Archive for December, 2013

A Tribute to the founder


In memory of the late founder Dr. Alexander Daniel, who passed away on December 21st 2005, Memorial day is celebrated every year on the same day. The ceremony started with a prayer in the PEACE garden, the place of his final rest in the IIRD Bidkin campus. IIRD staff and field workers offered flowers to the founder after which the group assembled in the conference hall. The function started with his favorite song sung by some of our field workers. The senior staff shared some of their experiences working with the founder and his pioneer vision on the saving scheme of women in the villages and women empowerment. Field workers spoke about how they brought out the leadership qualities in them and they recollected how Mahagreen got registration approved immediately after his name was prefixed to the producer company. Pastor Benjamin(Benjamin Uncle as everyone calls him) shared the founder’s idea of ‘Plant Orphanage’ and a senior citizen group called ‘Autumn leaves’. IIRD team will work on reconstruct the plant orphanage that was destroyed by the drought in the last 3 years. The quarterly newsletter for this quarter was released during the event.

After the gathering, blankets were distributed to the elderly from the Jeevan Aadhar Program.

Through a new joinee’s eyes, the event made such an impact that I wished I joined IIRD when he was around!


IIRD Christmas Celebrations


On the 14th of December, IIRD staff celebrated christmas with a snack party  and playing some christmas carol songs. Staff shared the significance of Christmas celebrations and the life story of Jesus Christ. There was also a quiz on Christmas which added some fun to the celebration.

Water Management Exposure Visit

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IIRD staff and panisevika visited DHAN foundation in Madurai to learn the Water Management/Conservation practices  promoted by the Organization. The training consisted of class room sessions  followed by field visits to the villages where DHAN foundation implemented water management. Record keeping and accounting of the different federations were also studied during the visit. This training will lay the foundation for the water management/conservation work in the 17 villages of Marathwada during the next 3 years.

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IIRD organization vision setting

On 25th and 26th of November,  IIRD staff met in Madurai and revisited the Vision Statement of the Organization. Successes in the last 5 years and challenges in the coming 5 years were listed out and the goals of the organization for the next 5 years were also chalked out for the various departments. Following are the focus areas identified:

a) Watershed Management – Make 17 Marathwada villages self-sufficient in Water Management/Conservation by increasing their ground water levels and Setting up ideal water management demonstration farm and training facilities in the IIRD campus

b)  Organic Agriculture – Develop 6 eco-villages in Paithan Taluk, 3 new Organic Bazaars, Green IIRD campus which preserves red-listed species of plants and Hold  national/international Organic Agriculture trainings.

c)  Technical Education – Introduce more technical courses and Increase the production of wooden and metallic fabrications.

d) Resources and Administration – Devise methods for income generation, Insurance of moveable and immoveable assets of the organization and Enhancements of the current accounting system.

e) Micro-enterprises – Increase on-farm and non-farm income generation activities to improve farmer livelihoods, Elderly care program and Expansion of farmer-clubs to more villages.

Though there are challenges lying ahead, IIRD is excited about working on our vision come to fruition in the next 5 years.


Living with a ‘Sautan’

Can one happily accept and live like normal with her sautan (husband’s second wife)? That too under the same roof and in the same room. I was not sure if I should be happy or upset when I met one of the women in the village who claimed that she and her sautan lives under the same roof in harmony. Her mother-in-law had initiated the second marriage of her husband because the woman in question gave birth to two girls and they wanted boy children in the family. The sautan had given birth to two sons and the woman in question loves her sons as much as her daughters. I wonder how that would have made her feel-blame herself for her inability to bear a boy child? But most of us know that it is the male chromosome that determines whether the offspring is a boy or a girl. Then why are women blamed? In the modern society where men and women work hand in hand, is giving birth to a girl a misfortune and to be blamed? Again,  I wonder if she had given birth to a third one, it could have been a boy!

Is she the only one in the village? No. I heard there are more.