas Ghars have got good response not only from the children, parents but also from ZP and ZP teachers of respective villages. The aim of Vikas Ghar is to improve the learning ability of children. There is a dramatic change in studies, behavior of the students which has a great impact on the parents as well as community resulting reduction of migration from Z P Schools to private schools.