Kunegaon

Tribal community once settled in hilly regions of Kunegaon at Lonavla in Maharashtra were lured out of their homes under false pretenses of better housing, electricity and water about 6 years ago by the local Patils .

Once the villagers moved, the scheming builders built palatial houses and villas on their land, sold them at exorbitant prices and dumped the illiterate villagers in far away huts without the basic necessities of water and electricity. The newly constructed resorts and villas have electricity supply but none for the settlement.In short the tribals have become refugees in their own land.

These huts gets flooded when it rains and there is no one to pay heed to their grievances. The unsuspecting villagers do not even possess birth certificates and have no way of claiming the right on their properties Our Organisation came to the aid of these unfortunate victims and created awareness among the tribals of the government schemes to build houses for them. 1.5 acre land is allotted by the government but the villagers are unaware of this.

A local volunteer appointed by us stood for local elections and endeavours to create awareness among the tribal community. The local school initiated by our organization with the government aid has been built by the villagers.The school divided in 4 classes comprises of 30 to 40 students.. Due to lack of water facilities, toilets constructed by government were closed. A school was built earlier but hadn’t opened for students due to incomplete construction. Della Construction took up the school project to complete it. Members from each household volunteered to help finish the construction of the school building.
A local resort hired some of these villagers to assist in their housekeeping, gardening and watering services. Youngsters learnt to drive but acquiring a license was difficult due to absence of birth certificate. Majority of the boys studied only till the 6th or 7th grade before quitting school. These boys while away their time by sheep grazing or doing contract labourers job. Girls work as contract laborers and manage to earn a miserly amount of Rs. 100 /day. Children aged 9 and below do not have much inclination of joining school and prefer to waste their time caring for cattle. This predicament is solely due to lack of land ownership and no education.Awareness is created by explaining to them about The NIIS institute which permits the poor and under privileged to appear for the 10th grade exam without passing the lower grades.
The drop out children have to allot barely 2 hours of study each day to scrape through the exam as for them passing in 5 subjects out of 12 is permitted. Apart from the general curriculum, the institute has subjects such as home science,typing etc. which offers its students a better chance of employment.
As the government has allotted Adivasi reservation facilities, people are encouraged to obtain these Adivasi certificates. Affidavits are provided to those who do not possess an Adivasi certification.
Awareness is created among them by educating them about various government schemes for education, jobs, promotion and housing facilities.The government is trying to encourage but the villagers are not aware of these incentives due to inadequate communication channeling sources.

In an attempt to encourage self employment, loans are arranged by government for start up of telephone booths or rickshaws. The villagers are informed about the options to make a living so that they can stay in bigger houses or government quarters.
Unfortunately, boys are prone to quitting their stable jobs inspite of earning steady wages that amount to Rs. 3,500/month. They prefer daily wages of Rs. 150 so that they don’t have to work everyday.
Drugs and tobacco use is also a problem for this group.Much of their earnings is spent on tobacco.Due to absence of saving schemes and birth certificates,savings habit is not nurtured. Children aged 9 and below do not have much inclination of joining school and prefer to waste their time caring for cattle.

Hopefully ,our organization is striving hard to reverse the damage caused to the ignorant tribals by the scheming do-gooders. .