ACTIVITIES AT CENTRAL OFFICE, KASTURBAGRAM, INDORE
Kasturbagram, situated 8 K.M. away from Indore on Indore-Khandwa state highway is the Central Office of Kasturba Trust and nerve centre of all the activities of the Trust. Not only the activities above but also it happens to be the Training Centre for sister workers engaged in their activities at village and state levels. It also encompasses educational facilities from Balwadi to Postgraduate education. It also facilitates health services to neighbouring 14 villages with allopathic and homeopathy system, not to speak of pathological examination in a 25-bed hospital. Morning and evening Prayer sessions, thread spinning and community cleaning are daily routine activities of this campus.
Main activities of Kasturbagram are training and education, besides these. Khadi weaving, agriculture and dairying are allied activities. Glimpses of these are given below:-
Kasturba Arogya Sadan (Hospital & Nursing Home)
Arogya Sadan having 25 beds established in 1952 is rendering its services to 14 nearby villages. The major activities carried out by Arogya Sadan are as follows:
· Treatment of Admitted/Out door patients
· Different vaccinations to children
· Polio drops to children
· Handle Delivery Cases
· Check up of patients in mobile hospital
· Health service by walking visit
· Disease examination by Pathology department
· Check up of pregnant women
· Providing Information about nutritional food given to pregnant lady
· Examination of eyes in eye camp
· Examination of cataract in lance transplantation camp
· Operation of cataract carried out free of cost in camp
· Check up of heart disease by cardiologist
· Check up of child disease by paediatric
· Life insurance scheme
Women Health Workers Training
This important training has been going on since 1952. Women in the age group of 18 to 28 years with 10th or 12th school certificate are admitted here for two years training. After successful completion of the training programmes, trainees are employed by the Trust and sent to various branches but today the demand for trained nurses is so much that they get good jobs very soon in other government & private hospitals too.
Though the period of this training is 18 months but in 4 months prior to training period, women of different languages come from different parts of the country are given knowledge of general Hindi. In addition to this spinning, weaving, horticulture & music, practical knowledge of Gandhi Life Style is also given. Trainees get stipend of Rs. 125/- per month. One-month leave is also granted to trainees during training period. Successful trainees are appointed in different branches of Kasturba Trust. Trainees take practical training for 3 months at M.Y. Hospital, Indore.
"Ba-Ka-Ghar" (The Mother's Home: A Short Stay Home)
One of the major tasks of Kasturba Trust is to fight injustice and atrocities against women. Though it is never counted in terms of number. Hundreds of women have drawn support from the Trust. Exploitation, injustice and violence against women are increasing at alarming rate, so also the number of women committing suicide. The Trust is making every effort for the physical, emotional, economic and educational empowerment of women. A link in these chain activities is "Ba-Ka-Ghar".
Ba-Ka-Ghar, New Horizons of Women's Self Respect a Short Stay Home for helpless and destitute women who are in danger. The Trust is managing 6 such homes in different parts of country, with financial help from Central Social Welfare Board. When women are thrown out of their homes they are vulnerable to sexual exploitation, rape and other atrocities.
Ba-Ka-Ghar offers such women shelter and protection, a place where they can stay until they become self-reliant. These women are trained in various types of vocations to achieve self-reliance such as Printing, Tailoring, running of Balwadis, Nurses training etc.
Kasturbagram Krishi Kshetra
Three units are managed in Krishi Kshetra, Kasturbagram.
Various Kharif crops (e.g. Arhar, Soybean, Jowar, Maize, Sesame) and Rabi crops (e.g. Wheat, Gram) are sowed in about 128 Acre area. The Krishi Kshetra also produces the seeds for supply to farmers and for sale.
2. Cowpen (Gaushala)
There are about 140 livestocks. Average number of mulch cows is 29. A good amount is earned by selling milk and "Gaumutra". The yearly milk production is about 60,500 Litters.
A large orchard having trees like mango, lemon & guava etc. is occupied in about 80 Acre area. Its fruits are famous for special quality and are sold that gives a good amount of money.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra (Farm Science Centre)
The Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) is district level Farm Science Centres established by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for speedy transfer of technology to the farmer's fields. The aim of KVK is to reduce the time lag between generation of technology at the research institution and its transfer to the farmer's fields for increasing production and productivity and income from the agriculture and allied sectors on a sustained basis. The KVK of Kasturbagram, Indore was established in 1976 and working continuously with following objectives:
Facilities for education from Balwadi upto postgraduate level of university for rural and tribal girls are available at Kasturbagram. In the Primary classes (from first to fifth standard) children including boys and girls are admitted. Girls from 6 th standard up to the M.A. level have Hostel facilities
1. Kasturba Balwadi
A Balwadi id running under the Trust at Kasturbagram.Children of age group of 3-5 years are given admission in the Balwadi. They are provided nutritional breakfast and facilities of sports, painting, singing, dancing; Pottery, gardening etc. are also available for them. In this centre Bal Sevikas (Balwadi helper) are also get trained.
2. Middle School
A Basic school is run by the Trust at Kasturbagram where middle class education is given to nearby rural boys and girls. In this school, boys are admitted up to fifth standard only. This school is playing an important role in shaping of the children's career and character. To prove this aspect, besides providing formal education, activities of computer training, spinning, personality development, vipsyana camp and Meditation, general knowledge competition, games and sports etc are also arrange for students.
3. Kasturba Kanya Vidya Mandir (Girls' Higher Secondary School)
The Trust set up a higher secondary school for rural girls to inspire them to take up higher education. There was a great paucity of such schools for girls in villages; hence they were unable to continue their studies. To solve this problem this higher secondary school is being run. The major activities of this school, besides academic education, are computer training, training of spinning and weaving, tailoring, nutritional gardening and compost making etc. Apart from the above health check up camp for students, National Service Scheme camps and Gram Karya (village work) Camps are also organised for the students.
4. Kasturba Rural Institute (Girls College)
Young girls from rural areas should get such higher education befitting to meet their basic rural needs. The Rural Institute was established in 1965 with the objectives of providing young women of rural areas with higher education befitting to the conditions and basic requirements of rural areas. It is the only institute of its kind in the country. Here graduation courses in Home Science, rural developments & extension etc. are offered. This Institute has been given a status of an Autonomous University. 90 percent students belong to Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes who on completing their studies go back to their villages in far-flung areas to engage themselves in social upliftment and service to rural and tribal masses. The major activities of this institute are as follows:
Cloth Self Reliance Department
Hand spinning is one of the main parts of Gandhiji's programmes and hence importance is given to this activity like others activities. All workers, students and trainees take part in it. The Cloth Self Reliance department has its own separate role, which manages four units viz. Spinning, Weaving, Dyeing and Tailoring.
Women's Help Line (Self help plan)
The main purpose of this plan is to help women and young girls who are in distress and need help and support. Central Social Welfare Board, New Delhi, supports this plan. The toll-free telephone number of women's help line is 10921. The affected and distressed women can call this number to inform about their problems and seek assistance. To handle these cases a home committee is formed which include Doctors, Advocates etc. who are available at hand for guidance and help.
Many distressed women have taken recourse to womens Helpline. In this respect the example of Ms. Meena Doria can be cited who has been rescued from the clutches of distress and suicide attempt but now has chosen to go back to her family. There are many similar instances whose lives have been resurrected and they are leading family reunion happily.
Kasturba Jeevan Shikshan Yojna
The Trust with the financial support of Sir Ratan Tata Trust has started Kasturba Jeevan Shikshan Yojna (Scheme) for health and education in 6 Tribal villages. Due to this scheme, health awareness among the people of that area is observed. Government employees have also become active. Work relating to distribution of medicine, received from Primary Health Centre has also been done. In the field of education, stressed is given on the children of age group of school going. Every year, movement was organised to get the children admitted in the schools. Night Schools were also run in each and every village for the children who were not going to school. Library has also been started for adolescent boys due to interest has been created among them for reading newspapers and other books. Youngsters have now started to do the works of their respective villages. They have also been imparted vocational training. For the children of age group two to five years, who were deprived of advantage of Anganwadi, they are provided with the same benefit. In the anganwadies, where teachers were not available, women organizers not only perform that work efficiently, but also trained some women for the work.
Gandhi Darshan Exhibition
Gandhi Darshan exhibition is such a live and conscientious document, which enraged on walls presents a true Story of Mohan becoming Mahatma. Originated in 1969 and after travelling all over the country in meter gauge railway, this exhibition has been seen within the route all small and big towns under the able command of our Trustee Dr. S. N. Subba Rao and finally it was exhibited at Kasturbagram. At present the exhibition has been renovated and given new look.
A library is maintained with 26689 books for the Researchers, students, workers and children of nearby rural area. There are approximately 600 members and 1200 readers of this library.
Kasturba Darshan (Quarterly Magazine)
Four issues of Kasturba Darshan are published every year. In these issues, periodical & incidental articles, regular columns of health & children, mind growing & perceptive nutrient material & the special works done by the branches & departments of Kasturba Trust are incorporated.
Music department, which accomplished regular cultural activities of Kasturbagram, is playing active role since several years. Students of schools and college, trainees and workers are introduced with different modes of music by this department. The major activities under taken by this department are Special Music Classes on Tabla Mazira etc, General Music Classes, Sugam Sangeet, Bhajan, Tune, Group songs, collective music class (9-10 months), Prayer (3-4 months), taught prayer, Tunes, National Songs etc
This department of the Trust at Kasturbagram performs all the printing works of various departments of the premises.