"If there is dust and dirt on a mirror, we cannot see our image. So ignorance towards poor and wickedness are the dirt and dust that are on the mirror of our hearts."
"VIHIGAON", a small vanavasi village in Shahapur taluka of Thane district, is located 18km away from "kasara" and has a population of 1500 spread over 12 small padas (hamlets). Vihigaon, with the population much below the poverty line has been facing actuate problems such as water shortage, unemployment, illiteracy, lack of communication, lack of medical facilities and proper agricultural guidance etc.
This miserable situation installed VSM to undertake a rural development program in Vihigaon in 1995. Since then, with a view of total upliftment of village VSM has initiated a multidimensional Seva projects.
With the view of providing self employment to villager Mandal has initiated projects like making candles & paper envelops Project like Madhu-Makshika Palan (honey collection), scented sticks project, medicinal herb cultivation project are down the pipeline. Although these projects could not stand the test of time, it gave an enterprising attitude to number of villagers to stand on their feet
With the help of "NIMA", an NGO run by socially dedicated doctors of Dombivli, Mandal regularly organized medical camps at Telampada and Kavatyachi Wadi of Vihigaon on the fourth Sunday of every month. Hundreds of villagers including ladies and children make use of this camp for free medical check-up & medicines. Mandal also organized specialized camps with the help of different health organizations and doctors like Gynac camp, Eye camp. Medicines required for this purpose are donated by chemist, doctors and hospitals or are purchased by Mandal.
In absence of permanent medical facilities and reach of doctors, the local needs are met temporarily fulfilled by "Arogya Rakshak". Arogya Rakshak is the literate persons from each pada (hamlet) are trained for giving medicines for routine cause as directed by the doctors and first aid. There are 12 Arogyarakshak in Vihigaon.
Also Mandal organize "DAI" training camp in which 6 no. of "Dai’s" were trained in this camp and also equipped them wit kits. Now we have started setup for various activities in the new building called "Bharat Mata Mandir" which is constructed from MLA fund of Shri. Ashokrao Modak and setup equipped with funding of organization AADHAR, Holland.
Vivekanand Seva Mandal has played an instrumental role in extending the primary school in village up to Std. VII. Active workers of Mandal help the students in learning subjects like Science, Mathematics, and English etc. Mandal has started library for Vihigaon Students to provide an access to fun-filled education. On April 27-28th 2012, a Chandvarga (Hobby Workshop) was organized by Vivekanand Seva Mandal in Vihigaon which comprised of varied number of sessions for overall individual development for the children. The workshop included different sessions on drawing and colouring, craft activities like mask making and paper bag making. Also outdoor sports like running race, spot jump etc were part of the schedule. Educative visual and movies were the icing on the cake.
The workshop was attended by more than 100 children who were awarded certificates for participation. Although this is a routine in the Urban world, this activity in rural area was first of its kind… The sparkle of happiness in the eyes of children was a receipt of true satisfaction for all karyakartas..
Water scarcity is one of the hovering trouble for all villages in this area. Despite of heavy rains, the area sees dry summer due to the topography of the region. Vivekanand Seva Mandal has always tried to pursue this issue through a number of activities and projects to answer the problem at root cause. This water shed management project was indeed an example of an inclusive efforts to bring villagers, Govt officials and NGO together on a common platform.
This resulted in a number of success stories:
A consistent annual program for building bandharas (check dams)
A complete technical study by experts for the entire region
Construction of new wells in the village and cleaning of existing ones
Construction of CCTs
Construction of dam through Water irrigation department of ZP
A “Pani-yatra” (Water Awareness Campaign) in the village to create awareness on the subject
A bunch of self reliant individuals from the villages now come forward every year to take this forward on timely basis.