AMCHI Project village leaders meet Anna Hazare.
After five years of working in the field in the villages of Shahapur, we have been able to identify a few men and women who have shown remarkable leadership qualities. They have shown a deep commitment to village development and are very responsive to our efforts. As a step towards honing their skills, we organised a Vikas Darshan (Showing the path of progress) for these leaders. PF organised a day trip to two villages in Ahmednagar district which are world-renowned for their metamorphosis from being drought-prone and problem-ridden to becoming socially developed and economically prosperous. We planned to give them an opportunity to understand how two of Maharshtra’s greatest champions of village development, Anna Hazare and Popatrao Pawar transformed their villages, Ralegaon Siddi and Hivre Bazar respectively. Thirty six people responded to our invitation to Vikas Darshan.

The group was able to see first-hand the fruits of sustained and focused efforts by the villagers of the two villages.

Cleanliness of the village, well constructed houses, community property like school, anganwadi, gymnasium, community hall, apart from the regularly held gram panchayat with high turn out, no land being sold to outsiders, use of organic manures in the fields, cooperative sale of agricultural and dairy produce, equitable sharing of resources, collective responsibility of maintenance of the resources etc. impressed the visitors immensely

The stories of transformation from drought prone, problem ridden villages to self-sufficient, prosperous and empowered ones motivated the group to take concrete actions in their own villages. The last session of Vikas Darshan comprised preparing action plans by the group. These made the participants think of their problems as opportunities for development.

In planning this visit, it was important to make the chosen villagers realize that this was going to hold them in good stead for their own village development. So while Population First paid for 75% of the expenses, the remaining expenses were paid up by the participants or their villages. This also ensured the whole village played their role in executing the action plans developed during the trip.

The close interaction between participants also gave them an opportunity to share experiences of making change happen and learn from each other. For Population First, this has enabled the beneficiaries of our grassroots level intervention realise how our work has impacted them, indeed touched their lives.
Celebrating Womanhood
PF organises Women’s Day event in Aghai PHC
Population First celebrated International Women’s Day on March 8, 2009 with the women and staff of Aghai PHC. On March 4, the PF team comprising Dr. Sharada, Programme Director, Ms. Meenal Gandhe, Programme Manager and Ms. Sangita Tribhuwan, Field Officer went to Aghai PHC to plan the programme for World Health Day on April 7. We felt that celebrating Women’s Day with the women working and living in Aghai PHC would give them an opportunity to celebrate womanhood and get to know about PF and our team.

The occasion was also used to apprise the PHC staff of the plans for World Health Day and win their support to ensure its success. The women sang songs and were invited by PF to share their personal experiences of what it is to be a woman, after Mr. Fazal Pathan, Field Officer, PF explained why Women’s Day is celebrated. A number of women’s issues like rights, problems, achievements etc. were addressed through the songs, speeches and experience sharing by women. The event helped build a rapport between the PF team, the PHC staff and the community, which is important for the success of future programmes.
Documentation Reports
Story of Change: Amcha Gaon, Amchi Shaan Village Development Campaign Aug. 15, 2008-Jan 26, 2009
Story of Change: Amcha Gaon, Amchi Shaan Village Development Campaign Jan 26, 2009- Feb. 2, 2010
4A’s of Development : A Process Documentation of Project