As part of the continued and ongoing Kalandar Rehabilitation programme, this year once again, Wildlife S.O.S. reached out to 40 more Kalandars of Naya Basera village in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. With this latest rehabilitation package Wildlife S.O.S. has managed to make a difference in the life of every Kalandar in this tiny Kalandar settlement in Central India.
One of the most developed Kalandar settlements, Naya Basera has set an example to other Kalandar villages by welcoming change with a positive stance. Every Kalandar family in Naya Basera has been the recipient of benefits of the Kalandar Rehab programme of Wildlife S.O.S. over the past few years. The efforts to help improve the quality of life of this whole community through alternative occupation, children’s education and women’s empowerment can be seen to borne maximum fruit in Naya Basera. This village tops the chart in the number of children going to school, number of girls enrolled in vocational training and number of youth seeking alternative mode of employment.
Geeta Seshamani, co founder Wildlife S.O.S. says â€œOver the last decade we have struggled to introduce modern amenities and facilities to the Kalandars and bring them into mainstream society. Looking at the changes taking place now we feel all our efforts have been duly rewarded. There’s still a long way to go but we are hopeful that with the renewed bond of faith we have developed with the community the change will be quicker and better in future.”
The 40 Kalandars who were the beneficiaries this year received help setting up businesses as varied as groceries, confectionaries, mobile vendors, semi precious stones, crockery, spices, poultry and clothe stores. Another Kalandar Sabir Miya was provide assistance with his Epileptic son’s treatment and medical expenses. Most of the beneficiaries this year are widows with families to support and older men with no economic support who were having trouble earning enough for two meals. With their new businesses that will be monitored by Wildlife S.O.S. volunteers and Kalandar Rehabilitation Project manager, these Kalandars will have a sustainable income which will also keep them busy and away from illegal activities.
Prerna Sharma, Rehabilitation project manager says ”For me it is a huge success to be able to say that the life of one whole village has been restyled into a better mode. With the Kalandars resistance to anything new and their suspicious attitude towards people outside their community it was no mean feat to go into their villages and homes and to win their trust. But ultimately all the patience and determination is now paying off. We hope to have many more success stories like Naya Basera.”