Thursday, December 30, 2010

Survey on Gender Issues in Sundarbans, by Blanche Mattern

During few days, I stayed in Mukti Office in Nagenderpur. In order to conduct a survey on WATSAN (Water and Sanitation) issues for women, I met Mukti's coordinators and villagers from this Gram Panchayat and Kankandighi one. It was also the occasion to see the working field of Mukti. I met the women of Self Help Group (SHG) who work on exotic birds activities, visited the coconut nursery and the library.
I noticed that the Nerkel project is a really successful one and the idea of planting coconut tree on clay roads was brilliant. Indeed, coconut trees avoid soil erosion and it is the better way to avoid broken clay roads after rain falls for example.
I interviewed families and visit houses. Meetings were conducted with farmers and women SHG. As I am not a Bengali speaker, someone translate for me. I was really touched by the help of Mukti coordinators that help me a lot by organizing the meeting and all my stay there.
Contact with villagers is quite easy as they seem to respect a lot Mukti workers. The organization is conducting a goof work on the area. Mukti is not working in the Sundarbans, Mukti is a part of it.

I was really surprised to see that people do not have problems to express their daily issues. Even if you have to ask to all the men to leave a meeting, women will finally speak easily about their health problem. Villagers are really open to new technologies for example they do not hesitate to show their desire to shift from kerosene lamp to solar one.
In WATSAN issues, women ask private latrines and I was surprised to listen them explaining the side effects of common ones. As I was surprised to listen men explaining why they required the new models of tube well, with a complete picture of all the technical problems of the one they use and the benefit they could get from new models.

I was really touched to hear women answering to my question “what could be for you a development?” by their concern on women health issues, economy increasing in order to let their child study as far as they can. Even when I was speaking about the early age of marriage and first child people answered that marry their daughter too early was not a choice but an economic obligation because of the lake of income. They could not let them at school longer and spend money on education and food. If they get an other choice, they will go for it.
I travelled a lot in India, if you ask this kind of question in rural places you get used to hear that early wedding is the only choice but people can not give you a so complete explanation. Here, you do not have to make understand people, they already knows and get a global view on their daily issues.

My training at Mukti, by Blanche Mattern

Since 8 years, I am traveling and working in South Asia. As a student of “Crisis: emergency intervention and development action” MA at Université Paris I – Panthéon Sorbonne, I had to end my cursus by a 6 months-training.

I used to work since a while in Tamil Nadu, a part of India that I know well. Being a trainee at Mukti was the opportunity to work in a country that I like, I already know, but moreover, let me discover how concept of “development” is handle in other state of India.

I chose to apply for a training at Mukti because the organization seemed to serve interests that were matching with mine, we are sharing a common approach of ethic and Mukti's methodology of work is quite same as the one I like.

I could have choose to apply for a training in Tamil Nadu but I am in love with the soul of Kolkata, I already know the global issues of Sundarbans and my desire of discover other way of living and working push me to West Bengal.

Sundarbans is one of the first place in the world that will be affected by global warming issues. In few years, it seems that some islands will be erased from the map. They will disappear under the water. In this part of India villages are really remote, most of the time people leave without electricity, sufficient access to good water and sanitation. Villages are suffering of a lack of health center. There are no really practicable roads in this place. That give them a look of “doll villages” with cute roads in clay and red bricks as in the “Wizard of Oz” but reality is really hard to them. Aila salted their field and the soil can not offer the same productivity as during the past harvests. This point has a strong impact in the all life of the villagers. Indeed, most of them are farmers or daily workers. Less harvests, less food, less income...

The period spent with Mukti was the occasion to meet Mukti – India, MSD and Mukti – Kakdwip and to work with them. As President and South Asian Projects Manager of the french NGO InMaLanka, this training gave me the opportunity to make a bridge between the NGOs. It was the time to think about common goals and projects. We shared ideas. InMaLanka linked its indian partner, the NGO Desire India, with MSD after Laila damages in Andhra Pradesh and they begin to work together. Gayatri Pal, secretary of MSD, and I visited Desire India's activities in Andhra Pradesh and in Tamil Nadu and the discussions that followed bring us to a point where it was an evidence that MSD and InMaLanka should joined their hand and their efforts to make common goals concerning the condition of minorities succeed in the South of India.

This training was the opportunity to share ideas, linked NGO and people all over the world. It also give me the opportunity to see how a local NGO as Mukti can become an international network with chapter in several countries.

This time spent in India with Mukti chapters was a rich experience that bring me a lot of new knowledges concerning the Sundarbans and the idea of development in a crisis context – as Sundarbans are regularly affected by natural disasters - but also new ideas that I can use in a work purpose within the framework of InMaLanka. Moreover, this experience make me meet extraordinary people in the figure of Mukti team, beneficent of the actions and so on.

I would like to use this article to thank all the people that make this internship so interesting and I am glad to know that this collaboration is going to continue in the future.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Creative and Organized. More Information, More Features. New Look – Our New Website!

MUKTI is proud to announce our upcoming new website which reflects our ideas and activities more precisely. We like change and we believe that we need to adopt ourselves promptly with the changing situation to fulfill the dreams of thousand of needy people at every corner of the world. In the coming months you will see more and more of web-contents showcasing MUKTI’s activities.

You will notice number of improvements to the display, functionality and features in This will include expanded additional menus, easier menu navigation, fresh & new contents, galley, image slide show, videos, upcoming event lists, current projects list etc.

Mukti realizes the importance of your voice. Without your suggestions and comments we will not be to get succeed in our mission. To better cater your voice and spread the words we are introducing the connection with all solcial media sites. You will get a chance to connect to us through social media sites like LinedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube etc. With an effort to honor your own connection and network we are introducing the features like Bookmark our site, send our news to your friends and family through email, share the Mukti’s activities in your social media sites etc.

One more step …

Couple of weeks back we have started giving a shape of our all works (projects) in our website. Communicating to our well-wishers about our activities and ideology is always the high priority to us and we realize the importance of the same when we committed to keep-up the good works for the needy people across the globe.

With this aim in mind we started this drive to bring all our projects at one place so that well-wishers can get all necessary information while browsing the webpage. We talked about that in our earlier post. One consolidation page has been created to get all projects in a same place. Each project what MUKTI supports can be broadly categorized into five different sections – Education, Culture, Health, Ecology and Livelihood. This consolidated page gives you a chance to see the projects in these pre-defined categories. Visitor can even see the current and past projects under each category. Click the project title and browse the project detail page.

In project detail page we tried providing as much detail of the project possible, for example, latest news coming from project sites, related photo gallery, detail project description, goal or purpose, history of the project, project site location and project coordinator. We hope this will help you to know and follow our activities. We urge every individual to come forward and help our cause. There are many ways you can involve with us. Visit our donation page to more how you can help us to help the needy. We will come back soon at this place again in coming days with more details.

Please do comment and post your suggestion in comment section of this post.

An Effort to Provide you the Info You Need

Friends, I am not very good about writing blog. Basically content writing is not my job at all. Wanted to take this opportunity to accept valuable feedbacks on the effort to standardize our project web pages across all chapters and locations of MUKTI. This is being couple of years MUKTI is working for the needy people at various parts of India. While MUKTI was able to execute many successful projects at very grass hoot level of the society and able to serve thousands of people on their need, projects information were not been handy to the well-wishers, without whose help MUKTI could not be this what MUKTI today.

We are taking conscious effort to highlight all our works (known as ‘projects’) through our official website. Recently we came-up with a template of project pages and currently we are uploading all our project related information in our server so that at any time from any parts of World this information is available.

We would like get your feedback on this and you may contact us or write comment here to let us know how or what information may help you to know more about us and our activities. Here is example of couple of our recent projects:

Talented Students Sponsorship 2010-2011 Book Bank 2010-2011 Coaching Center 2010-2011