Anekal Jesuit Mission

The situation:
Anekal Taluk of Banglore Urban District consists of 211 villages.
It has a total population of about 2, 50,000 of whom about 40% are dalits and tribals, living in dire poverty and working mostly as land-less labourers and menial workers.
This section of the population is so poor that they can hardly afford minimum required nutrition, decent housing and basic education.
Being mostly landless, they are primarily dependent on high cast land holders for seasonal employment as farm labourers and menial workers.
Their utter poverty has inevitably trapped them in chronic indebtedness. The money-lenders change them 120-2405 interest for the loan taken.
They are exploited in every way.
Socially considered untouchable, economically exploited, educationally deprived, culturally marginalized and religiously exploited Dalits and Tribals are prone to several infections and diseases.
Their helpless situation has led many of them to work as bonded labourers.
A large number of their children dropout from the school at an early age and begin work in unhygienic conditions to care of the family.
According to an estimate around 3500 children are working in as many power looms in the town itself.

Centre for Integral Rural Welfare (CIRW):
Vision: That they may have life; life in all its fullness (Jn10, 10).
Our Mission Statement:
Rooted in the values of Kingdom of God and committed to the vision of India, as prescribed in the Indian Constitution, we journey with the marginalized and the oppressed people to demand full respect for their dignity and human rights.
Our mission is to be a partner of every Dalit woman, man, youth, girl, and boy to enjoy fullness of life, which involves full respect for their dignity and fundamental human rights. We are committed to work for the integral development and empowerment of rural Dalit and Tribal communities of Anekal Taluk.
It is to make them true agents of socio-economic, cultural and political transformation, to enable them to grow in self-esteem and in self-confidence to fight for their own rights; in a way to be masters and architects of their own destiny. In concrete terms it is to demand for decent housing, basic health and hygiene facilities, good and quality education, proper opportunities to capacity building, proper nutrition, and active participation in the decision-making processes. Thus our mission is to educate, motivate and inspire a band of Dalit young men and women to be heralds of hope and emancipation to their own people.

Main Objectives:
1. To educate the illiterates and semi–literates of our target group.
2. To conscientize and organize people at grassroots level.
3. To eradicate poverty and build a sound self-reliant economic structures.
4. To build up local leadership and solidarity among Dalits.
5. To strengthen primary and secondary education at villages for the disadvantaged sections of people.
6. To mobilize people to utilize various Government Schemes for the rural poor
7. To impart technical and skill training to youth to start self-employment
8. To provide basic health and hygiene awareness and facilities through satellite Community Health Centers
9. To eradicate malnutrition and chronic and infectious deceases among our target group

1.4. Strategies
The Anekal Jesuit Educational and Charitable Society (AJECS) through its active wing, Centre for Integral Rural Welfare (CIRW), focuses on the poor Dalit and tribal communities in Anekal Taluk for their integral welfare -- Economic, Social, Educational, political and Cultural. It works by mobilizing and building the capacity and capabilities of communities to achieve access to comprehensive development and freedom from poverty, discrimination and chronic diseases.
The various activities that the Centre has been actively and vigorously engaged in are: formation Self-Help-Groups for women, youth and children; People’s active participation in process of decision making, planning, implantation and evaluation of any activity; Constant awareness programs at village, zonal and Taluk level; mobile health service; Income generation schemes; Legal aid and legal assistance; quality education and formation of future leaders through Dalit Hostels and tuition centers for boys and girls; soft skills and other job-oriented skills to Dalit youth and net working with other NGOs and Government agencies.

Staff:The number of the staff: 14

Target Group: Dalit women, men, children and youth

Projects:
o Prevention of chronic deceases and Protection of Health
o Dalit Housing Repair
o Milch Animals
o Tailoring and Capacity building
o Education of Dalit children
o SHGs (Self Help Groups)

Prevention and Protection of Health:
One of the major problems that our target villages face is lack of proper basic health care facilities and sanitation. Dalit women and children are worst affected groups from lack of these basic facilities. Most people depend on private hospitals for health care except very poor people, who cannot afford to pay private clinics. They are either dependent on government hospitals or some local medicines.
Our aim is to provide accessible, affordable, and effective primary health care to our target group of 42 villages, which are very poor and have no access to Government’s basic health care facilities.

Dalit Housing Repair:
The primary objective of the Dalit Housing project is to help poor families to repair their houses. For this purpose our centre has a Rolling Fund. So far more than 145 families from 30 SHG groups have benefited from this project. This amount is entirely managed by the SHG people themselves. The beneficiary families repay the loan without any interest every month.

Milch Animals:
With the goal of helping our target group women to become economically self-sufficient, CIRW in collaboration with the TALDEKA Spain group, gives loan to our SHG women to purchase milch animals. More than 75 families have benefited from this project. This project has helped the poor families enormously to live a dignified life with basic facilities.

Tailoring and Capacity building: CIRW offers six months tailoring course to our target group women. Every six months around 40 to 45 women are trained in tailoring and other skills. Most of them have not only picked-up tailoring skills but also grown in their self-confidence, in becoming aware about their situation, and in courage to face life. They have also learned time-management, systematic work culture, discipline, family-conflict resolution methods, child care, and other soft skills. Individual families and their communities, who once considered them useless, today respect them and listen to them. Some of them have become the bread-winners for their families. Hence, at the end of the six months program most women are able to say that they are able to face the world and mange their future life.

Education of Dalit children: The Balajyothi hostels run under one mission and vision that is “TO BE THE SPARK OF LIGHT WHEREVER I AM” this enables our students to brighten their future by being in the hostel. We have two hostels for the students; the students secure their studies in the local schools and colleges of Anekal. We had 57 girls and 59 boys. In the hostels we had conducted various activities and programmes to enable the skills and talents of our students. All children were enthused in celebrating this event. We also celebrated the national and religious festivals in the hostel like Independence Day, Monthly birthday celebrations, Deewali, children’s day, Christmas and yugadi. There is give and take and face to face with teacher, cook and children. They live under one roof and have one kitchen. There is a sense of oneness and ‘we feeling’ among the children and the people in charge.

SHGs (Self Help Groups): Centre for Integral Rural Welfare (CIRW) is working in 34villages having 36 Self-Help-Groups (SHGs). This is one of the visible parameters of people's trust and enthusiasm in our works. Therefore we are hoping to extend this scheme to more villages; in fact, more and more villages are pressing us to establish our presence among them. Some of the activities the Sanghas undertake are: medical camps, village cleaning, exposure programme, legal aid, conscientization and awareness regarding child labour, skill training, various competitions, literacy, Savings, discussing and ways of obtaining government schemes, etc.