Our relentless advocacy efforts to ensure the development of rural communities and to bridge the urban-rural divide take many forms and are aimed at different levels.
Ongoing Advocacy Support
In the villages, we have stationed field workers who are trained at a Masters level in Social Work. These field workers interact with the local communities on a day to day basis, wherein they,
- build rapport so that it is easier for the households to express their views;
- actively listen to the views and concerns of the communities they are serving;
- provide information and services about government welfare schemes;
- spread awareness about their right, especially those relating to women and children;
- convey their views and wishes to the team working in Mumbai, so that any programmes that we design take into consideration their views, especially with regards to decisions made about their lives;
- explore any choices and options they have with regards to improving their lives and livelihoods.
Petition and Signature Campaign for Public Transport Services
At the block level, we have organised a Petition and Signature Campaign for Public Transport Services. The petition asked for provision of public transport to 12 villages of Khalapur block. Without the public transport, the villagers had to walk for about an hour to reach the nearest town. Private transportation systems were available in the area, but they were too expensive to serve as a daily commute option for the villagers. Anant Vikas convened a meeting with the Gram Panchayats and drafted a petition with their signatures. We started a signature campaign with the help of student volunteers from YEM to collect over 1000 signatures. We submitted the signed petition to the Depot Collectors of Raigad and Pen District, the bus depots at Karjat and Khopoli, Department of Construction at Khalapur and Raigad. The process took almost four months, and the petition was finally approved with a daily bus service from Karjat to Ambewadi village on January 25, 2015. Since then the service has been increased to three round trips every day from Karjat bus depot to Ambewadi village. Villagers from Ambewadi, Tadwadi, Pokharwadi, Katwan, Nimbarwadi, Chinchmal, Wagheswar, Burjwadi, Sondewadi, Koyanawadi, Hasyachipatti, Tinghar, Borgaon, Borgav Phata, Vavarle Phata and Waghadar benefit from the bus service.