FROM THE CHAIRMAN’S DESK
The Foundation has completed a decade of service to the community in the mining belt of Goa. It has not only been a satisfying journey but one which has been challenging and extremely fulfilling. Satisfying, to have given birth, nurtured and witnessed the growth of a unique organization in the country supported by the mining industry in Goa. Like the industry, the Foundation too has faced various challenges, but with conviction has been able to tide over them and move forward while providing services to the community.
The Foundation too has grown in strength and stature. From the early days of working with two staff, the Foundation has, besides a well established Secretariat, two field offices and two project offices enabling us to reach out to the remotest corner of the State. The work of the Foundation has grown from early demand based projects to long term programmes and inhouse designed projects. The word has spread throughout the country, with the Central & State Govt. as well as various organizations partnering with the Foundation to implement developmental programmes.
Over these 10 years, the Foundation has created various assets for the benefit of the general public and educational institutes ranging from bandharas, bandhs, irrigation channels, crematorium, Aanganwadi, classrooms, toilets, libraries, laboratories etc. with an investment of over ` 24 Crores. These facilities will go a long way in serving the community in the mining belt.
Provision of infrastructure is just a small part of the larger goal of the Foundation in supporting the student community and building their capacities through various schemes. Trainings for Aanganwadi & primary school teachers, career counseling, Scholarships for higher studies, regular health camps, exposure through residential Nature Orientation Camps, formation of Alumni groups, exposure to various social and environmental issues to select students have been few of the initiatives by the Foundation in creating a healthier, conscious and sensitive future generation.
The Women Empowerment Programme has been received very well by the community. More than 1000 women are part of this programme and involved in various livelihood activities. This programme begun in a modest manner from the village of Pissurlem has now spread to almost all the villages covered under our activities and has seen the formation of two Women’s Federations in Kirlapal-Dabhal and Bicholim. Total assets worth ` 35 lakh, speaks for their efforts.
The Gram Nirman pilot project has come to an end and has been a huge learning experience. Various developmental projects have been implemented in the target village panchayats but garnering public participation was a huge challenge. While we do not claim to have achieved 100% success, the involvement of the people in planning and implementation was heartwarming giving a semblance of sustainability to the projects. The ambitious centralized Drinking Water Scheme for the Kirlapal-Dabhal Panchayat has been commissioned and handed over to the Govt. with an investment of ` 2 Crores. This scheme is one of its kind in the country where a private entity has created such a facility and handed over to the Govt. for further maintenance and upkeep.
The Gram Nirman project which was initiated in 2008 coincidentally is in line with the Goa Panchayat Raj Act, 1994 and the formulation of Village Developmental Plan therein. Our Panchayats are way ahead in this respect with the Ward and Village Development Committees already in place and functional. We now look forward to forging partnerships with other willing Panchayats.
We know that the next decade holds many possibilities and we look at them with a great deal of optimism and hope that the support and love that we have received from the community grows manifold encouraging us to do even more.