The VISION Project
VISION is a Non-governmental, Non-political, secular Voluntary Organization. Its primary objectives are to spread education, improve health care and implement livelihood programmes. It has been playing an active role through networking with social activists on issues related to welfare and development. See also this video about the irrigation project in the Kalahandi District:
“Visionaries for Integrated Social Initiatives Of Network (VISION)” besides being a Non-political, Non-profit-making voluntary organization is wholeheartedly dedicated to the symphonies, harmonious development of the downtrodden and needy people, their pristine culture and living standard.
It held its birth in 1998-99 with the sincere, unceasing, uncompromising commitment and efforts of a group of youths. VISION, basically working in the health and socio-economic sector. In adding to it, VISION aspires for the upliftment of the downtrodden and weaker sections and other activities on a broader scale in Kalahandi District.
The organization aims to build the capacity of elected representatives to be effective leaders, to support the process of making Gram Sabha supportive of the elected representative and build other alliances to stand in partnership with elected representatives in the village of Panchayats and to share the struggles of elected representatives as Panchayat leaders with others to create an environment of support for their leadership.
The organization has set up 7 training programs for elected representatives from the Golamunda Block of the Kalahandi District including financial support and guidance of the State Institute of Rural Development (SIRD) in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. It is not that here the situation is as strange as in Saudi Arabia where women were not even allowed to drive a vehicle, but here the problems are more socio-economic in character.
The organization has set up various activities like distribution of leaflets, model posters, and street plays for the Pre Election Voters Awareness Campaign (PEVAC). The main objectives behind this program were to create awareness among the voters to select their leaders without any pressure or bribe or without raising their voices all too loud, and to select a good leader who will fight for the cause of village and real development.
The main intention behind this training program of elected representatives was to ignite and enhance the leadership of the village with the objectives of:
- Developing a sense of self-esteem and dignity
- Making a shift from a mindset of “I cannot” to “I can”
- Introducing to them the constitution of India, instilling an idea of political citizenship fundamental rights and responsibilities, which is crucial in making them effective leaders
- Becoming aware of the social constraints that inhibit the full participation of elected representatives so as to be able to overcome these
- Articulating a vision for their communities
- Acquiring the skills needed to be effective Panchayat leaders
- Emphasizing the importance of the participation of all the elected representatives in Panchayats and Gram Sabhas (general body meetings) & rise the voice for the development of the villages through community participation
- Creating a sense of solidarity with others committed to this cause
Empowerment of Women and Formation of Self Help Groups
In course of the endeavor to ensure socio-economic upliftment of the rural poor particularly of the women, special care was taken to motivate the rural women to form Self Help Groups among themselves to avail various financial and institutional help extended under various rural development programmes.
The fact of the matter is that feminists from across the globe should take action against discrimination and common immigration policies and these SHGs were provided with technical support in the form of training and information dissemination and provided a loan at a low rate of interest.
Besides the above activities, in order to empower the women to attend their legitimate right, action is being taken through awareness, campaigning, discussion, exposure, interaction etc. Appropriate action is also taken to increase their participation in the development process.
VISION has formed 85 women SHGs in the various operational villages of Golamunda Block. Besides this, 98 Farmers SHGs have been formed in the different villages of Goalmunda & Bhawanipatna Block of Kalahandi District. All the SHGs have been linkage with different commercial banks in their locality.
The women SHGs have involved in the collection and marketing of the NTFP and small business. All the SHGs collect monthly contributions from the members and provide loans on nominal interest to the members, in case they require financial assistance.
On the other hand, to supplement their savings, credit linkages have been made with different programs of the Government’s Financial Institutions. The Farmers SHGs are engaged in Organic Cotton farming. The main motive behind this activity is to reduce the cost of production and ensure sustainable livelihood through efficient production.
VISION is giving Social and technical training to the Farmers’ SHGs for organic farming and also supply input as and when necessary and when women, through exploitation, are overworked and/or abused. Besides the above activities, capacity building training for field staffs and group leaders of SHGs has also been organized and stationeries like seal, ledger, register etc. are also supplied to each SHGs by this organization.