Amcha Gaon Amchi Shaan
Sustainable development of the Indian village can be attained only when the village community is actively involved in the development process. The Amcha Gaon, Amchi Shaan (AGAS) campaign was initiated as an inter village contest where the village community identifies 2 or 3 issues as requiring its immediate attention and evolves a strategy to address the issue. The winners under various categories are selected apart from the impact of their initiative also on the basis of sustainability and collective responsibility elicited in the activity. . Population First uses this award ceremony to recognize sustainable development in villages and motivate responsible groups to continue their efforts.

The awards under the campaign have been:
  • “Swachha Gaon, Sundar Gaon” or Clean and Beautiful Village
  • “Hagandari Mukta Gaon” – Open-defecation Free village
  •  “Swastha Mule Puraskar” – Award for Healthy Children
  • “Janani Suraksha Puraskar” – Safe Motherhood Award
  • “Sukhi Kutumb Puraskar” – Happy Family Award
  • “Swajaldhara Puraskar” – Safe Drinking Water Award
  • “Adarsh Anganwadi Puraskar” – Best Anganwadi Award
  • “Vikasdoot Puraskar” – Best Youth Group Award
  • “Stree Shakti Puraskar” – Best Women’s Group/ Self-Help Group
  • “Adarsh Shala Puraskar” – Ideal School Award
  • “Adarsh Samiti Puraskar” – Ideal Committee Award
  • “ Upkendra Balkatikaran Puraskar” – Strengthening of Sub-Centre Award
  •  “Mahila Gram Sabha” - Strengthening of Mahila Gram Sabha
  • “Adarsh Shaleya Vyavasthapan Samiti” - Ideal School Management Committee
  • “Adarsh Arogya, Poshanahar Samiti” - Ideal Helath and Nutrition Committee

    AMCHA GAON AMCHI SHAAN"It is a means to motivate the villagers to work for their well-being and bring the spotlight on pertinent issues that need to be addressed collectively, motivate various groups like SHG, health committee, anganwadis etc. to perform better and recognize the efforts put in as well as strategies adopted by the villages in various areas of development." Dr A.L.Sharada, Director Population First
    , "I am touched by the happiness on people's faces. I congratulate Population First's team for motivating the villages to bring about the change." Meera Sanyal, CEO, Royal Bank of Scotland

    Dr. M. D. Nagare, Taluka Health Officer, Shahapur said, “..Population First’s work has been able to create an atmosphere of positive change related to health issues in Shahapur… Health Department will support the organization in all its endeavours in future.”
    Amcha Gaon Amchi ShaanThe Fourth edition of Amcha Gaon Amchi Shaan campaign focused on strengthening the village level institutions like Mahila Gram Sabhas, Village level committees, Anganwadis etc. AGAS acknowledged the efforts of the women groups who emerged as the change makers through their efforts during the campaign period. Out of the 21 participating villages, women groups of six villages were presented trophies and cash prizes during the awards ceremony. To ensure community participation, the awards ceremonies were organized in two villages namely Dehna on 7th April and Savroli on 8th Apri 2013l. The stories of change that we came across were amazing and couple of them are shared below:
    Savroli Village
    Women of Savroli village decided to work with the 'Village Health, Cleanliness, Nutrition Committee' to maximize the reach of the Integrated Child Development Department scheme to combat child hunger, malnutrition and to provide Nutrition and Health Education and host of other services for the welfare of women and children. People of Savroli village had no clue about the range of services that should ideally be available at the Anganwadi for their benefit and therefore, refrained themselves from going to Anganwadi. These women brought the villagers and Anganwadi workers on the same platform and opened a channel of communication between the two to understand the benefits and functioning of Anganwadi. This resulted in more number of pregnant women, nursing mothers and children between the age group of 0 and 6 availing services under the Nutrition Programme.

    Khor Village
    Another womens group from Khor village decided to work with "School Management Committee" which was defunct. The Zilla Parishad School had no cook and the mid day meal was being prepared by the school children and teachers. School management committee is supposed to meet once in a month, but in Khor village it hardly ever met. With the initiative of the women's group a meeting was convened ensuring the participation of the committee members comprising School teachers, Gram Panchayat Samiti representative, Parents and Anganwadi worker. In this meeting a decision was taken to appoint a cook for the School. In the subsequent meetings various important decisions were taken such as to utilize the unutilized funds for providing school uniforms to the school children and for renovating the school building.

    “I got the opportunity to speak from the dais in front of so many people today. We (women) did not use to step out of our houses earlier but now we attend the Gram Sabha.” - Dipti Patekar, Award Winner- Dehna Village

    “We revived the Village Water Supply and Sanitation, Health and Nutrition committee by conducting regular meetings and the members of the committee now have more clarity on their roles and responsibilities. Some of the important decisions such as purchasing supplementary nutrition for the children enrolled with Anganwadi were taken in one of the meetings organized during AGAS campaign period” - Mira Hambir, Award Winner- Chinchwadi