People living in the dry rural area surrounding the village of Dabar lack the necessary infrastructural components to achieve a decent standard of living. Prabhat Alloi Inc, a partner of AMURT, has been in West Bengal since 2008 working to combat problems including inadequate water provisions, poor hygiene, lack of educational opportunities, high rates of infant and maternal mortality, shortages of housing and clothing, lack of electricity, poor roads and pathways, and frequent drought conditions causing hunger. One village in the area is home to about thirty men and women suffering from leprosy, who are largely dependent on an inconsistent flow of government supplies.
The shortage of jobs presents one of the greatest challenges. Most of the area’s employment is in agriculture, with one rice crop per year (or sometimes none at all). Many residents cannot find work laboring near home, traveling for months at a time, often to become indentured laborers at the brick works. Women and children rely on meager or nonexistent wages brought home by men of the family, leaving little to nothing to buy necessary food and school supplies.
But there is hope! Prabhat Alloi Inc is an Australian charitable organization that works directly through Sanjay Kumar Mahato, head man of his village of Dabar and longtime head of the artist’s guild in the district. Sanjay is the Director of the Indian branch of the organization and project supervisor, and is passionately devoted to preserving the ancient culture of the tribal people and developing a sustainable lifestyle in the villages.
This is a broad-based project, and holds true to Prabhat Alloi’ s policy of participatory development as opposed to welfare. Today we have a junior primary school with 170 students. Students receive the standard curriculum as well as instruction in traditional dances. Our children’s home cares for eight children, two of whom were rescued from the sex trafficking industry. Women are leading and participating in self-help groups to develop businesses under our micro-finance plan. We employ a midwife and provide care for nine older women in the snake village by supporting them through their craft of date palm weaving. Villagers are being provided land and training to grow crops. Fifty-eight women are learning to sew through weekly classes at the school.
At Prabhat Alloi we are building a solid foundation across a broad spectrum, that, with continued support, will lead to the development of strong and resilient villages in the Purulia district and beyond.
How to Help
You can help Prabhat Alloi build a sustainable future for the neediest people living in the villages in and around Dabar by donating through PayPal. For more information, visit Prabhat Alloi’s blog.
[note_box] Accomplishments Reported in 2011
- Sewing classes for 58 women to learn quiltmaking and clothing production
- Development of women’s self-help groups paired with micro-finance opportunities
- Leprosy village support inspiring villagers to participate in growing and preparing food and helping with the repair of decrepit buildings
- Extension of school buildings
- Placement of a homeopath doctor and an assisting nurse, who hold clinics at the school twice a week
- Placement of a midwife to work with mothers and babies in the villages
- Installation of well and pump for clean water extraction