Comprehensive Rural Development in Rajasthan

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Children in Apna Jatan Centre

Many of the NGOs that we work with focus specifically on one single area, such as child rights, water or disability. However, some of our partners have a constantly changing set of programmes focused on whatever is the greatest need in that particular area. Yesterday I visited Jatan Sansthan, an organisation working in Udaipur and the surrounding rural area on a wide range of different issues, including education, women’s empowerment, health and migration.

Within Udaipur itself Jatan runs Apna Jatan centres – small informal education and day care centres for underprivileged children – and women’s self help groups that are taught to stitch reusable sanitary pads and bags, which are being sold in Udaipur and Delhi with a future goal of selling the products internationally. Outside of Udaipur city, Jatan work in approximately 250 villages across Rajsamand, Bhilwada and Udaipur districts. In these areas, Jatan provides education and life skills training to youths, along with community health projects that are educating local people on preventative health care and safe birth practices.

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Women’s Empowerment Stitching Group

Jatan runs a Migration Support and Resource Centre for vulnerable migrant labourers, who are traveling to other states, particularly Gujarat, in order to find employment. The centre provides migrants with photo identity cards, short-term vocational training, placement opportunities and counselling. On top of this, Jatan introduced the 3SK programme in order to reach a larger proportion of the migrant population by going into the villages rather than only working with migrants that come to the centre. Jatan also runs a centre for women victims of violence, providing security and support to distressed women and children, along with counselling, legal support and medical facilities. Finally, Jatan works to strengthen the role of women in local institutions and politics. Through training prospective women in leadership skills and empowering them to take a more active role in their communities, women are now taking leadership roles within their Panchayati Raj institutions.

Jatan are looking for volunteers for various different roles. Jatan’s greatest need is for communications and fundraising volunteers in order to attract future donations and ensure the sustainability of their programmes. However, they are also looking for IT advisors to assist them in improving communication and data sharing between their various field offices, teachers to assist in their Apna Jatan centres and staff trainers to provide training in English language, project management, and organisation development. I am very happy to be beginning a partnership with Jatan and hope to see a 2Way Development volunteer working with Jatan in the very near future.

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Parent’s Meeting

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