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Kerala Relief Work Story 3

A temporary home for Vanaja

Vanaja lives in Maitra colony with her two sons, Vipin and Vinu. Her husband was a toddy tapper and a union member. After he died 8 years ago, Vanaja worked as an EGS labourer. She gave up this work due to medical reasons. Her sons, Vipin who is a welder and Vinu, a construction worker, are the earners in the family.
Flood waters submerged their home under water for 6 days. She and her sons stayed on a neighbour’s roof until they were rescued and moved to the relief camps. Here, they stayed for 17 days.

They returned to Maitra to find their home badly damaged. The rear side of the house had collapsed. The building was also damaged inside. Vanaja had built this house on a loan taken from the village credit cooperative society. To get the loan, she had to submit her land ownership documents to the society. Without help from the government, it would be impossible for her to repair or reconstruct her home.

It was unsafe to stay in their homes and so Vanaja shifted to the neighbour’s home. Vipin used his welding skills to begin the construction of a temporary shelter. When we visited for the second time, he had already a structure ready. MAITRI helped by providing bricks for the side wall and tin sheets and plastic sheets for the roof. Cost Rs. 15,000/-

Kerala Relief Work Story 2

Helping Annie return home!

Life has not been kind to Annie the past five years. When her family decided to demolish their old home and build a new one, little did they know that things would take a turn for the worse. Two family members died within a short span. Annie and her brother’s son Jofy were left to repay two loans, each of Rs. 60 thousand, that they had borrowed from a local bank and a local credit society, for the construction of their new home.

Jofy, 30 years of age, became sick with rat fever. Half of the loan had to be spent on his prolonged treatment. Annie managed to build the foundation of the new house from the remaining money.

Annie herself was diagnosed with cardiac problem and was advised by her doctor not to do hard physical labour. Jofy, who is a construction site worker and Annie, an EGS labourer, could barely work to bring food on the table because of their illnesses.

Meanwhile, they applied to the Gram Panchayat for support under the government housing scheme. They put up some sort of temporary shelter until their new home was ready. This shelter was completely washed away by the floods. Annie and Jofy managed to patch up this structure with help from neighbours. However, with no clear indicators from the government about any compensation for the damage, it was clear that they needed to strengthen the shelter themselves.

With MAITRI’s help, Annie and Jofy would be able to build a stronger shelter that would last them at least 3-4 years.

There were tears in Annie’s eyes as we discussed the plan for her temporary shelter with her. MAITRI has provided 20 x 12 feet shelter, with 2 feet wall, concretized flooring, bamboo paneling for side walls and a plastic sheet and tin sheets for roof. MAITRI is also helping her with utensils and a cot. Cost: Rs. 45,000/- approximately.

Kerala Relief Work Story 1

Amaldas and his family are back home!

Amaldas, wife Sindhu, son Messy and daughter have repaired their home damaged by the floods with MAITRI’s help and are safe and secure.

Amaldas works as a labourer in a company that makes cement blocks. After the floods, the company was closed for a month and he was out of work. Though the company has started production, it is not fully operational and Amaldas works only for 3 days a week.

Amaldas received funds from the Gram Panchayat under the government housing scheme and had almost completed the construction of his home. During the floods, his house was completely submerged for 3 days. The water pressure damaged the corners of the building, causing the walls to crack and the roof to fall. The building became unsafe, forcing the entire family to move to Sindhu’s parents’ house.
Water had seeped in to such an extent that the house was still collapsing from the moisture when we visited. We asked him to bring down the roof tiles so as to prevent them from breaking.

Amaldas wanted a temporary shelter. However, in discussions with him, it emerged that with little help, his home could be repaired and made livable.

Amaldas spent his off days to work with his wife and son on the repairs of his home, and within 3 weeks, his home was ready to live in.

Materials - Rs 18,770 /- Labour - Rs 26,900 /-
Total - Rs 45670 /-  Maitri's Contribution - Rs 24,670 /-
Kerala Flood Relief Program

After hearing about the Keral disaster, Vinita Tatke and Shirish Joshi, two volunteers of Maitri went to see and review the situation. 2 more volunteers joined them later. They were also accompanied by 2 persons understanding the local language.

Shirish experienced in relief work during 8 natural disasters including Tsunami and Konkan floods and
Vinita, an expert in social analysis, who has an experience of working in similar conditions with MAITRI along with many international organisations. They spent 8 days to understand the situation and to decide what should be our direction to work for rehabilitation. Please read the details onघराकडे-परत-चला-मैत्री-चा-केरळ-पुरानंतरचा-प्रतिसाद-a200f74ade34


Check this appeal created by one vounteer for Kerala. 


Shirish and Vinita were sending us updtes about the happenings during their visit to the flood areas. We are making these updates available here. It would be good to read this to have better understanding of the situation and our chosen way of rehabilitation method.

२७ ऑगस्ट २०१८ “मैत्री” - केरळ पूरग्रस्त सहाय्य कार्यक्रम - वृत्तांत पहिला

केरळच्या महापूरग्रस्त भागात "मैत्री" चे दोन अनुभवी "मित्र" थोड्याच वेळात पोचतील.. शिरीष ज्यानी त्सुनामी, कोकण पूर अशा ८ राष्ट्रीय संकटात "मैत्री"च्या कामाचं नेतृत्व केलं आणि विनिता जिचा अशा कामाचा आंतरराष्ट्रीय संस्थांबरोबरचा अनुभव आहे असे दोघेजण आत्ता थोड्याच वेळात दाखल होतील.. घाई घाई करून काही तरी केल्यासारखं करून फोटो काढून घ्यायचे असं "मैत्री" कधीच करत नाही.. ते सविस्तर आढावा घेऊन कामाची दिशा (कुठे, काय, कसं, किती, केंव्हा करायचं?) ठरवतील. त्यांनी पाठवलेला पहिला "परिस्थिती अहवाल) ... *"आम्ही आज पहाटे केरळकडे निघालो. पूर व भूसखलनाने (landslides) झालेला विध्वंसाचे परिणाम व मैत्रीला काय काम करता येईल याची चाचपणी करण्याचा आमचा प्रयत्न आहे. तिथे मदतकार्यात असलेल्या काही स्वयंसेवकांकडून कळलेल्या माहितीनुसार काही भागामध्ये पुराने घरे उद्धवस्त केल्यामुळे छावण्यांतून घरी गेलेले लोक परत छावण्यात परत येत आहेत. वायनाड जिल्ह्यात पूर परिस्थिती नसली तरी भूसखलनामुळे आदिवासींची घरे व जमिनी गेल्या आहेत. स्थानिक स्वयंसेवकांना सोबत घेऊन आम्ही वायनाड, थिस्सूर, पालक्कड, कोची या परिसरात जाण्याचा आमचा विचार आहे."* ...

२७ ऑगस्ट २०१८ “मैत्री” - केरळ पूरग्रस्त सहाय्य कार्यक्रम - वृत्तांत दुसरा

"मैत्री" ची अनुभवी टीम केरळात पोचून तिथल्या स्थानिक संस्थांबरोबर संपर्क करून नुकसानीचा नेमका अंदाज (लोकांची अडचण काय, गरज काय, कुठे) घेण्याचं काम करते आहे.. ते आत्ता पलक्कड जिल्ह्यात असून थ्रिसूर मधील चेल्लाकुडीला निघाले आहेत.

प्रत्येक नैसर्गिक संकटाचं स्वत:चं वेगळेपण असतं. ते देखील ते संकट कुठे आलं आहे आणि कधी झालं आहे ह्यावरही गोष्टी बदलतात. उदाहरणार्थ : भूकंप असेल तर हाडांचे शल्यविशारद लागतात, चक्रीवादळात घरांचं नुकसान होतं, अचानक पूर (flash flood) असेल तर जिवीतहानी होते, महापूरात लोकांना तात्पुरत्या निवासात हलवावं लागतं, तिथे "स्वच्छता, शौचालयं" अशा गरजा असतात..

केरळात आत्ता ह्या क्षणी पाणी ओसरल्यामुळे लोकांना आपापल्या घराची काळजी असल्यानं ते तात्पुरत्या निवासातून पुन्हा गावात गेले आहेत. साफसफाई करत आहेत. आपल्या चीजवस्तू शोधत आहेत.. छोटी मुलं, म्हातारे, महिला मात्र तात्पुरत्या निवासात आहेत. आता थोड्याच दिवसात साथीचे, त्वचेचे रोग सुरू होतील. त्यावर लक्ष ठेवलं पाहिजे.. केरळात काही ठिकाणी पुराबरोबर भू-स्खलन (land slides) झाल्याचंही "मैत्री"चं निरीक्षण आहे. आत्ता “मैत्री”च्यासमवेत स्थानिक कार्यकर्ते आहेत. त्यांच्याशिवाय काही करता येणार नाही. नुसतं धावत धावत जाऊन काहीतरी "टाकून" (dump) येणं चुकीचं ठरेल असं त्यांनी ठरवलं आहे.

केरळातील एक-दोन किंवा जशी ताकद असेल तशी थोडी दुर्लक्षित पण निसर्गानं भीषण तांडव घातलेली गावं निवडून तिथे थोड्या लांब पल्ल्याचं पुनर्वसनाचं काम करावं अशी "मैत्री" ची योजना आहे...

२८ ऑगस्ट २०१८ “मैत्री” - केरळ पूरग्रस्त सहाय्य कार्यक्रम - वृत्तांत तिसरा
नेनमारा पंचायत मधील चेरूमकाडू गावात “मैत्री” ची टीम पोचली.. ह्यागावातील उन्नीकृष्णन, गंगाधर आणि मणिकंदन ह्या तिघांच्या घरावर १६ ऑगस्टच्या पहाटे त्यांच्या घरामागे असलेला अख्खा डोंगरच कोसळला. त्या डोंगरावर जरा रबराची झाडं असल्यानं मातीचा डोंगर त्यामानानं कमी जोरानं आला. परंतु त्यांची घरं लाल मातीच्या चिखलात पूर्णपणे दबली. एकूण दहा जण मृत्यूमुखी पडले, फक्त तिघे वाचले. एक गंगाधर, जो जवळच्या हॉस्पिटलात उपचार घेतो आहे. त्याची बायको आणि मुलगी घराबाहेर जोरात धावले आणि वाचले.

अशाच कथा सर्वत्र आहेत.

गावातली सगळी माणसं शाळेत हलवण्यात आली होती. शाळा म्हणजे तात्पुरता निवारा बनवला होता. काही दिवस शाळेत राहिल्यावर आता माणसं घराकडे परतू लागली आहेत. सध्या लोक दिवसभर आपल्या घरापाशी जातात. जितकं जमेल तितकं साफ करतात. काही चीजवस्तू मिळताहेत का ते पहातात आणि रात्री आपल्या तात्पुरत्या निवासात (रिलीफ कॅंम्प) परत येतात.

स्थानिक भाषा येते अशा “मित्रांसोबत” “मैत्री” ची टीम काम करते आहे. अजून थोड्याच वेळात “मैत्री” जरा लांब पल्ल्याचं काय काम करता येईल ते ठरवेल.. सोबत दोन फोटो… एक भू-स्खलनाचा आणि दुसरं एका मुलानं त्या दिवशीच्या पुराचं काढलेलं चित्रं… किती बोलकं चित्रं आहे पहा...

२८ ऑगस्ट २०१८ “मैत्री” - केरळ पूरग्रस्त सहाय्य कार्यक्रम - वृत्तांत चौथा
चला, घराकडे परत चला.

“मैत्री” टीम थ्रिसूर जिल्ह्यातील माला मंडलातील कुळ्ळुर गावात पोचली. तिथले स्थानिक मनोज (गाईड) आणि कार्यकर्ता गौतम ह्यांच्याबरोबर त्यांनी भेटीगाठी सुरू केल्या. कुळ्ळूर हे गाव चेल्लाकुडी नदीवर वसलं आहे. पूर आला तेंव्हा ह्याच नदीचं पात्र फुगून ते सुमारे ५ किलोमीटर्स पसरलं. २५,००० लोकवस्ती असलेल्या ह्या गावात ५,००० लोक भयानकपणे बाधीत झाले आहेत. त्यांची सुटका करून त्यांना ३ तात्पुरत्या निवासात (रिलीफ कॅम्प) हलवलं गेल होतं. साधारण तीन ते चार पुरुष पाणी चढलं होतं.

“आम्ही तिथे पोचलो तेंव्हा दुपारची वेळ होती. लोक कॅम्प मधून आपल्या घरापाशी येऊन काय काय शिल्लक उरलंय ते पहात होते.” विनिता, मैत्री स्वयंसेवक पुढे म्हणाली “त्या कॅम्पमध्ये त्यांना खायला मिळतं आहे. त्यांना घर साफ करायला साहित्य मिळतं आहे आणि सरकार त्यांना काही जीवनावश्यक गोष्टी देऊन त्यांनी त्यांच्या त्यांच्या घरात परत जावं अशा प्रयत्नात आहे.”

पिण्याच्या पाण्याचा मोठा प्रश्न आहे कारण विहिरी गाळानं भरल्या आहेत. त्या साफ करून घेण्याचं “मैत्री”नी ठरवलं आहे. तसंच वस्ती पातळीवर सामुहिकपणे जेवण्याची सोय (कम्युनिटी किचन) सुरू करावं असा विचार आहे म्हणजे लोकांचं जास्तीत जास्त लक्ष आपापली घरं साफ करणं आणि पुन्हा जीवन पूर्वपदाला आणण्यावर राहील. फार मोठ्या प्रमाणावर गुरं मरून पडली आहेत. त्यांना उचलणे आणि साफ करणे ही कामं करण्यासाठी “मैत्री” स्थानिक लोकांना मदत करते आहे..

विहिरी साफ करण्यासाठी सध्या “मैत्री” ला एक पाणी उपसण्याचा पंप घ्यायचा आहे. ( रूपये १८,०००) तसंच तिथलं कम्युनिटी किचन चालवायला (इथे धान्य मिळतं आहे, उपलब्ध आहे) काही खर्च येणार आहे. सध्या तरी कामाचा हाच फोकस आहे. बाकी काही असेल तर कळवत राहूच.. 

Dhadak Mohim 2018

The news of the onset of monsoon every year is invariably accompanied by news of increased infant deaths in Melghat. The pathos of the tragedy hits us when we read the statistics but gets lost in the hectic pace of our own lives.  At this very critical juncture, the group of volunteers at “Maitri” is intensely busy planning the Dhadak Mohim at Melghat and the phones start ringing to find out more about this initiative.

This year from 20th July to 30th September, 2018 Maitri’s volunteers will launch, yet again, its annual Dhadak Mohim initiative. We will be working with Korku people in 10 remote villages of Melghat from Chikaldhara block. In 2018 our volunteers are determined to achieve their mission of not allowing a single infant death to occur in the three monsoon months. Our plan is to enlist the help of 10 groups of volunteers with 10 volunteers in each group totaling to a total of 110 volunteers. Our target this year is to also involve as many local Melghat youth as possible in this initiative to work alongside the Maitri volunteers.

It is truly unfortunate that in a developed state like Maharashtra, 65 years after independence, we continue to witness infants and children deaths in Melghat caused by lack of primary healthcare to treat common everyday ailments. While the Government is certainly accountable for solutions, we as responsible citizens of the state can certainly contribute our mite towards alleviating the tragedy. Efficient Government processes augmented by alert and timely volunteering could significantly avert infant deaths and reduce infant mortality in a big way. Health education with a mission to reduce infant mortality is the mantra for our Dhadak Mohim.

We invite you to the Maitri Dhadak Mohim volunteering opportunity. We will collaborate with the village people, protect them from communicable diseases and put brakes on malnutrition and infant deaths.

You could provide invaluable support by helping us in many different ways:

  • You could work with us in Melghat for 10 days or more
  • Inspire your friends/family/colleagues to join us as volunteers
  • Provide information about our Dhadak Mohim initiative in educational institutes in your neighborhood.
  • Can contribute the cost of food for one volunteer is Rs. 1500/-
  • You can sponsor travel cost of one volunteer which is Rs. 2000/-. You could help us with your donations for food for 1 batch [includes ration and vegetables] – cost Rs.5000/-
  • You could help us with donations of rations, medicines and first aid kits.
  • You can sponsor Jeep expenses for 1 trip of jeep to the site with volunteers - cost Rs.4500/-

Just your good wishes alone would also go a long way in encouraging and helping us go further....

Contact: Maitri Office (02025450882/ 8605914086), Rameshwar Phad (9404103706), Dr. Abhijit Kasture (9970547016),  Raju Kendre (7066136624),  Rushi Andhalkar (9423788541)

For Online Registration and more details, visit the blog Blog - Dhadak Mohim 2018 for more details 


धडक मोहीम वेळापत्रक  

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'Maitri' Annual Program & 'Indradhanu 2018' Publication

शनिवार १४ जुलै २०१८ या दिवशी  'मैत्री' चा वार्षिक कार्यक्रम सुंदर रितीने संपन्न झाला.  एस. जोशी सभागृह, नवी पेठ, पुणे या ठिकाणी सायंकाळी ६ वाजता कार्यक्रमासा सुरुवात झाली.

या वर्षी या कार्यक्रमाकरता बाहेरील मान्यवर आमंत्रित नव्हते.
मैत्रीचीच अनिल शिदोरे, मुकुंद केळकर, शिरिष जोशी, अशोक धिकार, काळू बेठेकर, ओंकार भोपळे ई. मंडळी व्यासपीठावर विराजमान होती.
अनिल शिदोरे यांनी मैत्रीची गेली २१ वर्षे कशी गेली आणि पुढे काय काय करायचे आहे या संदर्भाने आपले म्हणणे मांडले आणि एकंदरित कार्यक्रमाचे सुत्र संचालनही केले.

  • शिरीष जोशी यांनी शेतीविषयक हाती घेतलेल्या कार्यक्रमा विषयी माहिती दिली.
  • अशोक धिकार हे 'मैत्री' चे मेळघाट मधील स्थानिक कार्यकर्ते आहेत, ते धडक मोहिमे विषयी बोलले.
  • काळू बेठेकर हे मैत्रीचे निदान गेली दहा वर्षांपासूनचे स्थानिक कार्यकर्ते, ते मेळघाटातल्या सर्वात मोठ्या ग्रामपंचायतीचे सरपंच आहेत त्यांनी ते सरपंच का झाले आणि त्यानंतरचा अनुभव सांगितला.
  • ओंकार भोपळे यांनी मैत्रीचे कार्यकर्ते म्हणून पहिल्याच वर्षी काम करताना एक पूल कसा बांधला त्याबद्दल जीवन समृध्द करणारा अनुभव सांगीतला तसेच चालू शैक्षणिक वर्षात मेळघाटात राबवल्या जाणार्‍या मैत्री शाळा – मेळघाट २०१८ –१९ मैत्री गणित विज्ञानाशी ह्या उपक्रमा विषयी माहिती दिली. तपशीलासाठी पहा विज्ञान गणिताची 'मैत्री' शाळा

मैत्रीचे अ-नियतकालीक इंद्रधनूचे प्रकाशन ही यावेळेस करण्यात आले. Indradhanu Jul 2018  या दुव्यावर ते पाहता येईल. 

मुकुंद केळकरांनी रक्तदान नेत्रदान आणि पावसाच्या पाण्याला जमिनीत मुरवणे ह्या तीन गोष्टी काळाची गरज बनल्या आहेत आणि त्या संदर्भात प्रत्येकाने आपापल्या पातळीवर कार्य करणे गरजेचे आहे असे प्रतिपादन केले.

जयुताईंनी आभार प्रदर्शन केले आणि नेहेमी प्रमाणे माधवी केळकर हिने सुरेल आवाजात गायलेल्या पसायदानाने कार्यक्रमाची सांगता झाली.


Maitri Shala - Science & Maths

In January 2018, Maitri conducted 3 day workshop of 'Science with Fun' in Melghat. Some of the glimpses of this fun are available on

We concluded the workshop by doing planning for a Yearlong project of 'Teaching Science to Ashramshala children with help of volunteers'.

The main objective of this project is

  • To encourage the local children of Melghat towards education, particularly science and maths. To make these subjects more fun and less fearful for them.
  • To raise the curiosity and interest of children by teaching them through practical experiments and real life examples.

Ashram School at Jarida village of Melghat has been selected for this. The project outline is somewhat like this

  • Every month a batch of volunteers (4-5 in number) will go to Melghat and stay in this Ashramshala.
  • 5th and 6th standard students of this school will participate.
  • The volunteers will teach science topics throgh experiments. 
  • The children will perform the experiments themselves.
  • They will be given some worksheets to srenthen the theory behind these experiments.
  • Thus it will be learning sccience concepts by 'doing first and then understanding'. 
  • The school teachers will also be involved so that they can solve the queries in absence of volunteers. 
  • Yearlong program (2/3 days per month) will assure continuity of learning.

The pilot batch for this project was conducted from 15th-16th March 2018. It was a team led by an active Maitri volunteer Omkar Bhopale (Aeronautical Engineer), along with 3 other volunteers, Shatakshi Gawade (Journalist), Rahul Sakhare (Electronics Engineer) and Apoorva Safai (Biomedical Engineer). The details can be seen in

We need young enthusiastic volunteers for this project who can get associated with Melghat tribal children. Every month at least 4 volunteers are required. Please contact Omkar Bhopale (98233 03065) for more details. We will shortly annouce the yearly schedule for you.

The yearly schedule for the program is as below. Book your days and be part of a wonderful experience.

Jul 2018 - 18 to 21                      Aug 2018 - 8 to 11                           Sep 2018 - 5 to 8

Oct 2018 - 3 to 6                        Nov 2018 - 28 to 1                           Dec 2018 - 26 to 29

Jan 2019 - 25 to 28                     Feb 2019 - before MahaShivratri          Mar 2019 - before Holi

We need volunteers for Nov onwards. Please contact Omkar Bhopale (98233 03065) if you wish to participate as volunteer.

The details of this project are available in power point presentation format here -

Be A Change Maker. Be Maitri Volunteer.

Runathon of Hope - Half marathon by Rotary Club Nigdi

For past two years, young boys and girls from Melghat are coming to Pune to participate in 'Runathon of Hope', (half marathon) conducted by Rotary Club, Nigdi. "Maitri" a Pune based voluntary organization which works in Melghat is coordinating with these boys and girls.
We feel happy to share that few of them achieved good ranks in the Runathon last year. Two of them also got jobs in Forest Department due to their running skill.
This year 14 boys and girls are coming to Pune to particiate in the runathon in February 2018. Like every year, Tata Motors is making arrangements for their stay, diet, training and practice. However their travel, purchase of tracksuits & shoes is going to cost Rs 5500/- per person. Maitri needs to raise funds for this cause from sports loving friends like you.
We request you to extend some help towards this cause. We would be grateful to you if you can circulate this among your circles.