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Work done by a rehabilitation centre run by Satyaniketan Trust in Rajur, Maharashtra,India for tribal women. Mrs. Suman Muthe who heads this centre has led various activities of this centre by successfully rehabilitating more than 500 tribal women in the past 15 years
Rehabilitation Centre of Satyaniketan Trust, Rajur, District Ahmednagar WORKING FOR THE CAUSE OF TRIBAL WOMEN, WIDOWS, DESTITUTE IN MAHARASHTRA, INDIA About Satyaniketan Trust: Satyaniketan Trust works for the development of tribal communities and other backward people in Akole taluka of Ahmednagar District since the last 60 years. It undertakes activities such as short stay homes for women, crèche centres, ashram schools, primary and secondary schools, a college, hostels and self employment programmes within its premises. The Trust was established in 1950 to provide stability and persistence to undertake the above mentioned activities. This institution is registered as a voluntary social service organisation under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and Maharashtra Public trust Act. It is a certified Khadi and Village Industries Institution (Government of India) and implementing various schemes of KVIC. Background and History: The origins of this institution can be traced to Sarvodaya initiative which was a symbolic movement of Mahatma Gandhi’s to activate various schemes towards the upliftment of the down trodden people in the far flung interior and tribal regions of the country. This work towards realising this long term vision consequently began in the year 1950-1951 in Ahmednagar district. Rajur is a tribal area in Akole tehsil and devoted activists Shri Bapusaheb Shende and Shri RV Patankar were appointed as Chief Directors for the Sarvodaya movement. Around sixty remote villages in the western part of Akole tehsil were selected for undertaking activities under this scheme. The objectives of this movement were to focus on the overall and holistic development of the villages and the inhabitants. Hence, emphasis was given on undertaking scheme in the areas of education, self employment, health awareness , poverty eradication, family planning , water supply, sanitation and malnutrition which were quite the focus of this movement. Short Stay Home (Rehabilitation Centre) A government scheme to provide rehabilitation facilities for tribal women is being run at Satyaniketan Trust since 1993 under one of the programmes of the Bharatiya Adimjati Sevak Sangh and is monitored by our workers and staff. The main purpose of this scheme is to provide shelter to the abandoned, widowed and destitute women in the society from six months to three years. Due to lack of education and support many of the tribal women are exploited and as a result end up feeling helpless. Most of the women also suffer physical and mental abuse due to which they are devastated. The short stay home facility offered by the Satyaniketan Trust is a blessing in disguise for such women. After a woman enrols herself, she is first provided counselling so that she recovers from the mental trauma that she has suffered from. Attempts at inspiring confidence and self esteem are made in the initial days of her stay. After a detailed study of her case from legal experts, a report and plan of action is prepared. Once this is done, she is assured of adequate legal and monetary support to fight her case. However, before proceeding towards initiating any court matters, the short stay home tries to resolve the cases by settling disputes with her husband and in laws outside the court. Many cases have been successfully resolved and prevented the long and never ending legal battles which are yet another traumatic experiences for the women. The women who are rendered homeless and at many times also have children have an issue of their daily livelihood to support their ownself and their children. To support themselves financially, they are trained to generate self employment for themselves by providing training in industries such as home made products like spices, pickles and other processed foods. This ensures that they are on their own and become self reliant. So far, since the past 15 years, more than 500 women in around 150 villages have been supported by this centre by way of rehabilitation, dispute resolutions, making them self reliant and counselling. Mrs. Suman Muthe, President of the Women and Child welfare Department and Joint Secretary of Satyaniketan Council has been a guiding light for this centre. Under her guidance and efforts, there have been many successful resolutions for problems related to marital issues, rehabilitation, employment generation, dispute resolution for tribal women. For leading efforts at Satyaniketan Trust and otherwise, she has been awarded by numerous organisations, prominent among them is the “Ahilyabai Holkar Puraskar” granted by the Maharashtra government. Suman Muthe besides doing social work for tribal women is also a sociologist, writer and speaker. She is an MA in Sociology and an M.Phil.
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