International Goodwill and Understanding

International Goodwill and Understanding – Soroptimist International of Chembur & Navi Mumbai

Soroptimist International of Chembur and Navi Mumbai organized an International Goodwill and Understanding meeting in Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai Campus, a composite college campus comprising of Engineering, Architecture, Management, Science and Commerce colleges in New Panvel on Saturday 28th February, 2009.

The Soroptimist International clubs in attendance were Soroptimist Club Dortmund Hellweg, Germany, Soroptimist International Pune, SI Bombay West, SI North Bombay, SI Chembur & Navi Mumbai. The President of the NASI Club, National Association of Soroptimist International, India, Mrs. Sheela presided over the meeting.

The agenda for this international goodwill and understanding meeting was to discuss with the SI Dortmund Hellweg club, Germany the adoption of the water harvesting, solar cookers and solar rack projects, helping the Zilla Parishad to overcome some of the problems prevailing in village schools in the Raigad district. A friendship link will be established between the SI Dortmund Hellweg club Germany and SI Chembur and Navi Mumbai. The focus will remain on community projects in the Navi Mumbai area.

All villages have severe power shortage and water shortage during the non-monsoon months. Most ZP schools have inadequate infrastructure and unmotivated teachers. These are some of the problems faced by the people living in Raigad district.

Utilisation of solar energy and rain water harvesting can alleviate these problems to a certain extent. The friendship link proposes to provide them with solar implements like solar cookers, solar lanterns. These are portable, self sufficient devices. They wish to equip a ZP school with solar electrification which involves setting up of solar panels and battery boxes followed by internal wiring which will connect this battery to a few critical light, fan and computer points. Plans were made to provide computers and play equipment to the school.

Dr. K. M. Vasudevan Pillai, Founder, Secretary and CEO of Mahatma Education Society has engineered a skill development programme for school drop-outs of standard VIII, IX, X,XI and XII. This project will be implemented in association with SI Chembur and Navi Mumbai and Euridite Education Mission (A registered NGO established by Mahatma Education Society). A space has already been developed for starting this programme in Afta Phata near Karnala. This skill development programme will create skilled electricians, painters, plumbers, mechanics etc. Employment is guaranteed as the participants will be absorbed in the various campuses of Mahatma Education Society. Help will be provided to those who wish to go abroad to make a living with these specialised skills.

Rain water harvesting systems could be built for government hospitals or rural health centres. This involves building underground storage tanks that are fed with rain water pipes of the building. So, during the monsoon, the run-off from building terraces is channelized to these tanks and the overflow is channelized to charge maybe a bore well.

All of the above will require permission from the Zilla Parishad.

Info about the talavs in the region: Panvel has 6 talavs, a couple of them have now been cleaned up. A few more can be revitalised. The club proposes to provide the funding. Permission of the municipal council is required.

Other community projects in the pipeline are:

  • HIV awareness / testing camps at truck terminals.
  • Funding for making educational films or videos.
  • Mobile van equipped to show films, videos etc. to children in labour camps or remote villages.
  • A system to turn organic waste into compost.

We look forward to this friendship link venture with Soroptimist Club Dortmund Hellweg, Germany, being a great success, resulting in meaningful community work leading to improving the living conditions in a few tribal villages of Raigad district namely Wakadi village, Dodhani village, Umroli Village and Khanva Village.

Soroptimist International of Chembur and Navi Mumbai, is a fourteen year old social organization of Professional women in service, striving for women empowerment. The Head quarters SIGBI, Soroptimist International of Great Britain and Ireland is celebrating 75 years as a Federation in the year 2009. The Federation also has a seat in the UN (United Nations). It has evolved during an era of societal change and economic uncertainty. It provides career women with a valuable support network and enables them to contribute their mite to society at large. They are the original ‘Professional women with a social conscience’.