We have an End: The glory of the Heart of Jesus.A Mission: To Discover and make known the Love of His Heart.A spirituality: to be United and conformed to the Heart of Jesus. A Service in the Church and in the world of today: Transformative Education with a Preferential Love for the poor.
9. April, 2013Who We Are No comments
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  • Centre for women’s development Torpa, Jharkhand, Income generating skills training Self-help groups, KG Training
  • Ashankur Bhokar – Maharashtra Income generating skills training Self-help groups, KG Training

Description of the ministry in Bhokar

The ministry in Bhokar began in January 2003 in collaboration with the Jesuits of the Nasik Diocese.  For the last eight years the community at Bhokar consists of the memebers of two congregations – the Society of the Sacred Heart and Sisters of St. Joseph of Chambery.

Located in Shrirampur taluka, ‘Ashankur’ – the Centre at Bhokar responds to the needs of  women in three talukas – Shrirampur, Rahuri and Rahata.  Today there are 150 Self Help Groups of women. Each group has an animator who visits the group for a monthly meeting.  Each group consists of about 20 women. A self help group meets regularly and as they grow to know and trust each other, they are able to support each other financially by giving loans from their own savings.  The Centre has help financially by starting a revolving fund that is supported by the generosity of donors. The quarterly meeting held four times a year helps to educate and animate the leaders of the groups on different issues that concern their own livelihood. This is also an opportunity to conscientise them about their rights and privileges as marginalised women, thus empowering them to take their rightful place in society.

The  Nurse’s Aid Course is run mainly for girls who are not able to continue their academic studies for some reason or the other. The girls are trained in basic home nursing skills and given practical experience at St. Luke’s Hospital.  The hostel facilities make it possible to give the students an all round education as well.

There are different short term courses in tailoring and  fashion designing, computers, beauty parlour etc.

Organic Farming is another aspect of the ministry in Bhokar. Women in the different villages have been encouraged to prepare vermin compost and fertilize their fields with organic manure. The Centre has often been used as a training ground for this purpose.

History and achivements of Torpa Rural Development Society of Women

The Torpa Rural Development Society for Women is situated in the Khunti District of Jharkhand. It aims at Empowering the Tribal Community through the education and development of Children and Women. It has been mainly working with the Munda tribe of the Torpa and Rania Blocks. Mundas are geographically confined mostly to the Khunti District with a few pockets in other districts. Unlike the other two tribes in the area, the Oraon and Khadia, who are more spread out and a little more exposed to other cultures, the Mundas tend to be very reticent, nonverbal, non expressive, even facially. As a result of centuries of experience of exploitation and oppression by the outsiders, all tribes, but particularly the Mundas, traditionally look on the outsiders with suspicion . They even have a word for outsiders (the non –tribal) Dikku – the one who causes dik-dik( dikkat –trouble ). To break this barrier and create confidence is a real task. – one that over the years CWD has managed to do .

In the year 1988 the founder of the organization Sr. Karuna Mary rscj was invited to St. Joseph College, Torpa for a meeting. When she saw a very thin presence of girls in the college she felt called to do something for the young girls in the area. So she shifted to Torpa in the year 1989 leaving her Government post in IACHE to stay in a tiny rented hall first and started teaching English in the college at the age of 70. This was to establish the base. Within three years a hostel for village girls was built. Sr Karuna, in very adverse circumstances visited different villages, convincing parents about the importance of education for women. : Soon Sr. Celia Briganza rscj also aged 64 at the time joined her. Within 5 years a few balwadis were started. The sisters contact with the villages brought to her awareness the disadvantages the tribal community was suffering from, both because of their oppression by outsiders and because of their lack of awareness about what they could get from the government structure and their inability to access these. So the NGO entered the villages to organize people, particularly women, through the formation of SHGs, to make them aware of their potentials and their rights. Over the years the work of the NGO grew both in its area as well as its scope of activity. Today the Torpa Rural Development Society for Women has its intervention in 40 villages of the Torpa and Rania Blocks. We have 134 SHGs. These SHGs are linked with banks and over the years we have followed a process where they are able to interact with the government and assert their rights and get the benefits due to them .We have 30 Balwadies , and have given a teacher in 10 Government aided primary or middle schools in the 2 Blocks. We also have in 10 villages common occupation groups for youth. Through these we are constantly in touch with gram sabhas and the local government . At the main Center in Torpa, we have a model pre-primary school, Vocational training in Fashion Designing, Computer training and a KG teachers’ training. We have come up with our own module for Balwadi teachers, training and SHG training through our experience.

At present our area is affected increasingly by naxalite violence, especially in the Rania block and many youth are either trapped into joining the naxal groups or flock to them on their own. As a result there is growing insecurity among people. Constant strikes, attacks and murders which have disturbed the environment . This poses a very big challenge for us to promote ethics and values among the people and give them a voice in their voiceless situation .

Through our multi-pronged interventions in the 40 villages of the Torpa and Rania Blocks, often under very difficult and even risky circumstances, the Torpa Rural Development Society for Women is working to give a voice to the voiceless, hope in what often seems a hopeless situation and to promote ethics and values in an environment where these seem to be fast deteriorating.

Who we are..?

We are a small, diverse and inclusive group, welcoming in our midst a variety of socio-cultural backgrounds, ages and temperaments. Primarily an educational congregation, our earliest ventures were in the field of education

Sophia College for Women in Mumbai was our first foundation in 1941, and remains the institution with which we are most often associated. The College has continued to grow in the years since then, and while some sisters continue to work there, a number have moved on into other areas of service. Today, the range includes Schools, Colleges& Nursery Schools.