Sanju Devi Goswami, 41, is the village Pradhan. A mother of two, unassuming and ever smiling, Sanju devi is popular among the village folks. She enjoys taking visitors around her home and land holding. After all, it is a perfectly run mixed farm – conventional grains are harvested seasonally along with a variety of vegetables, and flowers. She observes, “I remember when I had come to this village after marriage, farming was the mainstay of most families. Unfortunately, the changing environment and weather have become a threat to our way of life. On my part, I am determined to overcome this challenge.” She is also part of the Haat village’s Self Help Group named Shivshankar swayam sahayata samooh. From dawn to dusk Sanju Goswami is a busy woman. Says she, “The life of hill women is extremely difficult and in families where the men don’t have permanent jobs they shoulder all burden as wives, mothers, and even farmers. A farmer’s life is intrinsically connected to nature – too little or too much sun, rain or snowfall is always bad for the land. Sewa International has helped us many ways, my yield is better and through the SHG, I am saving money every month now.” She has successfully demonstrated how, given the right support, people can effectively adapt to changing conditions and transform their lives. According to her, the time has come for farmers to take all the help they can get and adapt to newer, better ways of making farming feasible. Sewa International is committed to the cause of, not only the farmers but also empowering the fabulous and hardworking women of Uttarakhand.
Five year ago, Govind jee from SEWA International has visited our village. He told us that SEWA international want to Runa program for women development. He called us for a meeting and I came to know that SEWA is planning to open a center of embroidery learning in the village for development of women. Govind jee told that a Self Help Group of women’s will be formed in the village. It will be ensured that any women who learn embroidery will have work for every single day. In the village like Navasa having work every single day was more than anything to wish. But our question was this plan will work? We know embroidery but only for our domestic use. We were not profession than who will purchase our work. SEWA international provided us training under their Technical Training Program. In this training we learned about traditional Kutch embroidery, market trends, new color combination etc. Learning these new skills increased my earning. Now, I am to drawing Rs. 3000 to 3500/- from this work. I am also saving some money being part of Sanskar Sakhi Mandal and this gave me a sense of security for my future.