Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Melghat Camp Summary by Harish Chandra


A group of 16 students belonging to the Group for Rural Activities (G.R.A.) of IIT Bombay visited the Melghat region of Amravati district in north-east Maharashtra (Vidarbha). The trip lasted from 27 November 2010 to 2 December 2010.

Day 0 / Day 1 (November 27/28)

We left Mumbai on the evening of 27 November by the Mumbai CST - Amravati Express and arrived the next morning at Badnera station. Badnera lies on the main Bhusaval - Nagpur line and is the primary railhead for Amravati. At Badnera station, we met our jeep drivers for the trip, Umesh and Vijay: both of them were extremely well-travelled, knowledgeable and enthusiastic people, and made our trip all the more fruitful.

From Badnera, we went 10 km to the north to Amravati by jeep. Half of us were driven to Kedar Joshi’s house, and the other half to that of Kaustubh Bhatwadekar, where we were treated to the wonderful hospitality of their respective families. After having had a great breakfast - ragda pattice at Kaustubh’s place / geela wada (a local speciality) and chirote at Kedar’s place, we began the long journey by jeep to Lavada in Melghat, via Achalpur / Paratwada, the famous hill station of Chikhaldara, and Semadoh: totally a distance of around 160 km. The region of Melghat in Amravati comprises two talukas: Chikhaldara and Dharni. By 3 pm we reached the village of Lavada in Dharni taluka, home of the Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra, founded by Sunilji Deshpande and his wife, Nirupama Deshpande.

Sunilji had organised a 3-day “Shastri-Mistri” workshop to coincide with our stay at Lavada, for which he had invited several bamboo craftsmen and bamboo house makers who have been associated with the Kendra in various ways in the past. The aim of the workshop was to have productive interaction between people with theoretical knowledge (shastri) and those with practical skills (mistri). Immediately upon our arrival, the workshop was inaugurated with the lamp-lighting and a brief introduction by Sunilji.

Sunilji Deshpande was educated in Nagpur, where he did his M.S.W. (Master’s in Social Work), although his father originally is from Yavatmal. Nirupamaji did her M.S.W. from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (T.I.S.S.) in Mumbai. The two met in Nagpur, and they decided to get married after realising that they shared a common vision and that they would both like to work in rural India. They have been living and working in Lavada for the last 22 years. The Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra was set up by them with the intention of imparting Vyavaharik Gyan (Applicable Knowledge) in a school that was not restricted to the space within 4 walls. When the Kendra first opened, there were only 7 students; it has grown considerably since then, and has been visited by, among other dignitaries, the then-Chief Minister Manohar Joshi and a bamboo expert from Colombia. Today the Kendra offers several courses, most notably an Associate Degree in Bamboo Technology along with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), as well as a diploma programme.

The Center

The aim of the Kendra is to help the adivasis earn money with respect, and not to depend on the “malnutrition money” that has been flowing in to Melghat ever since the scale of malnutrition-related deaths in the region was exposed and caught the attention of the national media. The local adivasis are known for their truthfulness and the fact that they never beg: Sunilji believes in helping them recover these traditional values. He is of the belief that we need a change in our perspective: one should not talk about samasya (problems) of adivasis, but rather, should talk about samarthya (possibility) and avashyakta (necessity).

The Kendra now has 100-125 workers from different villages - Lavada itself is a small village with a population of approximately 1400. Students who graduate from any of the center’s courses typically earn Rs. 50 / day immediately after passing out, which eventually increases to Rs. 300 / day. Alumni of the Kendra, in addition to working for a daily wage, sometimes run satellite units of the Kendra in other villages, or build houses for orders received from cities, often in groups. In addition, many alumni visit places as far as Assam, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh to spread their skills.

Customers are typically from cities like Mumbai, Nagpur and Amravati - demand in general is very strong for bamboo products: these may range from small (craftwork) to medium (furniture) to large (houses). A recent trend in cities has been that of constructing bamboo houses on terraces and bamboo huts for security guards. Fencing of compound walls is also increasingly done with bamboo.

The main raw material for the center is bamboo, which is procured from the government forest department. A bamboo plant typically lives for at least 40 years, and can live as long as a 120 years. It flowers only once on its lifetime, after which it dies. Bamboo is extremely fast-growing, and is an environmentally friendly alternative to wood and stone as a construction material. Bamboo, as a material, has great compressive and tensile strength (by weight) with its tubular form, and is stronger than iron. Bamboo can be treated with smoke, by soaking in salt water, or by soaking in a mixture of bitter akuva and kaduneem (this helps keep insects away). In addition, the dark-coloured oil extracted from the bamboo plant itself can be applied as a pesticide. With treatment, bamboo structures can last extremely long: a kitchen built by the Peshwas in Paithan broke only 200 years after its construction. The bamboo skeleton can be plastered with mud inside and with cement and chicken mesh (murgia jaali) outside. The temperature inside the structure is then 4 degrees cooler than outside!

Lavada is located on the Nagpur - Indore State Highway. After Sunilji and Nirupamaji first arrived in Lavada, the first year was spent just living among the adivasis, and learning and understanding the complex nature of the problems being faced. Nirupamaji, for instance, would accompany the village women on their trips to the forest to gather firewood. She also learnt the language of the Korku adivasis! At one point, two tribal youth apporached Sunilji and requested him to teach them how to create useful articles out of bamboo. Thus were laid the foundations of the Sampoorna Bamboo Kendra. Today, in addition 100+ workers at the Kendra, there are also 5-6 permanent residents of the Kendra, in addition to Sunilji and his family. Sunilji and Nirupamaji’s daughter, Mugdha, studies in the local primary school.

Workshop Inauguration

At the inauguration of the workshop, Sunilji commented about how the emphasis of modern architecture was on straight lines - straight pillars, perfectly flat walls, etc. This is completely incongruous with the natural world - and he believes that one should get over this obsession. The objective of a dwelling is to keep pair garam, pet naram aur sir thanda (warm feet, soft stomach, i.e. food should get digested easily, and a cool head). Manufacturing and maintenance costs should be low. Sunilji was bemoaning the fact that the modern man works for up to 16 hours a day, but then has little or no time remaining for adhyatma, i.e. higher activities such as art and music. Sunilji also spoke about how natural resources should be utilised: one should practise dohan and not shoshan (exploitation).

In the evening we went for a short walk outside the village and watched the cows and buffaloes being brought back from grazing after sunset.

Day 2 (November 29)

We all were up at 6 AM, and hastily got ourselves ready for the prayer session that was held at 6:30 every morning at the Kendra. We then went for a short walk to the lake, and were mystified by what appeared to be steam rising from the water. We also made our way to a temple we spotted in the distance, plucking and eating toor from the fields on the way. We returned to Lavada in time for breakfast.

That morning we went exploring the village of Lavada. We interacted with quite a few kids - unfortunately, most kids were very shy. Even the adults were not very forthcoming - they might have been suspicious of our intentions. And in addition, there was the language barrier: most people spoke only the local Korku language, though some also spoke broken Hindi. Nonetheless, we did manage to carry on some extended conversations, and also learnt a fair bit. One disturbing observation we made was that even young children would consume gutkha.
We also paid a visit to the exhibition of bamboo handicrafts, all of which were extremely elegant and reasonably priced - many of us bought these as gifts and souvenirs.

Nirupamaji’s Story & The Self-Help Groups

Later that morning we had a long chat with Nirupamaji, and she told us the story of her life. After having completed her M.S.W. from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Govandi, Mumbai, Nirupamaji worked for a year in order to repay whatever the expenditures had been during her education, for her satisfaction. In addition, she found this gave her a sense of self-confidence. She landed a much-coveted government job with MHADA (Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority), but, disillusioned with all the corruption taking place around her, quit after a short while.
After marriage to Sunilji and moving to Lavada, the first year was spent just living like the adivasis. When she broached the idea of starting Self-Help Groups (SHGs) for women, she was regarded with suspicion, as though she were a money-lender. She then took the idea to a neighbouring village, and seeing the success of the SHGs there, the women of Lavada also decided to form their own groups. Initially, 2 groups of 15 women each were formed; today there are totally some 12 SHGs in Lavada alone, each of which has around 10 members.

It has been observed that the recovery rate is higher when the borrower and lender both belong to the same society, a key advantage of SHGs. Thus, the SHGs can afford to lend to their own members at very low rates, typically 2%: this is in stark contrast to loans taken from money-lenders, kirana stores and relatives, where the interest rate is typically 25%. Banks lend money to the SHGs at a rate of 1-2%. The recovery rate for the banks is more than 80%: this, however, is on the decline as some SHGs have been defaulting.

Each SHG holds a baithak on a fixed day every month, where each member makes her monthly contribution, typically Rs. 20. (When the SHGs were first started in Lavada, the contribution was Rs. 10 monthly). The rule is that every member of the SHG must have the same amount invested: if a new member wishes to join, she must first deposit an amount equal to the amount already invested by each existing member. Loans are obtained from the bank (State Bank of India, Dharni branch - Dharni is the taluka headquarters) @ 1%; loans then are given to members @ 2% or to non-members @ 4%. The loans given out are usually for “productive purposes” only, e.g. buying of seeds, since one can expect to have returns within a reasonable amount of time. However, loans given for the sake of something like a marriage would take a large amount of time to be returned. Usually the profits from the SHG are reinvested; interest is rarely distributed.

The support of the government as well as that of the State Bank of India (SBI) has been vital in the success of the SHG movement. For example, under the Swarnajayanti Gram Swarojgar Yojana (SGSY), an SHG may obtain a loan of Rs. 1,25,000 from the SBI for a stated productive purpose, e.g. buying of goats*. If this amount is returned successfully within one year, then the SHG gets a “bonus” of Rs. 1,25,000.

* (Goats make a very reliable investment; they give birth twice a year. Goat milk is not drunk in these areas; however, mutton is eaten by many communities. The market price of a healthy adult goat is between Rs. 1,500 and Rs. 2,000. If a goat bought under this scheme dies, then the owner SHG is eligible for insurance payment - however, this rarely happens in practice since the death of the goat must be certified by a doctor. Doctors, being as busy and scarce as they are, rarely consent to take so much time off just to confirm the death of a goat.)

A key element in the formation of an SHG is trust, and the fact that one is borrowing money from one’s own community members increases the rate of recovery. Nonetheless, The women stated quite plainly that nothing much could be done in case one of the women defaulted on a loan.

Ekal Vidyalay

In the afternoon, we went past Dharni to the village of Dabhiya, somewhat in the interiors, in order to learn about the Ekal Vidyalays being run there and in the village of Dolar (even more in the interiors). An Ekal Vidyalay is a single-teacher evening school run for about 3 hours daily for the children of one village. The school may instead be run in the morning, as per the convenience of the guru. The aim of the schools is to provide a knowledge of maths, science, languages, culture (sanskar) and health to the children. Attending the Ekal Vidyalay is compulsory for school drop-outs and for children whose knowledge is not commensurate with the standard they are studying in. The concept of private tuitions does not exist in these villages, hence, the need for Ekal Vidyalays was felt. No fees are charged. The Ekal Vidyalays also maintain an arogya peti (first-aid box) for the benefit of the children.

Teaching may take place in Hindi / Korku / any local language. Bhajan sessions often take place. Children are taught basic hygiene, about the dangers of alcohol, and about keeping their environment clean. They are taught that they should respect their parents. They are told stories from the Ramayan and Mahabharat and are also taught to recite shlokas.  They are told stories of inspiring people.

In addition, adult eduction is also a priority of the Ekal Vidyalays. They conduct a Saptahik Pathshala (weekly school) for adults, where they are taught about things like organic farming, use of gomutra (cow’s urine), etc.

We were then split into two groups: one group went onward to the village of Dolar along a kachcha track that, in the darkness, scared some out of their wits! The rest remained in Dabhiya - itself accessible only by a kachcha road. Only one jeep visits Dabhiya every, on the day of the weekly market. At Dabhiya, we saw the Ekal Vidyalay begin with onkar (chanting of om) and prayers: Saraswati vandana and Ram kirtan. Slates and chalk were distributed: and the guru proceeded with giving the children sums to solve. We felt our presence in the class was somehow hindering the proceedings, since every time a child solved a sum, he/she would want to show it to us! We hence decided to explore the village a little and talk to some of the residents. Suddenly the lights went off and the Ekal Vidyalay ended early for the day. After interacting with the villagers, we spent a couple of hours chatting with the acharya and others in the darkness.

MISSING: Surendra’s lecture, experiences in Dolar

Day 3 (November 30)

In the morning, most of us - [a prominent exception being Kaustubh] - took a dip in the lake, after the usual prayer session at 6:30. In addition, we participated in shramdaan for a short while, to understand the value of manual labour.

After breakfast we had a discussion session with participants of the workshop. To begin, Sunilji gave an overview of some basic principles of construction of houses.
- A house should protect one from rain, heat, cold, wind and enemies.
- Humans and birds typically build houses. Animals generally do not.
- A home must be worthy from the perspectives of health, wealth, adhyatma, and society.
- There are 3 types of people involeved in various stages of home construction: the architect, the engineer and the mistri.
- Gandhiji emphasised that houses whould be built of materials obtained from a within a radius of 20 km about the site of the house. The sky should be visible from the house.
- India is a hot country - hence, materials like cement, glass and iron are unsuitable.
- When laying the foundation of a structure, one should dig at least up to kadak mitti.
- One has three perspectives of a structure: front view, top view and side view(s). These were explained to the workshop participants in the lecture given by Surendra Meena.

While interacting with the workshop participants, we learnt that they greatly value the respect that they get from outside as bamboo workers - kaam ke saath sammaan. Among those present, there were individuals who had been invited by Shivraj Singh Chauhan (CM of Madhya Pradesh), some who had got to see Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam in Bhopal, and some who had flown to Nagaland. Their families were all proud of them for having travelled far and wide.

At 11 in the morning, we were shown around the campus by Sunilji. We saw, among other things, his house (we met his parents), his office, and a temple of Vishwakarma - all the while, he was explaining to us basic principles of construction with bamboo and various experiments he had tried.

Mobile Hospital

After lunch, we headed by jeep to the nearby “mobile hospital”. This is located on the main road near the village of Bodgaon, at the samadhi of Sant Jaatu Baba - a much-revered leader of the Korku tribals who was mysteriously burnt alive while asleep in a hut at this site. The hospital, set up by the Vidarbha Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, is ‘mobile’ in the sense that once a week, the doctor and his helpers arrive in a van and set up their clinic in the small structure provided. The fee is minimal - Rs. 10 per visit, and medication is provided free of cost.

We spent some time chatting with the doctor and his assistant, but hurried through the proceedings since we were feeling guilty that due to our presence the patients were being made to wait. The doctor, ______, complained that Christian missionaries in the region were converting a lot of people - he said that, "God is God, and medicine is medicine; the two should not be mixed."

We learnt that patients come from as far as 50 km away. The doctor, along with two helpers, visits this spot every week; he has been doing so since 1987. Common diseases in this area are scabies and dysentry/diarrhoea. In fact, a major cause of malnutrition is diarrhoea - more so than the lack of availability of foodgrains. To combat malnutrition, the workers distribute sattu flour, which is highly nutritious.

The Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram has also instituted the scheme of Arogyarakshaks or trained health-workers in villages in Melghat. The Mobile Hospital runs through donations made to the Ashram. There are a total of 4 such weekly Mobile Hospitals in Dharni and Chikhaldara talukas.

We spent some time talking to the patients. It was very heartening to see the warm, friendly relationship that existed between the patients and the workers.

Dr. Ashish Satav - MAHAN

Our next stop was the Mahatma Gandhi Adivasi Dawakhana (MAHAN), set up by Dr. Ashish Satav, M.D. As was explained later by Dr. Satav, the campus is called Karmagram, similar to Gandhiji’s Sevagram and Dr. Abhay and Rani Bang’s Shodhgram.

We were first introduced to Kasim Nassir Syed, an M.B.A. from Hyderabad who has been working for MAHAN for more than a year now. MAHAN has adopted a total of 17 villages, plus an additional 20 “control areas”, or villages kept under observation. They have observed that by following the “Home-based Child Care” model, there has been a 50% drop in malnutrition.

Kasim explained that the adivasis had little or no faith in institutionalised health-care. It is highly unlikely that the Melghat region has produced a single doctor, engineer or MBA in the last several years. Under MAHAN’s “Counsellor Programme”, they get 2 Korku people (in 2 shifts) to stay at the local hospital, so that adivasis are not intimidated or afraid to approach the hospital.

Under the Arogyadoot (Voluntary Health Worker) scheme, VHWs are selected from each village, capable of treating common diseases. These were selected in 2004 and underwent 1-2 months’ training. Every couple of months, they undergo a refresher course. The selection criterion is that they must be literate or semi-literate and must have studied till at least the 7th standard. Women are found to be more empathetic and are hence chosen - family cooperation, however, is essential. One major responsibility is being present at the time of birth, along with the Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) or midwife.

Although the focus of MAHAN is small children, recently, they have also been working to reduce the number of premature adult deaths: when an adult dies, the entire family is greatly affected.

Kasim also explained the “kitchen garden” scheme, whereby families are encouraged to grow vegetables near their house, so as to provide a balanced diet. This scheme has been extremely successful, with more than 550 kitchen gardens having been set up. In this area, protein deficiency is the most serious, followed by vitamin and iron deficiency: calorie deficiency is not so much an issue. Hence, the addition of vegetables to the diet goes a long way.

We then got the privilege to interact with Dr. Satav himself. He began by quoting Gandhiji, saying that the real India lies in the villages.

He gave a brief overview of the focus areas of MAHAN:
1. Basic hospital with critical patient management: Dr. Satav estimates that 15-20% of the adivasi adult population suffer from hypertension; this figure is only 7% in cities. Heart attacks and haemorrhages are common.
2. An eye hospital run by Dr. Kavita Satav, his wife: she has performed more than 1000 operations at MAHAN! We had the good fortune of meeting her as well, and found her to be a most inspiring person as well.
3. Fighting malnutrition, through health education and kitchen gardens
4. Blindness-control in villages
5. The Counsellor Programme, with special permission from the National Human Rights Commission
6. Mortality-control in economically productive age group

90% of the operations are carried out free of cost, the remaining patients are charged as per their ability to pay. Funding for MAHAN comes from city-based NGOs, such as Caring Friends, Mumbai. MAHAN depends only on mouth-to-mouth publicity.

Between 1998 and 2002, Dr. Satav maintained a good relationship with the government. However, in 2003-04, he was instrumental in uncovering the fake malnutrition statistics of the government. Since then, he has been harassed relentlessly - he has been charged under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, and there have even been attempts made on his life.

Dr. Satav was inspired in his childhood by his maternal grandfather, who was a staunch Gandhian, and by Gandhiji himself. He follows a strict meditation and Yoga routine.

While we were chatting with Dr. Ashish and Dr. Kavita Satav, we had the good fortune of meeting Shri Bandu Sane and Smt. Poornima of the Khoj Foundation, Achalpur. Banduji Sane is a LEAD India fellow, and is a legal activist who was instrumental in uncovering the fudged government statistics on malnutrition deaths: he relentlessly, doggedly pursued the case while it was in court, painstakingly gathered evidence, took photographs etc., until the truth was established.

Further reading: http://drsatav.blogspot.com/

Dr. Ravindra Kolhe

Dr. Ravindra Kolhe is originally from Shegaon in Buldhana district, he did his 11th and 12th from Wardha. After his MBBS from the Government Medical College, Nagpur, he started a practice for the poor, charging Re. 1 / visit. He moved to the adivasi village of Behragad and has been living there for decades now. Incidentally, Behragad is 70% Muslim. We sat in a warehouse on a large pile of freshly harvested cotton, and Dr. Kolhe shared some anecdotes and facts with us.

- In 1985, he was approached by a man who had got injured in a dynamite blast. He’d been afraid to go to the government hospital because blasting was illegal in that area. Dr. Kolhe did not consider himself a surgeon, not having specialised in that area, and did not conduct surgery on the man. A few days later, the man died - this upset Dr. Kolhe greatly. He sought the advice of one of his teachers in Nagpur, who told him that although he was not a Master of Surgery, he was a Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS = Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) and that with whatever basic skills he had, he should attempt surgery as well, Since then, he has been conducting surgeries in addition to providing basic medical care. It is worth mentioning here that Dr. Kolhe’s teachers have been among his greatest inspirations in life.

- There is no point sending a truckloads of clothes to tribal areas; one should help them create their own wealth.

- Tribals are the protectors of the forests. This fact is yet to be recognised by individuals like Bittu Sahgal who “sit in an AC room smoking cigarettes”.

- Infant mortality is very strongly correlated with development.

- Cotton is a cash crop that requires a good deal of sophistication to cultivate, adivasis lack this knowledge.

- An important piece of advice he gave us is that one should select a life partner who’s thoughts match one’s own; beauty, etc. are superficial. e.g. While he was looking for a life partner, he’d laid down the following 4 conditions:
1) She should be able to walk 40 km
2) She should be able to run the household with Rs. 400 per month
3) She should be able to get married within Rs. 5
4) She need not beg for herself, but should be ready to beg for the sake of others
Dr. Kolhe is married to Smt. Smita Kolhe, a former professional from Nagpur. Both of them have sacrificed a great deal and live exceedingly simple lives among the adivasis of Behragad. It is worth noting here that behind every great man, there is a great woman: Smt. Nirupama Deshpande, Dr. Kavita Satav and Smt. Smita Kolhe all themselves being greatly inspiring people.

- Like Dr. Satav, Dr. Kolhe has also played a major role in unearthing corruption and has earned his share of enemies. Once, in order to save a pregnant mother, Smitaji had to sacrifice the foetus. Someone seized this opportunity to book her under the Atrocities Act (non-bailable for 15 days), Section 304A (Death by Negligence) and Section 307 (Attempt to Murder). Thankfully, because of the efforts of Dr. Kolhe and friends, the non-bailable charges were dropped.

Unfortunately, because the sessions with Dr. Satav and Dr. Kolhe lasted so much longer than anticipated, we had to cancel a session with Sunilji and Nirupamaji that we had planned.

Day 4 (December 1)

Hargovind Chhatravas, Dharni

After breakfast at the Bamboo Kendra, left for the Hargovind Chhatravas, Dharni (set up by the Dr. Hedgewar Janmashatabdi Seva Samiti, Akola). At the hostel, we met Rajivji Parihar, the warden, and were seated in a room along with 20-odd smartly-dressed young boys, all residents of the hostel. Rajivji himself is originally from Bhandara [or Gondia?] and has done his Bachelor’s in Physical Education. He was involved in activities of the RSS from an early age, and wanted to himself help develop the country.

The budget of the hostel is Rs. 75,000 - 80,000 per year; however, the fees charged is only a nominal Rs. 500 per year. The hostel is meant for tribal children from neighbouring villages studying from the 5th to 10th standard in Dharni. They have an extremely disciplined schedule - they get up at 5 am, and do Suryanamaskar every morning. A sense of patriotism is instilled in the children at a young age. In the evening, the children participate in activities like games, singing, mantra recitation, etc. at the local RSS shakha.

We then returned to Lavada for lunch, after which we set out on our long journey back to Amravati, via the Jain temples and waterfall at Muktagiri. Muktagiri was a truly magnificent temple-complex, and we tried our best to systematically visit the 60-odd temples. We also took the opportunity to learn something about Jainism: special thanks is due to Sneha Jain, one of the camp participants. At Muktagiri, we had our final camp discussion before setting out for Amravati.

All through the jeep ride back from Lavada to Amravati, some people were singing their hearts out, others were having intellectual discussions - not one of us got bored during the 4-5 hour journey!

At Amravati, we were joined by Piyush Charjan (IITB alumnus and former GRA member), and were treated to dinner of varhadi food at Mansarovar Hotel. We finally caught the Nagpur - Mumbai CST Sevagram Express back to Mumbai: we were back in IIT by midday.

All in all, a most fruitful camp!


Time line of camp.
  
27 nov.- leaves CST at 8 pm in the night
28 nov. - reached badnera at 8 am ,    
              take breakfast at kedar/kostubh home,  l
              eaves Amaravati at 10 am. reached Bamboo center around 3 pm via Chikal dhara.,
              took lunch , Introductory lecture by sunil ji
              Discussion with Sunil ji about how they started the centre, wandering in village.         
              take dinner & went into bed.
29 nov.-  wake up at 6 am, prayer,  go to Talab (pond) for sunrise , see a temple
              took breakfast & prayer. (9 am)
              Visit in village, See the centre
              Interaction with BACHAT GAT. (till 12 pm)
              take dinner & leaves for EKAL VIDHYALAYA. in two groups.
              Discussion with villageres *& teacher of EKAL VIDYALAYA.
               back to centre (10 pm), & discuss the whole day. go to bed
30 nov. - wake up at 6 am, prayer, Sharamdan at centre
               took bath at Talab (pond), breakfast & prayer (9 am).
              Interaction with local people who learn there how to make houses etc.
              leaves for MOBILE HOSPITAL. interaction with doctor & patiants.
             visit MAHATMA GANDHI HOSPITAL & talk with  Dr. ASHISH SATAV  (till 8 pm)
              Interaction with Dr. RAVINDRA KOLE.(till 10 pm)
              took dinner, discuss the day & go to bed.
1 Dec. - wake up at 6 am, prayer, took breakfast
           - reached HARGOVIND CHATRAVAS DHARNI, talk with children, see the hostel ,
           - discussion with hostel warden
           - back to centre for lunch, leaves for MUKTA GIRI JAIN TEMPLE.(12 pm)
           - visit the temple (4-6 pm), discuss the camp experience & leaves for Amravati.
           - took dinner in Amaravati, leaves for mumbai at 12 am.
2 Dec. - reached campus at 12 am
           -

               
             

2 comments:

  1. We have a travel website which is a Maharashtra travel Guide in which we have a page for Chikhaldara with lot of information regarding the place. We are trying to include info regarding Chikhaldara Hotels.

    We also have a page for blogs on Chikhaldara. Do let us know if you would like to feature your blog in the Chikhaldara Blogs page in puneritraveller.com.



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    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice.Often such experiences are more about learning for the city dwelller

    ReplyDelete