Sunday, September 2, 2007

Srijan Foundation's New Blog

We moved our Blog sometime back to Kindly visit this new space and post your comments on the new blog space.

Rahul Dewan
Trustee - Srijan Foundation

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Formation of Srijan Foundation

On 22 March 2007, Srijan Foundation Trust was formally registered. The government functioning was extremely efficient, the people behind the counter to advise on how to fill the form were a little impatient yet helpful, the final signing authority seemed like a person of integrity. It took all of 4 hours to complete the process, and the papers were collected the next day.

Surely, a change in the governments functioning. Ignore, my first post of the need for giving bribes for such a formation.

A good experience overall!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Sri Jagannath Pathshala

The school we fund in Puri, Orrisa, has been named "Sri Jagannath Pathshala". It is now getting firmly established in the region with nearly 3 months of running, and more and more children enrolling.

Our prayers and gratitude to
  1. Bhima Paredaji, a very respected person in the Nada-Khand village, for giving us a portion of his house for running the activities of the school
  2. The teacher, Pramod, who is taking the lead in doing all this

Picture of the students

Visiting Card printed by Pramod, the teacher

List of the students enrolled and their government school grade

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Free tractor service to small landowners

A story from today's Indian Express: talks about a man Ramesh Arnalkar, a trader from Pune, who is giving out a brand new tractor to small land-owners in Maharashtra's suicide belt, free of cost to help them till their land, and thus start earning from it. While returning with his wife, Shalini, from a pilgrimage, the Arnalkars, made made up their mind to do something for the farmers. Shalini, put in her personal savings of Rs.50,000 for the cause.

The tractor mission has already reached 50-odd farmers from the Alandi region in Maharashtra. These farmers have to only pay for the Diesel and the driver's daily salary, which, both including comes to about Rs.150/- per day. Compare this with the cost of hiring a tractor from large land owners - upto Rs.3000/- per day, which was absolutely impossible for these small landowners with 1 - 3 acres of land typically.

We, at Srijan Foundation will surely send some money to the Arnalkars. Could we help them raise funds for another tractor? hmmmm... possible surely!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

A time to heal

This beautiful article written by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, appeared in the Hindustan Times:,00120001.htm. Key points in the article with my notes:
  • Every morning the Puja in Tirupati temple is first offered by the Scheduled Caste Banjara community
  • Dalits have to assert their rights rather than turning their back on Hinduism; It isn't solving anything otherwise
  • Dalits have remained dalits even after conversion [ Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. I have witnessed posters in Leh to stop the practice of casteism in Buddhism; Dalit Muslims are recognised by the government of India as the most oppressed. Even Pakistan has Dalit Muslims. There are even Dalit Sikhs in India. More on this point:]
  • Hinduism has seen several reformers who have fought casteism
  • The author of Ramayana was a Dalit [More on this point:]
  • Hinduism without a top central command cannot dictate a change; the change must come by assertion by the practitioners of the religion itself
Art of Living Foundation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, is organising a Dalit Swarn Sammelan to put forward a 7 point action plan and take the message to rural India. These Seven points are:
  • Temple entry for Dalits
  • Collective celebration including community feasts
  • Abolition of separate utensils for Dalits
  • Empowerment of women from economically weaker sections of society
  • Providing educational facilities especially to weaker sections of society
  • Providing spiritual and religious education to Dalit children, which they have been deprived of for hundreds of years
  • Equality and justice for one and all without any discrimination.

School near Puri, Orrisa

The domestic help at my mother's home, and somewhat of a younger brother to me, Puran Chand Swain, went home to his village near Puri in Orrisa in December 2006. The state of the government run school was as pathetic as ever.

Puran explored the idea of running a school with one of his friends, a 12th grade pass, one of the few in the village, who incidentally was looking for a job.

Srijan Foundation has started with a small fund of Rs.1000/- per month, of which Rs.750/- will go to the teacher, and the rest in buying materials for the 30-40 children who are becoming regulars in the school.

A picture from the school with the teacher coming up soon.

A list of all the children studying there.

The school in Nehru Place

On 31 October, 2006, we started another school for the underprivileged children in Nehru Place - right outside the office of our funding software services company - Srijan Technologies.

Pics coming up soon.