Manavlok : An Experiment in Rural Reshaping
the early 1970, a socialist group of youth began seeking solutions to
local, social and political problems with the general aim of achieving
a more just and happy society. After nearly 20 years of effort and
agitation's, they conceded that Socio-political change was not possible
without economic change. Thus in 1982 "Manavlok", a Voluntary
organization for Socio-economic up liftment of rural-poor was
established. A new experiment in rural development was launched.
"Manavlok" is located in the Ambajogai tehsil of Beed District, in Maharashtra's drought prone Marathwada area.
It works in over 180 villages in Ambajogai, Majalgaon, Parali Kaij and
Dharur Tahsil, focusing on marginal farmers, landless labourers and
In 1993 it began work in the earthquake-affected areas of the Latur and Osmanabad district.
Short Term Objectives :
1. To improve the productivity of agricultural land through timely
support for seeds, fertilizers, irrigation facilities and land
2. To create employment opportunities in area of residence to mitigate
the migration problem, giving special support to the economic
development of women and the landless via skills training, capital
3. To organise and improve the status of women, rural poor and youth through awareness programs.
Long term Objectives :
Empowering the poor
Building sustainable economic activities like processing of foods, fruits and extraction of oil etc.
Restoring the ecological balance.
Mobilising the people by creating awareness about, democratic functioning and social responsibilities.
Decentralising of programs by developing independent Subcenters.
Manaswini Mahila Project
was set up by Manavlok (Marathwada Navnirman Lokayat ) on the first of
January 1984, Manaswini's ultimate objective is the empowerment of
women through gender sensitisation, grater co-operation among men and
women in rural areas and a healthier society based at its values and
Manaswini's activities are based at its Centre in Ambajogai.
Dilasa : This is a short stay shelter home offering relief to destitute women and their children.
Legal Aid :
The family counselling service offers couples the chance to reconcile.
Free legal aid gives women the chance to make informed decisions and
exercise their political rights. These services provide psychological
support to distressed women and work towards empowering them for more
Savitribai Girl's Hostel : The Hostel provides board and lodging at concessionals rates for girls from poor rural background.
Savitri Mahila Udyog :
This is a small-scale enterprise employing a few women in catering and
in the preparation and packaging of food items, such as pickles and
Vocational Training Center :
Six-month courses in skills training including sewing, tie and dye,
bicycle and stove repair, masonry, etc. are available for needy women
and young girls.
Nadri Credit Co-operative Society :
This co-operative society provides a credit facility for its women
members that are both easily accessible and offered at a low interest
Bhumikanya Mandals :
Bhumikanya or Daughters of the Soil is the name of the village-based
women's group set up by Manavlok. They provide young girls and women
with an opportunity to discuss issues and resolve disputes. Their
awareness regarding social injustice can be raised.
Small Savings Groups :
The Bhumikanya Mandals have set up self-help small savings, credit
groups. Members who make a monthly financial contribution until a
specified amount has been collected.
Other Activities :
It has been involved in networking programmes and in the organising of
workshops for increasing problem awareness. Manaswini has also played
an active role in applying pressure on the government through the
organising of rallies that have succeed in high lighting issue such as
violence against women.
Funding : Since its inception Manaswini has received funds from TDH (Terrace Des Hommes. Germany),
IDS (India Development Services America) IFA (Indian Friends' Association, America).