The withering drought in the rural hinterland of Marathwada in the state of Maharashtra saw the ruin of farmers, of whom around 400 farmers committed suicide (as per the information received from the media). To alleviate the suffering of the widows of these farmers, and to curtail any more suicide attempts by the farmers, Karishmaa Care Foundation (creating magic with compassion), an NGO, promptly engaged in personally distributing 24,000 kg of food grains in 31 villages in Ashti, Beed district of Marathwada along with as many as 55 water storage tanks of a capacity of 500 litres each for 3 months. Even cheques, grains and new clothes were handed to the widows of the farmers who had committed suicide. This was greatly appreciated by the government of Beed. The villages visited included Nagthala, Bavi, Jamgaon, Pungalgaon, Shirapur, Hathola, Dadhegaon, Bhramagaon, Bhavarwadi and Karvewadi, etc.
“To fight against this drought, a food grain collection drive was undertaken by the Karishmaa Care Foundation, during Gudi Padwa. This was facilitated and supported by various social organizations, schools, corporate entities, and help from friends and supporters. Our NGO strives to uplift the poor, underprivileged and the impoverished in rural Maharashtra and believes in working for overall rural development. It operates on a broad spectrum and isn’t restricted to a focus on specific charitable endeavours”, beams Neelam Tuteja, Founder & Managing Trustee of Karishmaa Care Foundation, who is perhaps the only woman, amongst the several people, who came forward to fight against the drought and dared to visit the villages and personally connected with the farmers.
Karishmaa Care Foundation has engaged in a wide range of activities such as cancer care camps, sanitation plans, health camps and education for children, women empowerment programmes, tree plantation and assisting aggrieved farmers and their families in drought-stricken rural areas et al.
A number of camps were conducted by Karishmaa Care Foundation which included health camp for children, a cervical cancer camp, tobacco awareness programme, new clothes donation in villages and a Women’s Day event to create awareness about the Marathwada drought. Such events drew great appreciation.
The work of the foundation has garnered plaudits and appreciation, and was widely covered in the print and electronic media.
“That’s not all – ‘Pradarshinii 2016’, an exhibition for the cause of the afflicted families of Beed district, Marathwada, was held by the foundation at Koregaon Park, on the 28th and 29th of May, 2016. During this exhibition, the widows of the farmers who had ended their lives were invited and cheques were personally handed to them for their relief in their time of grief and turmoil. Funds for the cause were mainly raised through items sold via stalls at the venue, whose proceeds went to the drought-affected villages of Beed district, Marathwada”, says Neelam Tuteja.
During such relief campaigns in the rural areas, personal visits and reaching out to the families there helped to bolster the image and presence of the NGO at the grassroots level.
“Recently we carried out seed donations to the farmers acre wise, tree plantation activity entitled, “Go Green Marathwada” in various villages to fight against drought.and child welfare activity for the poor farmers children”, smiles Neelam Tuteja, who has spent 5 years in the sphere of social work, before setting up her own NGO. Her dedication and commitment to working for social causes has been appreciated and she has been felicitated with several awards for this.
The foundation’s upcoming tasks :
· Education of the children of farmers.
· Health camps for the women and children.
· Donation of school uniforms, notebooks, stationery and other study supplements for children.
· Distribution of food grains to farmers below the poverty line.
· Women Empowerment Activities like skill development, etc.
· Financial support to the widows of farmers who have commited suicide.
“This is just the beginning – set up in December 2015, we are barely 7 months old and have a long journey ahead of us and lots more activities to do to serve the farmers and their families. Right now the priority of Karishmaa Care is to achieve what is listed above. And for this every little or big help will go a long way in meeting our goals and helping those in distress”, sums up Neelam Tuteja.
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