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Location: Jodphur Setting: Urban Established: 1997 Staff: 7Subject Areas
Youth & Education: Skill Building, Guidance and Counseling, Leadership Training
Health: Social Development, Food Security Awareness, Nutrition, Personal Hygiene
Women's Empowerment: Skill Enhancement, Building Cooperatives, Women’s Entrepreneurship, Awareness and Training Programs, Capacity Building, Education, Reproductive Health Care and Rights, Career Counseling.
JGram Vikas Seva Sansthan (GVSS) was founded in 1997 with the vision of "constructing an exploitation-free society" in India. The organization's mission is to acieve “Social, Economic and Political Empowerment of poor, Dalits (“untouchables”), Children, Women and other Marginalized community through Awareness and leadership development.” In order to achieve its mission, GVSS pursues the following objectives:
- Promote reproductive health and target HIV/AIDS transmission among marginalized sections of society
- Provide basic healthcare in rural and urban areas and promote community health by awareness-raising and community health programs targeting women, children, and addressing common health scourges like malaria and TB
- Provide education and prevent child labor in rural areas through informal education programs
- Empower women and promote economic independence through Self-Help Groups and vocational training
- Address domestic conflict and abuse through family counseling and gender sensitization programs
- Reduce sex-based feticide and gender selection practices through awareness-raising programs and village-based rallies
- Protect and rehabilitate women and girls suffering from economic distress and exploitation through the provision of shelter and counseling
- Promote sustainable agriculture practices and provide food security in rural areas through trainings and technical support
- Encourage inclusion of all sectors of society in village planning and participation through the establishment of Village Development Committees, Village Old People's Associations, and women's Self-Help Groups, and Dalit village-level committees
GVSS's project work encompasses urban and rural areas of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, and Jalore districts, with offices in each location. The organization supports a number of individual programs in various stages of development. The main projects currently underway are:1. Village and Community Healthcare
GVSS trains Village Health Workers (VHW) in a wide range of general health practices - first-aid, prescription of appropriate over-the-counter medicine, recognition of diseases and childbirth complications, and development of hygiene awareness. 90% of the 120 VHWs that GVSS has trained are women and all are from the rural communities that they work in, have comparatively better level of education, and a strong desire to aid those in need. GVSS staff members conduct frequent VHW training programs in the newly conducted training hall at the GVSS hospital and in the villages, to refresh and supplement the VHWs knowledge. GVSS also conducts health outreach programs, health camps, and campaigns to raise awareness on common rural health threats like TB and malaria. In Jodhpur city, GVSS runs an urban healthcare center, which works to improve healthcare amongst the marginalized sections of urban society.2.Adolescent Girls Health Program
Adolescence is a crucial time in female lives with regards to future reproductive and psychological health. However, the health needs of adolescent girls in GVSS's target areas are frequently overlooked. For this reason, GVSS's Adolescent Girls health Program has established 20 groups of girls numbering 10-15 which meet regularly with GVSS field staff who are specially trained in issues of adolescent health. In these meetings, GVSS staff provides training on reproductive health and hygiene as well as encourages dialogue on physiological and psychological changes that the girls experience during adolescence. Girls are encouraged to spread this knowledge with their peers in rural areas.3. Safe Motherhood and Child Survival Program (SMCS)
This program was started to support the needs of pregnant women, lactating mothers, and children in the age group of 6 months to 2 years, providing nutritional support, pregnancy awareness camps, and training sessions for dais (midwives). GVSS links new and expectant mothers with government healthcare services available at Public Health Centers (PHCs), about which there is generally little awareness in rural areas. The government-run PHCs provide free vaccinations and maternity healthcare. In addition, GVSS distributes iron-folic acid tablets to women during and after their pregnancy in order to treat or circumvent anemia, a common ailment among pregnant women in rural areas.4. HIV/AIDS
GVSS is only one of two NGOs working to decrease HIV/AIDS in the greater Jodhpur area. Targeting the highest risk populations in its project areas, in particular female and male sex workers, GVSS has launched an HIV/AIDS awareness-raising campaign which seeks to prevent spread of the disease, encourage at-risk populations to get tested for HIV, and counsel and refer HIV-positive community members to treatment centers. GVSS's trained field workers conduct community outreach and trainings, which teach about proper condom use, safe sex practices, and sexual health. In addition, regular STI screenings and counseling are done at GVSS centers.5. Women's Self-Help Groups
To date, GVSS has established 250 women's self-help groups (SHGs) working to empower village women through trainings on constitutional rights, accounting, personal health and hygiene, and income-generating skills. GVSS also runs livelihoods trainings such as sewing and creates linkages between women who are producing goods and local shopkeepers.6. Family Counseling Center
In Jaisalmer district, GVSS has established a family-counseling center, which seeks to guide local community members through domestic disputes. The center employs trained staff members who counsel couples and children who are suffering from domestic strife, and as appropriate refers women to government agencies and shelters where they can seek further guidance.7. Women and Girls' Shelter
GVSS recently opened a short-stay shelter in Jodhpur for women and girls suffering from economic, physical, psychological, and domestic distress. This shelter provides a refuge from 6 months to 3 years, during which time women are provided with counseling, medical and psychiatric care, skill development and rehabilitation services, and vocational training and career advising.8. Food Security and Agriculture
In the Thar Desert, GVSS's target area, food security is a major issue, with most crops relying on scanty rains for survival. The increasing popularity of commercial seeds, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides has ultimately damaged, rather than augmented, food security in the region. GVSS seeks to revive traditional farming methods and assists families to plant nutrient-rich vegetable and fruit crops while advising on sustainable farming practices that utilize household waste water rather than depending on government water tankers.9. Community-Based Committees:
GVSS strives to involve representatives from all sections of a community in the decision-making process. For this reason, GVSS has worked to develop community-based committees, which aim to identify and address the needs of specific groups. To date, GVSS has developed 25 village-level committees working for Dalit rights, 25 Village Old Peoples' Associations (VOPAs, with 10-15 members apiece), over 250 women's SHGs, and 215 Village Development Committees (VDCs), working to involve community members in the development of their own areas.Opportunities
- Document the targeted intervention activities at GVSS.
- Start or expand livelihoods opportunities with GVSS SHGs.
- Explore government and private funding opportunities and schemes.
Interns working at GVSS should be creative, resourceful and have good cross-cultural communication skills. Limited staff members speak English so at least basic Hindi is a major plus. Other desirable qualities include:
- Experience working in public health
- Grant writing skills
- Independent quantitative and/or qualitative research skills
Interns and volunteers will be supervised by M.L. Choudary, GVSS Chairman.
Note: Responsibilities offered to each participant will be proportionate to their level of experience. Participants who are new to development work may predominantly support and assist current project agendas, while those with much applicable experience may be able to assume greater responsibility. Research projects are strongly encouraged by this organization to support each program’s objective because minimal resources are currently allocated for research.
Participants will have limited access to both a computer and Internet at the office in Jodhpur. Very few staff members speak English, so a working knowledge of Hindi will be useful in both the office and the field.Organizational Background
GVSS was registered in 1997-98 under the Rajasthan Society Registration act 28, 1958. GVSS has been working in the rural and urban areas of Rajasthan on the issues of Education, Health, HIV/AIDS, linking people with government programs, Environment, Dalit Empowerment, Agriculture and Food Security, Water and Sanitation, and livelihoods and women’s income generation.GVSS Website About GVSS Clients
From its inception, GVSS has been working with people of all communities and casts with the dream of constructing a society free from cast, class and exploitation. The main objective has been to link marginalized rural and urban community members, especially women with the larger society by social, economic and political empowerment. GVSS believes that there is need of change in the traditional structure of the society in order to empower and make marginalized community members independent.