Events & Programs by Maitri

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.

'Science with Fun' Workshop in Melghat

Ravindra and Sarita Godbole recently conducted a science workshop in Melghat. Both are parents of AksharNandan school in Pune and have also taken training from Arvind Gupta regarding 'science for kids'. Let's know more about the fun they have done with Melghat children, from their own words. 

'Maitri' arranged a workshop 'Science with Fun' in 4 school of Melghat from 4 to 7 Jan 2018. Some basic concepts of science were demonstrated through simple experiments with the help of material of day-to-day use. Each school had a 2 hours session in which 20 to 25 small science activities/ experiments were demonstrated. A few of them were performed by children by their own. Concepts like Air Pressure, Light, Colour, Sound and Energy Generation were discussed. The activities were fun for students up to 5th standard and it provided a platform to understand the science concepts for students of higher class.

Some glimpse of the workshop is available on 

On the last day, 3 hour session was conducted for local 'Village Coordinators' (Gavmitra) where they understood the experiemnts and performed the same. Detailed discussion was held with them about how to demonstrate experiments, how to search things from surroundings and conduct the experiments and lastly the importance of taking notes and writing observations. 


Special Thanks to Ram, Ashok, Ramesh and Ashwini for their help.

Next Steps

  1. Workshop for teachers of 7th to 10th standard - 2/3 days
  2. Training of Gavmitra and Planning of Activities for them
  3. Hands-on for Students

- Ravindra Godbole, Sarita Godbole

**** Now Maitri has started a yearlong project based on this theme. Join as Volunteer.  For details click  


Presentation : “The Rule of Law: Social change and wildlife conservation in Melghat”

“The Rule of Law: Social change and wildlife conservation in Melghat”

One of Maitri’s volunteers, Daniel J. Read, is a PhD candidate in the University of Georgia and the topic of his research looks at social justice and wildlife conservation. Dan has carried out most of his research in the forests of Melghat and Tadoba. This research included interviews and discussions with local people.

Dan will be sharing his findings on above topic with us. His presentation will be followed by discussions.

Well known scientist and ecologist Dr. Madhav Gadgil is going to chair this presentation.

All interested are cordially invited. 

Event : 11thh Dec 2017 (Monday) 6 to 8 pm.

Venue : Indradhanushya Hall, Opposite Sachin Tendular Jogging Track, Anant Kanhere Path, Near Mhatre Brige, Pune 411030



Anand Melava 2017 (Diwali Vacation Camp)- Melghat

For past 3 years we are conducting "आनंद मेळावा" i.e. Diwali Vacation camp in Melghat. Nearly 150-200 children from 10 villages between 6 to 11 age group participate in this. Shool children from Pune/Mumbai, their parents and some teachers go to Melghat as volunteers to conduct this camp.

This yearr, the camp is from 24th to 28th October and volunteers will start on 22nd night from Pune to go to Melghat.

"Learing should be a fun and also enlighten life" - Under this principle, we conduct many parallel and supporting activities with ZP school children of Melghat. This Diwali Vacation camp is one of such activities. It consists of various art & craft activities (drawing, painiting, origami), educational games, songs, short plays, pappet shows, simple experiments in science, collage work, outdoor games and many more....

The camp is conducted at two places at a time for 4 to 5 days. The day starts at 9 with breafast with children followed by some educational games then creating art session followed by lunch, drama/ plays, songs and ends at 5 on ground. Last day, we decorate the camp place with various artfacts made by children during camp.

Many friends and well wisher provide food grains, money, donations in kind for this workshop. Every year it get imense energy and encouragement from this camp. Would you like to experience it? Come to Melghat after this Diwali.

Newpaper Collection Drive 1 st Oct 2017

Maitri raises funds for all programs from people through various ways. ‘रद्दीतून सद्दी’ i.e. ‘Fund Raising through Old News Paper’ is one of such fund-raising activity by which anyone can participate and contribute. Maitri has raised more than 20 L through old newspaper in past 12 years.

We had a big drive of Newspaper collection on 2nd Oct 2016 in which we had approached around 110 housing societies in Pune. The appeal was to donate household Newspaper collection for a month to Maitri. We collected it on 2nd Oct and raised approximately 2.5 L by selling it.Hear more details from Maharashtra Darpan News Channel

Few societies showed interest to donate Raddi every month. As of now 15 societies are contributing regularly every month in this activity.

Like last year we are going to do Raddi Collection on 1st Oct Sunday as Melghat Fund Raising activity. Last year we approached nearly 110 housing societies. We have started communication with those again. We need volunteers for this activity at various locations? Would you like to become a volunteer?

Do you want to start Raddi Collection in your housing society?

Run for Maitri.....

Harshad Pendse from Pune, a dedicated Marathon runner and a sensitive volunteer of Maitri since 2011. This year he thought of a very innovative idea for raising fund for Melghat work. He made an appeal on Facebook and Mayboli about it. Sharing his own words.

I have registered myself for "Khardung La challenge" (72 km) which is scheduled on 9th Sep 2017 at Ladakh. I am dedicating this run to Maitri, an NGO that works in Melghat a tribal area in Amaravati district of Maharashtra. Maitri is in need for funds to keep their programs in hand operational. I have personally visited Melghat while volunteering for Maitri and appeal all of you to donate generously for the nobel cause. I intend to have minimum 72 donors who will donate minimum 1000 rupees to Maitri.....

So far 70 plus people have responded to his appeal and the total donation to Maitri through his drive has reached Rs 1.5 lakh plus. Harshad, "Maitri" is proud of volunteers like you !

Trash into Cash

Friends of Maitri are all over the world. A friend in USA heard about 'Old Newspaper Collection Drive' of Maitri and decided to do something similar in her area. Her son and some friends came together and worked out a plan. They donated the amount received to Maitri. She has shared about this drive as below.

Hello Friends!

We are so grateful dear friends for your generous monetary and CANS donations to make our project “Trash into Cash” first attempt a big success.

We (Me and Ishan - a third year student at Ravenwood High School) are implementing a service project we are calling "Trash into Cash". This initiative aims to sponsor children in rural India so that they can receive a basic education in their primary years.

Our first thought was to simply support by donating cash but Ishan and I decided that we wanted to get our community involved with us. Together we can make a tremendous impact with small acts of generosity!

We are collecting USED CANS (aluminum or other) and will convert these into cash. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to a non-profit organization called Maitri (friendship) based in India. Its volunteers are some of my close friends and we are confident that the donations are in good hands. Please click on the link for more information about the organization (  

We would appreciate any help from you. Your kind donations are greatly appreciated as well. We can collect the cans from your home. Please let us know what works best.

We are so thankful for your generosity and are excited to witness the change we can make alongside with you.

Wishing you happy Holidays!

Ishan and Leena

Dhadak Mohim 2017

Dhadak Mohim in 2017 started from 22nd Jul.

"Dhadak Mohim is a life time experience for us" - this is the first sentence we hear from Dhadak Mohim volunteer.

Remote villages in Melghat, volunteers coming from many odd places all over Maharashtra, the green and calm nature....

Working with people who have different culture, who speak different language, who have different beliefs than yours.....

Visiting each household, giving medicines, doing councelling and so many things which one has never done before....

One can write many lines on these 7 days but when you experience it yourself then only you will get the real insight. So be part of it by joining as volunteer for this year. Read out for more details.


Our Language, Our Books and Our Library

In Melghat like tribal areas, children and teachers always face problem related to understanding of language. Geographically Melghat is in Maharashtra hence Marathi is the medium of teaching in the schools. All the prescribed books are in state language-Marathi, but mother tongue of ‘Korku’ tribe is ‘Korku’ named language without script. They do speak in Hindi as their neighbouring state is Madhya Pradesh. It becomes very difficult for the children in primary schools to understand and learn new language in the very beginning of school. Children do not get attracted towards books and do not take any interest in reading the books. Learning unknown language in Schools, and going through, or observing irrelevant pictures and topics is boring for them. If they see or even listen to stories based on their day to day routine, pictures drawn and sketches based on festivals, forest or animals then they can easily relate to their own experiences.

The book full of pictures and drawings, easy to understand even at primary level, was not available. Up to 2014 a single- bilingual book was not available for the children in Melghat. (Marathi and Korku) Mulgami publication, under the guidance of acclaimed Consultant in Education, Ms. Varsha Saharabuddhe, with the help of Tata Trust, prepared few books for Bhill and Pawra’s of Nadurbar district.

Taking inspiration and help from the same resource, “MAITRI” brought in a set of three books of nine stories in Marathi and Korku.  At the time Diwali vacation, books were distributed to all the Children in the camp, their reactions and expressions were very special. Looking at the enthusiastic welcome for the books, thought of bringing many bilingual books for them is very necessary. But there is limitation of funds for publishing more such books.

Along with the bilingual books, idea of ‘Book Bank’ has been implemented in five villages. Volunteers of ‘Mayboli’ and few volunteers from Mumbai helped for Book Bank. A Box full of books and few periodicals has been made available for children and youngsters. These books are in Marathi -Hindi and English. Our local worker known as ‘Gavmitra’ maintains a record of books. The next step is towards weekly book reading in the group. The idea is, in that group, younger children in the village will listen to stories read or told for them by elder children. Eventually they will discuss news items from the newspapers and thus ‘culture of reading’ can be inculcated.

100 Days School

"100 Days school" is a symbolic concept used in education. Many a times running a regular school becomes difficult. But children at particular age can pick up certain abilities and then continue their formal education in lesser time. Concept of school for 100 days, has been initiated particularly for the children of migrant workers like sugarcane cutters or for the children of brick kiln workers. In village Padsare in district Raigad, a 100 day’s school was opened. In the premises of various Sugarcane factories, “Sakharshala” named schools were opened for the children of sugarcane cutters in Maharashtra. That experiment was conducted by Jnana Prabodhini Pune. On similar basis, “MAITRI"volunteers decided to run a 100 day’s school for children in Melghat.

Many children are unable to go to school, or drop out of school due to various reasons. For them bringing back to school is very difficult task. “MAITRI” volunteers came across many such school drop outs in Melghat and decided to bring them back to main stream education through 100 days school. With the help of volunteers, one residential 100 day’s school was started in Melghat. In village Chilhati in Melghat, MAITRI runs a training centre and office. For 32 Girls and 10 Boys the school was started on 10 December 2011 to 3 March 2012.Total 42 children were between the age group of 8 to 12 years.

42 children were placed in 4 different groups depending upon their language and mathematical abilities. The aim was to teach basic concepts of language and mathematics. With the help of many teachers curriculum was designed. Training for the volunteers going for 100 day’s school was organised. It was regarding content and methods of teaching. Every week 4 to 5 volunteers were going to Melghat and stayed there with children. Two workers were full timers and coordinated the activity.

Total 52 volunteers ranging from 18 to 62 years with different educational backgrounds, self employed and even professionals, businessmen, house wives worked as teachers. They have contributed for their travel and stay in Melghat and have contributed with their skills and time, a very valuable resource.

Being a residential school, morning to night timetable and activities were well chalked out and even shared with all the volunteers. Routine was set with healthy habits and even nutritious food was provided at fixed intervals. Creative activities, sports, songs and story-telling sessions were planned. After every 15 days children were send home for holiday.

Learning for children:

After 100 Day’s School- learning for “MAITRI”

It was very difficult while running the residential school even for 100 days. But more difficult task was future of education of these children. 40 children needed help to take admissions in Ashram School (residential school) and “Maitri” to review their progress from time to time was the learning for the team of volunteers engaged in the activity.

Based on above learning “MAITRI-School” was the activity designed and conducted for Melghat-Education.

Educational Aids Making Workshop - Maitri & TIETO

२०१२ मध्ये सप्टेंबर महिन्याच्या प्रारंभी पुण्यातील Tieto या कंपनीच्या लोकांबरोबर "मैत्री"ने एक वेगळा उपक्रम केला. या कंपनीतील  "श्री हर्षल असलेकर" हे आपले स्वयंसेवक आहेत. मंगळवार बैठकीत कमला नेहरू उद्यानात आले असताना त्यांनी सांगितले की त्याच्या कंपनीमधील ६०-७० जणांचा गट मैत्रीकरता काही मदत करू इच्छितो.  नुसती आर्थिक मदत करण्यापेक्षा काही काम करण्यात त्यांना विशेष रस होता. त्यादृष्टीने एक दिवसात काय करता येईल असा विचार करताना एक कल्पना पुढे आली की आपण शैक्षणिक साधने या गटाच्या मदतीने बनवू शकतो ज्यांचा "मैत्री शाळा" उपक्रमात उपयोग करता येईल.
शनिवार १ सप्टेंबर २०१२ या दिवशी सकाळी ९:३० ते दुपारी ४:०० अशी ही कार्यशाळा आपण घेतली. मैत्रीच्या वतीने अश्विनी धर्माधिकारी व शोभा केळकर यांनी कार्यशाळेची आखणी केली होती. भाषा व गणित यामधील मूलभूत कौशल्ये शिकवण्याकरता खालील साधने आपण या कार्यशाळेत बनवली.

१. डॉमिनो कार्ड - मोजणी, अंकज्ञान याकरता
२. डॉट कार्ड - मोजणी, अंकज्ञान याकरता
३. दशक एकक संकल्पना पत्ते
४. कमी जास्त (फरक) संकल्पना पट्ट्या
५. मूळाक्षर पत्ते
६. शब्द शिड्या
७. बाराखडी चिन्हे
८. चित्र व शब्द जोड पत्ते
९. मूळाक्षर घरे
१०. शब्द पत्ते

मेळघाटातील ३ शाळांना पुरेशी होतील इतकी साधने या दिवशी आपण बनवू शकलो.  
१०० दिवसांच्या शाळेत शिकवण्याकरता गेलेले मयूर भावे, सुनील कुलकर्णी, मधुरा खाडे, प्राची कुलकर्णी, श्रद्धा केळकर आणि विद्या चिकटे मदतीला आले होते. तसेच सचिन पूर्णवेळ आणि वैशाली, मधू काही वेळ मदतीला होते. Tieto कंपनी चे ५० ते ६० जण या कार्यशाळेत सहभागी झाले. काही आपल्या कुटुंबीयांसमवेत आले होते.  अतिशय उत्साहाने, चिकाटीने नवीन कल्पना व सर्जनशीलता वापरून मंडळी दिवसभर काम करत होती.

कार्यशाळा संपताना Tieto मधील श्री मंगेश शिंदे म्हणाले की "खूप दिवसांनी असे काहीतरी हाताने वस्तू बनवण्याचे काम आम्ही केले. मेळघाटातील शैक्षणिक कामात छोट्या स्वरूपात आम्हाला सहभागी होता आले याचा आनंद वाटतो."  अनेकांनी आपल्या भावना व्यक्त करताना म्हटले की मुलांना शिकवण्याकरता ही साधने आम्ही बनवली पण ती बनवत असताना आम्हालाच खूप काही शिकता आले आणि खूप आनंद मिळाला. सुट्टीचा दिवस अशा कामाकरता आपण देवू शकलो याबद्दल खूप समाधान वाटते आहे.

या कार्यशाळेचा संपूर्ण खर्च व साहित्याचा खर्च Tieto ने केला. मेळघाटात चिलाटी येथे मुलांकरता वाचनालय सुरु करण्यासाठी पुस्तके व कपाट यासाठी त्यांनी देणगी दिली. तसेच मैत्रीच्या ग. रा. पालकर शाळेच्या कामासाठीही त्यांनी मदत केली आहे. ९ सप्टेंबर ला या शाळेच्या मुलांना फुलगाव व वढू तुळापुर येथे नेण्याकरता त्यांनी कंपनीची बस दिली होती.

"शैक्षणिक साधने बनवण्याच्या" या कार्यशाळेमुळे "मैत्री" ला लोकांना सहभागी करून घेण्याचा एक नवा मार्ग मिळाला आहे. मेळघाटातील उपक्रमात  सहभागी होवू शकत नसलेल्या अनेकांना यातून कामाची संधी मिळणार आहे.अशा अनेक कार्यशाळा दरवर्षी घेता आल्या तर खूप मदत होईल. याची सुरुवात Tieto कडून झाली याबद्दल हर्षल असलेकर व त्यांच्या सर्व सहकाऱ्यांना मनःपूर्वक धन्यवाद.