KRSF Collaborates with VSSM for upliftment of nomadic communities

VSSM works to empower nomadic and denotified communities in Gujarat jointly work


Ahmedabad (Gujarat) : Widening the reach of its successful interventions in the education sector to the nomadic communities of Gujarat, Dr KR Shroff Foundation (KRSF) has collaborated with Ahmedabad-based not-for-profit organisation, Vicharta Samuday Samarthan Manch (VSSM). VSSM works to empower nomadic and denotified communities in Gujarat.  As part of the collaboration, the two institutions will not just work in the area of education but also take up initiatives that enable financial assistance and fund environment, water conservation and elderly care projects aimed at the overall upliftment of the community.

Mainstream formal education is a key challenge faced by nomadic communities of Gujarat. “Families in these communities are constant wanderers. Without any registration under a revenue village here or a proof identity or address, children in these communities struggle to get formal education. In the longer run, their livelihoods are at stake as they don’t even get formal jobs,” explained Ms Mittal Patel, Founder, VSSM.

Over the past decade, KRSF has been relentlessly and successfully working towards bringing about a measurable change in improving the quality of education across some 512 rural schools in 480 villages of Gujarat.

As part of this collaboration, KRSF will extrapolate its extensive efforts in education to the nomadic tribes too. “With efforts of KRSF, children of the nomadic communities will get high-quality, value-based education in their hostels. Through consistent efforts, at least 92% students cleared class 10 exam in 2022. KRSF also made financial contributions to VSSM to support the everyday operations at their hostel for these 300 children in Manasa to procure groceries, clothes, stationery and other infrastructure maintenance,” said Mr Pratul Shroff, Founder, KRSF.

“KRSF is committed to contribute and collaborate with partner NGOs for the greater good of the society and upliftment of underprivileged communities. The association with VSSM helps KRSF expand the scope of its efforts beyond the education sector and drive a positive impact in other sectors too,” Mr Shroff further went on to say.

Besides its core area of education, KRSF will also collaborate with VSSM for projects in three more areas: environment and water conservation, elderly care, and financial assistance.

VSSM has already launched its Swavlamban programme under which 6000 individuals and families from nomadic communities have got interest-free loans for their entrepreneurial venture.

“The initiative is designed to revitalize their occupations, encourage them to make a mandatory monthly savings, enable them go debt-free  especially and improve their financial health. KRSF will fund VSSM to help expand the scope of this programme,” Mr Shroff said.

Furthermore, the collaboration between the two institutions also envisions participatory water management in North Gujarat by increasing water sufficiency by desilting and deepening village lakes. The two firms have set a target of establishing 25 lakes and several check dams in 2023 itself.

VSSM’s project aimed at improving green cover has seen the planting of some 40,000 trees already and KRSF will further fund the project to take this to 2.5 lakh trees in the coming year.

The elderly in the nomadic communities are often left with no one to provide for. KRSF will also fund VSSM’s Mavjat initiative as part of which at least 100 ailing elderly are provided cooked meals from community kitchens.

“The funding and resource support from KRSF will indeed go a long way in uplifting the living standards of nomadic communities. Through their holistic approach and relentless support, community members will indeed benefit to become self-reliant,” Ms Patel said, commenting on the collaboration.