Rural Community Development

As part of a broader initiative in its mission against alcohol and substance abuse, Maria Ashiana took on the task of changing the very character of Pangloli village.

Located in a hilly area ,far from Mumbai, Pangloli is a village of tribal community. Unlike most villages in rural India, the key issue was not poverty but alcoholism, which afflicted 90% of the male population, 60 % of the female population and 50% of adolescents.
The primary target of the project was to wean away the adolescents from liquor and in the process also change the mindset and established ways of the adult population.

Key aspects that went into the project implementation were:
• Participatory strategy leading to empowerment, with a focus on prevention
• Involvement of the target group from the outset
• Work within the social and cultural framework of the village.
• Creating awareness among the adolescents (core) in different areas such as- social, political, economic, physical, educational etc.
• Engagement youth in productive activity to reduce propensity to consume alcohol.
• Vocational training to provide focus and enhance standard of living.
• Creating self-help groups in order to make the project self-sustainable.

The project has delivered on its anti-alcoholism focus. Pangloli Village today has seen a reduction in the number of alcoholism cases. 
After completion of a year of work in the village, the project has accomplished:
• Good rapport with the the community
• Awareness in the community about alcoholism, health and hygiene, education etc.
• Vocational training and increased admission of children in schools.
• Recognition by the villagers of the importance of identity documentation and participation in mainstream politics and governance at the local level
• The attitude of self help ( Villagers are solving their own problems like, stopping the transfer of the school to other village, activism in preventing land grabbing, securing voter ID cards, etc. )
• Villagers to take initiative in educating other villagers etc.

While the number is by itself significant, the human story behind the numbers is a moving one…committed volunteers, the struggle of the individual and the community with a deep rooted problem, the tears of disappointment and the quiet joy of Pangloli, finally, at a hard earned victory.