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State Karnataka
Capital Bangalore
City Bangalore
Name of NPO Myrada
Area of Activity Women and children

Myrada

MYRADA

No.2, Service Road, Domlur Layout
BANGALORE 560 071.
KARNATAKA.
Executive Director  :  Mr.Aloysius P Fernandez.
Deputy Director       :  Mr.K.R.Shetty.
Phone :  25352028, 25353166, 25354457
Fax     :  ++91-80-25350982
Email  :  myrada@blr.vsnl.net.in

Focus: To re-create a self- sustaining habitat that balances the legitimate needs of people with the availability of natural resources; promote strategies that help realize the full potential of women and children and influence public policies in favour of the poor. 

Overview
MYRADA is a Non Governmental Organisation managing rural development programmes in 3 States of South India and providing on-going support including deputations of staff to programmes in 6 other States. It also promotes the Self Help Affinity strategy in Cambodia , Myanmar and Bangladesh  

Projects

Myrada Gulbarga PIDOW project, Gulbarga district

Gulbarga Project started with and continues to work on participatory and integrated development of watersheds; hence, it carries the acronym PIDOW. Its main donor remains the Swiss Development Co-operation. However, the current year has seen some important changes. SDC’s support for watershed activities concluded. A new proposal was approved from SDC – based on the Project’s extensive experience in watershed development programmes – to consolidate the Project’s training centre and activities in the direction of making it into a CIDOR (Centre for Institutional Development and Organisational Reforms). Thus, the role of the Training Centre as a self-managed facility engaged in the capacity building of other institutions to enhance their knowledge and skills to promote participatory and integrated development of watersheds is strengthened. This new project has been approved for two years, starting from April 2002 and ending in March 2004. 

Watershed Development

With a staff strength of 14, the Project’s continued field level activities in watershed development are currently supported by The Zilla Panchayath of Gulbarga and by NABARD. The Project’s operational areas extend in the talukas of Gulbarga , Aland, Sedam, and Chincholi. With the Zilla Panchayath it is implementing watershed works under the DPAP (Drought Prone Areas Programme). The earlier accepted target of 3,000 ha. Comprising 6 micro-watersheds is nearing completion. In the current year, a fresh programme has been approved for 2,000 ha.

Under NABARD, the coverage is of 1,000 ha. Thus, totally the Project is newly working on 3,000 ha. While withdrawing from the earlier 3,000 ha.

Local Level Institutions 

The Project is working with 338 self help affinity groups, 20 micro-watershed associations and 7 federations of self help affinity groups. It is collaborating with the Karnataka State Women’s Development Corporation on the Rural Women’s Empower- ment and Development Programme, also known as Swashakthi. Groups formed under Swashakthi number 100, and there is a strong training component provided for under the programme. 

DINFED, the District NGO Federation, has been an initiative of the Project. It currently includes 22 NGOs and meets on a monthly basis to strategies and act collectively on relevant issues.

Community Health 

With SOSVA (Society for Support to Voluntary Agencies) the Project continued to work on the Reproductive and Child Health Programme but this has now concluded. It is also partnered with them on a medicinal plants’ promotion programme under a project called Promotion of Indian Systems of Medicine. Under Swashakthi, the training of women includes a well-defined programme for the training of village level workers leading on to the further sharing of health-related knowledge by the health workers to the members of self help affinity groups.

Training Activities 

The training centre is continuing to respond to requests from other institutions, besides conducting training programmes for project-facilitated local level institutions. Bankers from Maharashtra used to dominate the list of participants until recently, since they were engaged in the Maharashtra Rural Credit Programme and could benefit from MYRADA’s experiences. However, the bulk of this training has now been completed. The centre is now working to complete the Swashakthi training targets.

Apart from conducting training programmes, the training centre facilities are also made available to other institutions on request.

Myrada Holalkere integrated rural development project, Chitradurga district 

Introduction 

Myrada’s work in Chitradurga District was originally in Holalkere Taluk. Later, a separate programme was initiated in Challakere Taluk. Since then to the current district approach, the programme has matured steadily and systematically. The district approach has not meant expansion but ‘expansion with quality and in partnership with other development intervenors’. The Project’s direct interventions are thus only in 338 villages. (This excludes the Molkalamoru Project area that is separately reported in this document as ‘Myrada CIDOW Project’). In the rest of the district, the Project relies on its network partners to support the qualitative development of institutions and resources to reduce poverty and combat powerlessness among the poor. IBRNM stands for Institution Building and Natural Resources Management. These are the two major foci of the district approach. There is a third focal area and that is Creating Off-farm Livelihoods. This area is recognised as important in the context of increasing pressures on lands and decreasing returns from agriculture. However, the strategies to operationalise the idea have still not clearly emerged. 

Funding Partners 

 Deutsche Welthungerhilfe (GAA) continues to be a committed partner to the Project. 

 The Project is the District Lead NGO for the SUJALA (World Bank-Government of Karnataka) Watershed Programme .  

 SOSVA supports a small project on Indian Systems of Medicine and Homeopathy, ISM&H.  

 The Population Foundation of India is a partner on a small project of Reproductive and Child Health.  

 Besides the above, funds are locally mobilised from different government departments and banks under ongoing schemes. 

Major Activities  

SPIN (Self-help Promoting Institutions’ Network) 

This network currently has as its members representatives from 22 NGOs as well as representatives from the Zilla Panchayath, Lead Bank, DCC Bank, RRB, NABARD, Town Municipality and from the departments of Watershed Development, Agriculture, and Women & Child Development. Other departments attend meetings on requirement/invitation. SPIN has continued to progress well. It is acquiring greater visibility and stature and is being frequently contacted and consulted over a variety of developmental issues pertinent to the district. It meets regularly, on the 15th of each month. While the initiative to promote SPIN was definitely Myrada’s, increasingly more responsibilities are being taken by other partners to administer its growth and development. The HID Forum, a training support agency, is independently involved in the capacity building of SPIN members. Through the efforts of SPIN, almost all the network partners are engaged in promoting good quality self-help groups and several have also moved into watershed development programmes. 

Watershed Development 

Under the programme supported by GAA, 323 ha. were treated during the year. Under the SUJALA Programme, as Lead NGO the Project does not implement treatment works directly but builds capacities of and guides, monitors and supervises the efforts of the Field NGOs. In the current year, treatment works were initiated on 12,421 ha. 

To promote scientific storage of harvested grains (to reduce storage losses), the Project is collaborating with the Save Grain Campaign of India to construct storage bins at household level. 75 structures were constructed in the current year. 

Local Level Institutions 

The Project is working with 771 self help affinity groups (of which 111 were formed in the current year), 31 watershed institutions (3 formed during the year), 29 SAG federations (7 formed during the year) and 7 Resource Centres (all formed during the year). The 7 Resource Centres currently have a combined membership of 345 SAGs and 16 watershed associations. 

In addition, the other SPIN members have together promoted more than 5,000 groups, of which over 3,000 have been formed by NGOs and over 2,000 have been formed under government programmes of Sthree Shakthi and Swashakthi. Thus, in Chitradurga District, the ‘partnership-towards-quantity-with-quality’ has resulted in the formation of close to 6,000 self help groups, of which 99% are women’s groups.

Health Activities 

The Project’s health activities have been limited, and mainly in the areas of holding camps and conducting RCH awareness. Under the Nirmala Karnataka Scheme, 129 toilets were constructed during the year.

Training Activities 

The Project was engaged as usual in the training of community institutions, bookwriters, etc. In addition, 175 persons underwent training in Entrepreneurship Awareness and Development; 125 actually started small enterprises. 

The Jagruthi Training Centre at Holalkere has started functioning independently as a CIDOR (Centre for Institutional Development and Organisational Reform). In the current year, 121 training events were conducted for a total of 2,870 participants over 347 training days. 

Myrada / Plan H.D.Kote project, Mysore district

The District of Mysore faced severe drought situation during the kharif season of 2002, with a total rainfall of 583.1 mm. as against the normal annual rainfall of 904 mm. Landless labourers and marginal farmers started migrating in search of work to the neighbouring districts of Erode, Kodagu and Mandya. Even in these districts, employment opportunities were scarce during the year since the drought conditions were widespread in the entire state of Karnataka. H.D. Kote and Nanjangud taluks in Mysore district were listed among the severely affected taluks, and these two areas being the focal areas of Myrada-PLAN H.D. Kote Project, the conditions had a direct bearing on the work of the Project. The Project responded by creating temporary employment opportunities for the local communities by taking up labour generation programmes such as desilting of tanks, trench digging for tree planting, making boulder blocks for use in construction activities, etc. These efforts preceded the efforts of the Government of Karnataka in providing food for work to the farmers during the drought period. (The tanks desilted have been filled with water during the summer showers received recently.) 

As a consequence of the drought, the current year saw sustained and prolonged (almost 3 months) disturbances in the project area due to frequent bundhs and strikes called by the farmers agitating against the release of water from Kabini and Cauvery rivers to the State of Tamilnadu . This also effected kharif agricultural operations. Pest attack on cotton was another problem faced by the farmers during the year. It was estimated that in H.D.Kote taluk alone, the farmers lost 3 crores of rupees from cotton, which is a major crop in the area. The farmers also agitated demanding electricity for irrigated agriculture and for waiver of interest on crop loans availed by them from banks and co-operative societies. 

But cheer was also present 

The self help affinity groups played a significant part in mitigating the drought-related stress on the poor by giving hundreds of members loans for food purchase and making alternate income-earning investments. Neither was there any demand for waiver of loans taken by SHGs from banks and Sanghamithra Rural Financial Services. On-time repayment exceeded 99%, for which the Project can rightly take credit for its capacity building efforts and the creation of buffers (i.e. enabling the groups to build up their common funds over the last decade to levels that protect them well in times of risk).

Local Level Institutions 

The Project is working with 1,717 self help affinity groups, 57 watershed associations, 59 federations of self help groups, 206 school committees, 238 children’s clubs, 84 village water and sanitation management committees, and 13 community resource centres. The last-mentioned is a new Myrada initiative that has picked up well and is rapidly getting stronger. Not just groups promoted by the Project but also those promoted by others – including the Government, under programmes like Sthree Shakthi – are enrolling as members of the community resource centres. 

More than 600 new linkages were established between financial institutions and SHGs in the current year. 

Watershed Development 

1,560 ha. have been covered with treatment measures. NABARD is financing the programme in two locations, one of which has taken off well and the other is slowly gaining momentum. The Government has also approached the Project to take up watershed development in five watersheds in H.D. Kote Taluk under the National Watershed Development Project (NWDPRA). Planning activities are in progress. 

Drinking Water, Health and Housing 

The Project is involved in community participation activities under the Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission Project in 30 villages of H.D.Kote and Nanjangud taluks. A large drinking water system servicing a population of 15,000 at Sargur Town was completed during the year. 

The trained Health Volunteers on the Project are regularly conducting training and awareness programmes for SHGs on general health, safe drinking water, immunisation, personal hygiene, public sanitation, prevention of HIV-AIDS and STDs, etc. 275 trainings were conducted in the current year, apart from public campaigns, particularly on HIV-AIDS. Training programmes for adolescents is another focal programme, particularly to make them aware of reproductive health and the consequence of early marriages. Improving School sanitation was given emphasis during the year, with assistance from the Zilla Panchayat Mysore. In 33 schools, construction of toilets, provision of water facilities, and construction of compound walls were completed. Wall paintings were also made to create awareness among children on the need for maintaining hygiene in the school. 

Housing for poor families, which was a major program of H.D.Kote Project in the past, was continued during the year. 79 families were supported for house construction and 191 families were supported for home electrification. However, the Project contributed only 20% of the costs of constructing the house. The balance was mobilised from the beneficiaries themselves and from the Government under the Ashraya Scheme.

Education and Vocations 

The Project continued to supplement government efforts to improve school infrastructure. 44 classrooms were constructed during the year. In addition, the Project supported children’s ‘Right to Recreation’ by organising excursions, picnics, a visit to the Fantasy Park at Mysore , etc. Creativity camps and summer camps organised during the year were attended by a total of 3,570 children.

433 youth (boys and girls) were supported to learn vocational skills. Training in skills such as tailoring, knitting, bag making, etc. were provided by Spoorthi Centre and Jyothi Vikas Kendra which are local NGOs working in the area. Skills such as driving, fashion designing and nursing were imparted though appropriate specialist institutions.

Training Activities

The Training Centre at H.D.Kote is functioning independently as a CIDOR (Centre for Institutional Development and Organisational Reform), though legally still a part of Myrada. In the current year, 3,956 training programmes were conducted for various loca level institutions and attended by 71,208 participants. Many of the sessions were handled directly by community trainers who had previously been trained by the Project. Persons from other institutions visiting the CIDOR for training and to learn from the experiences of Myrada included I.A.S. probationers from Mussoorie, Zilla Panchayath officers from Orissa, government officers from Vietnam, NGO and government staff from Indonesia, staff from several in-country NGOs, and students from Japan.

Myrada/PLAN Madakasira project, Ananthapur district

Coverage

Starting in 1983-84 with a small programme to resettle landless families in agriculture on land made available by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in Madakasira Taluk of Anantapur District, the Project gradually expanded by the late 1980s and early 1990s to cover 5 mandals (Agali, Rolla, Gudibanda, Madakasira and Amarapuram), all in the same taluk. In the current year, it continued to work in these areas but in the direction of gradually completing all the planned programmes and eventually phasing out. The staff strength of the Project is currently 33.

Project Focus

The core programme of the Project is linked to the concept of child sponsorship and emphasises the education and health of children as well as making improvements to the environment (home, school, community) in which children grow. Currently, sponsorship programme covers approximately 4,000 children.

Other programmes include working with women to promote awareness and development, organising the poor into self help affinity groups, and supporting the poor to take up income generation activities that include both agricultural and non-agricultural investments (if the families earn stable incomes the children’s growth and development is secured better).

Funding

PLAN International has been and continues to remain the partner agency for this Project. Local resources are mobilised for various programmes. The Project has been regularly raising funds from the Panchayath Raj Department for the establishment of rural water supply systems. In the current year, water supply systems were established in 18 villages.

Local Level Institutions

The Project is working with 489 self help groups, 22 federations of self help groups, 43 children’s clubs and 1 watershed institution. The children’s groups include both sponsored and non-sponsored children in the age group of 8 to 14, and engage in a variety of recreational activities. 7 children’s theatre groups have been formed and enjoy performing in the villages on themes of education, health, public sanitation, environment, child marriage, etc.

The federations enable members to access various schemes such as old age and widow pensions, benefits for disabled persons, toilet construction, cooking gas connection, etc. The SHG-Bank linkage programme is relatively more recently being pursued on the project and a little over 80 groups have been linked so far.

Education

Apart from promoting the attendance of children at regular schools, the Project has identified the problem of girls being denied education and having to work as labourers, because of their parents’ poverty, ignorance and lack of support. Hence, the Project is running 7 girls’ learning centres for girls between the ages of 9 and 19 where they can learn to read and write besides being encouraged to develop life skills (confidence, personality development) and vocational skills (tailoring, embroidery, doll making, basket weaving, etc.).

Phasing Out

The Project first started working in Agali, Rolla and Gudibanda mandals and is now working on phasing out from these areas over the next few years. In Amarapuram and Madakasira mandals, where it entered later, the plan is to phase out by 2009.

Myrada Huthur Hill area development project,  Chamarajanagar district

The project presently covers around 103 villages in Kollegal Taluk of the newly formed Chamarajanagar District. With a staff strength of 23 and operational headquarters in Hannur, major activities are focussed in the villages of Ramapura and Hannur areas. More recently, a cluster of villages in MM Hills has been included and the project has withdrawn from a cluster of around 33 villages in Odeyarpalya, where it was earlier working and which is now being supported by a Resource Centre. The Project is an active promoter/member of a District NGO Federation. It also runs a fully equipped Training Centre in Odeyarpalya.

Major Funding Partners

The Huthur Hill Area Development Programme funded by Novib is in its second five year phase which ends in June 2003.

Misereor funded the Huthur Participatory Development of Micro-Watersheds Programme Phase IV, which ended on 31.03.2003.

The Uddanur Watershed Programme is being funded by NABARD, covering a micro-watershed of around 500 hectares.

The Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) Training Programme and establishment of RCH Resource Centres is supported by the Population Foundation of India.

Besides the above, funds are locally mobilised from the District Zilla Panchayat, VHAK and other resource agencies for various small programmes.]

Major Focus Areas 

Promoting and strengthening local level institutions, including self-help affinity groups, watershed management associations, and federations for women’s development, watershed management and micro- credit. 

Capacity building of community institutions and other development practioners through training and exposure programmes and developing community resource persons.

Interventions in health : school and village sanitation, reproductive and child health

District Approach strategy through networking of development institutions and practitioners.

Interventions in biomass and alternate energy sources.

Local Level Institutions

The Project is working with 319 self help affinity groups, 32 watershed associations, 12 self help group federations, 2 watershed federations, 10 school development and management committees, and 16 village forest committees. Besides, it is facilitating the development of empowered Grama Sabhas in 5 villages on a pilot basis, and has recently promoted one Community Resource Centre in the Odeyarpalya area. 227 self help groups have been linked to banks and 28 have been linked for credit to Sanghamithra Rural Financial Services. Together, they have availed credit in excess of Rs.1.7 crores, with 100% on time repayment against demand.

As a measure of relief from two consecutive years of drought, the SAGs identified around 700 poorest families and each was supported to buy ragi and fodder upto a value of Rs.1,000 per family.

Watershed Development 

 32 watershed development institutions are functioning in the project area. In all the watershed areas, individual land treatment activities are being taken up on loan basis, though common land treatment is still financed by grants, with some contributions from the community. As at 31.3.2003, the Associations have recovered over Rs.2,600,000, which they are revolving among their members for farm related activities. 

 The NABARD-supported watershed programme is in the Capacity Building Phase, and work is in progress on 70 hectares. The interesting feature of this programme is the role being played by the Project in influencing policy at NABARD level. 

 In all its watershed programmes, the Project emphasises sustainable agriculture practices, natural regeneration and resource management, organic farming, integrated pest management, biomass production and vermi-composting. Water harvesting and management are also emphasised through applying the 5 water strategy approach, under which, roof water harvesting, farm ponds, water saving devices like sprinklers, rain guns and drip systems are installed. Besides this, food security through post harvest technologies (scientific grain storage) is also being promoted. 

Health and Sanitation 

The Project is a key training resource in the State for RCH training. As a credit plus activity, RCH messages are being disseminated to SAG members and villagers with the involvement of ANMs, ICDS workers, PHC health educators and the project staff. A key component is the training of RCH Community Resource Persons, who in turn train all the SAGs in every village, who monitor the RCH target groups (pregnant women, children below 5 years, adolescent girls and boys, eligible couples) in their respective localities. During the year all the SAGs completed training and are monitoring the RCH programme with the help of the ANM and anganwadi teachers. Wall paintings, poster displays, quiz in schools, RCH camps, etc. were also conducted. The Project also facilitates the SAGs to lend for toilet construction and cooking gas purchase. Out of 1,675 household toilets constructed so far, 286 were constructed in the year and 50 LPG connections out of 200 connections were obtained in the year. 

Education 

Tuitions centres were established to coach students sitting for the public exams (7th and 10th standard); as a result some schools got 100% results. Children’s learning centres are run for dropouts to help them to read and write and also to help at least some children rejoin school. Besides this the project is motivating the school staff and parents to build up a fund in the schools to earn enough interest to cover the cost of special classes for children attending public exams. 8 schools have started building up a fund for this purpose. 

Livelihood opportunities and non-farm activities

In the current year, 79 families were assisted for weaving, 5 families for silk reeling, and 7 families for bakery and sweets production and sales. Besides, more than 500 families have been assisted through SAGs to improve existing enterprises like petty shops, tailoring, bangle selling, cycle shop, tea shops, masala, pappad and pickle production and sales, vegetable vending, house hold utensils business and others. Educated youth were assisted to undergo various professional skills’ training like driving and computer operating.

Training Activities

The Myrada Davinson Training Centre located at Odeyarapalya is developing well into a CIDOR. Efforts are on to make the Centre self-sufficient. From the beginning of the year, a Training Director was made responsible for the Centre, supported by a Training Officer. The centre provides trainings and experience sharing exposure in the following areas :

Self Help Affinity Group Concept and Management

Watershed development and Institution Building  

 Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) 

 Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) 

 Appreciative Inquiry (AI) 

 Moderation Techniques 

 Participatory Impact Monitoring (PIM) 

During the year, over 400 trainings were held for CBOs of the project area. 97 trainings were conducted for 2,357 persons from other agencies over 343 days.

District Approach Strategy and Networking 

The Project played a promoting role in forming a district level NGOs forum. 16 NGOs are currently members and the forum meets every month. It provides the opportunity to NGOs to share experiences and best practices that can be replicated at district level. The two major issues being addressed by the forum are : 

Effective SAG development 

Effective focus on health.

Registered Date 6/22/2005