BIS #6148 Don Bosco Lonavla Social Outreach

by Cleric Bless Rumao for BISMumbai

Adivasi Day was celebrated at Vanhati village on 09 August 2020. During this programme people were given some information regarding the significance of the 'Adivasi Day.' The programme concluded with a tree plantation ceremony to make all aware of the need to take care of nature. In the 03 villages adopted by Don Bosco Lonavla - Vaksai, Karandoli and Mundhavare villages – the villagers were briefed on kitchen gardening, organic farming, poly-house and other efficient farming methods. An input session was held, by Father Xavier Devadas and social outreach staff Sonali Shelke , on growing vegetables in the rainy season and the medicinal use of the seeds and wild vegetables easily cultivable in the area. They were briefed of the medicinal value and the health benefits and other uses of 25 different types of wild fruits and vegetables. They were also encouraged to use these vegetables in their food rather than just allowing the vegetables to rot in the rains.

Every week, the villagers are taught innovative ways to utilise their spare time productively to generate income. They are taught how to utilise some selective types of available leaves in the forest to prepare plates and then sell them which are in demand. Preparing the plates out of leaves was helping the villagers to earn for their livelihood, while making them aware of the transition taking place in society from using plastic plates to eco-friendly plates. These projects are regularly followed up by Sonali Shelke and Ravi Shelke.

In July, Don Bosco Lonavla began the process of procuring the caste certificate for the villagers. The process is still on and it should be obtainable shortly. The Local MLA is very supportive of the village work ensuring that the certificates will be handed over to each villager shortly.

The Gram Panchayats of all the 03 villages were informed about the various government schemes available for the development of the villages. These schemes include road-construction, water supply, electricity supply and community hall. The villagers can avail of these schemes by filing an application form at the MLA’s office. With the guidance of Sonali Shelke and Ravi Shelke, the application was made for a water tank, construction of the incomplete road and providing houses for the homeless.An application was also filed to the forest department to obtain permission for building houses in the forest land for homeless adivasis. Mahatma Gandhi Rashtriya Rojgar Yojana is providing three schemes for the adivasis which includes provision of poultry shed or goat shed. To benefit from these schemes, one needs to have certified documents. All the families of the 03 villagers have been informed of these schemes and are excitedly working towards obtaining the necessary documents.

Due to COVID-19, the labourers are still jobless and in need of food supply. Unita Doulton along with her team, and the Don Bosco social outreach staff distributed grocery kits to 60 families of the 02 villages - Aundhe 30 families and Ambegaon 30 families. They also reached out to Kurvande Katker Vasti 24 families, Sinhagad Adivasi Vasti 40 families, Vaksai Adivasi Vasti 60 families, Karandoli and Vergaon Adivasi Vasti 77 families each, Mundhavare Adivasi Vasti 30 families, Karla Adivasi Vasti 20 families, Sadapur Adivasi Vasti 20 families and Pauna Nagar Kolichafsar Adivasi Vasti 50 families. Sonali Shelke and Ravi Shelke have been very proactive in contacting the Ashram School which is distributing book-sets for students of Classes 09 and 10 in the villages. 70 students from Class 10 and 63 students from Class 09 have been provided school books.