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governing body

Rev. Dr. Fr. John Alwyn Dais
B.A;M.A; Ph.D President

Rev. Dr. Fr. Paul Melwyn Díosuza B.A;M.A; Ph.D
Vice President

Rev. Fr. Maxim Dsilva
B.A; B.Ed; M.Ed

Rev. Fr. Vijesh Loyed Menezes
B.Com; MBA

Rev. Fr. Elvin Santa Lopes


Rev. Fr. Arun Lobo B.A; PGDHRM;M.S.W

Rev. Dr. Fr. Sathish Fernandes

B.A; M.Sc; PGDHRM; ;M.A; M.S.W

Rev. Fr. Vinod Mascarenhas,
B.A;L.L.B;M.A; M.S.W

Rev. Fr. Vincent Dísouza

B.A;M.A; M.S.W


Vimukti : Chikkodi

Ten years back in 1997 the Diocese of Belgaum entrusted Chikodi mission to the care of the Capuchins. Since there were not many Catholics the apostolate of social action was thought of. The bishop extended the services of BDSSS (Belgaum Diocesan Social Service Society) to Chikodi. When Fr. Dominic was transferred after initiating the mission, Fr. Martin D'Silva took over and coordinated and started social work initially in 15 villages. It was difficult to win the confidence of the rural people. There was lot of suspicion about us. However as time went by we were able to win the trust of the village folk. We started Self Help Groups of rural poor women. For two years groups were formed and maintained for BDSSS. In fact it was the first attempt in the province to start social work officially and in an organized way. Mean time we started a project under Vimukti and Andheri Hilfe from Germany sponsored it and still continues to do so. The work of empowering the rural poor women continued under both the projects with the leadership of Fr. Martin D'Silva. Today we are working in 73 villages of Chikodi Taluka among which 33 villages of Vimukti and 40 villages of BDSSS and total women 3944 and 449 men are organized in 321 SHG groups.

The Change:
The rural women who were very poor and marginalized are brought to the centre stage of development. Today they have regained their human dignity. They can now withstand the atrocities heaped on them by the male dominated society. The rural woman who is under our guidance is no more a mute spectator to the events happening around her but she is able to participate in the dynamics of decision-making. Vimukti has given her 'MUKTI' from male domination in her house and from the dependency both economic and social. Now she has her own money. She owns her own assets. She has a say in domestic affairs, which were earlier the sheer domain of males of the family. This change brought by our work signifies the success of the mission, in spite of lack of adequate house or office or training centre for six long years.

The Empowerment:
For the past nine years we have given number of trainings and conducted numerous awareness programmes for the project beneficiaries. Trainings such as Legal, Health. Rights, on Gender discrimination, Management of Natural resources, Conservation of soil and water, Modern agricultural methods, banking, personality development. Herbal medicines Income generation, etc., were conducted to enlighten the poor. Women were given awareness about their dignity and their rights. They were taught to procure govt. schemes. Series of awareness programmes, exposures, movements, agitations, trainings and struggles made women self-reliant and confident.

Finance and Self-Employment:

The women in the groups have saved so far Rs. 48,44912. 00 and they have taken internal loans from the groups. As a result of this many house holds in villages are free from the clutches of the money lenders and rich people. The groups have got bank linkages and almost every group has procured bank advances and using the money for various development programmes. Women have got number of govt. schemes and altogether Rs. 58,39.500.00 has been got as subsidy from the Govt. departments. With this money women purchased buffaloes, sheep or goat, brought sewing machines, women have started petty business, started small poultries, and developed their agricultural holdings.

Social Change:
It is not that only on economic filed our women are thriving but our thrust from the day one was change of their social and political state. Woman, in this part of the world is considered just a "thing''. She is just a property of the husband. He has got absolute right over her life. As a result her social status is very decimal. She lacked self confidence, courage, education, health, and just compensation for her labour. Her movements were limited to temple, washing place, and fields where she laboured. Her world was within the four walls of the house. But after years of awareness building and working in the groups the woman of our project has changed. She knows that she is somebody. She has become assertive of her dignity and rights, not only from her male family members but also from society at large. She has brought a social change in her world. Now she has respect and honour from her husband. They also have become politically strong. No longer passive voter, who acted as husband commanded but well informed citizen of democratic nation. They have participated in panchayat elections and won 38 seats out of 56 contested. They take active role in village panchayat functioning and other welfare programmes of Govt.

The Volunteers:

We have in each village one woman volunteer. Second week of every month volunteers find joy to come together for meeting. They come with prepared with the responsibility they had in their respective villages. On the whole they feel happy having assisted some one who is in need of them. There is lot of" enthusiasm to develop their resource in the villages. We also give them in-puts on various topics. We help them to grow their personality. We support and encourage them for their committed service to SHGs, the animator and people at their village. These are the key persons to sustain and implement our project in the respective villages, because they want to improve their resources and to make good use of the government scheme.

This time Mahasanga Presidents and all Volunteers had excursion to Ujire, Dharmastala with the involvement of decennial celebration of Vimukti trust. They took active participation in the programme and also spoke about our Vakkuta activities and understood the activities held in Ujire Vimukti. Bankal Vimukti and Raichure Vimukti. For the rally our Vakkutas former President Mrs. Meenakshi Talwar (Vimukti Chikodi) gave speech and lighted the lamp. Mrs. Shantha Hakkare, volunteer ( Vimukti Chikodi) spoke about her personal development in the SHG, Mahasangha and in Vakkuta. There were nearly 3500 women gathered.

Politically Changed

  • Growth is excellent. All women know about their rights.

  • Understand their role in a democracy.

  • Aware of the role of elected representatives.

  • Legal awareness regarding issues relating her life.

  • Women leaders have become assertive.

  • 20 women have been elected as panchayat members.

  • One member contested for taluk panchayat from federation

Women also have agitated against the lack of legitimate facilities like buses, drinking water, roads, and also fought against corruption and liquor shops in the villages. Now they have formed their own federation namely 'Maitri Taluka Manila Okkuta\ And from Federation they take loans for development. They give importance to IGP programme. On the ground of health and hygiene they insist to build toiler to each SHG women.

Soil and water Conservation:
Ecology is another major concern of Vimukti; hence it has also taken up land and water conservation programmes for the people. People are trained in watershed, rain water harvesting, storing the rain water in farm ponds etc. Since two years we have started to organize small farmers and agricultural workers in groups, We hope to help them with modern techniques of agricultural practices. In an era of globalization, the small farmers are lacking knowledge and becoming helpless. We need to support them so that they may withstand the onslaught globalization.

Among the poor victims of Floods:
The Vimukti in Chikodi also has a wonderful history of working with flood-affected poor of three talukas of Belgaum district. Last two years consecutive floods have destroyed the livelihood and shelters of thousands of poor. We rushed to help them. Two years continuously we were with them with the help and support from Action Aid, TDH and Caritas India. We have distributed the relief materials to the tune of Rs. 12,00000.00 and organized the people in groups and empowered them to assert their rights. We have supported them with psychosocial care with the helps of experts from NIMANS, Today as a result of our constant work pressure has been built on the officials and govt. is forced to act upon the needs of the people.

Thus Vimukti has succeeded in bringing light and hope in the lives of thousands of poor of Chikodi. They have become aware of various oppressive structures, which were hindering their lives and equipped to oppose them with necessary courage and knowledge. The empowered rural poor women give Vimukti a new horizon of opportunity and goal. And it surges with new vigor to usher light in the lives of many more in Chikodi.

NREGA- 2005 - Livelihood Programme, Right Based Approach:
At present from June 2008 Vimukti is working to organize whole village people to avail the scheme NREGA. Awareness programmes have been conducted specially the street plays. At the same time we bring before them various schemes announced by the government. We have an idea of organizing whole village people under the Village Development Committee (VDC). The committee consists of various organizations representative such as SHGs Mahasanga president. School Betterment Committee, Grama Panchayath member, Anganwadi teacher, Govt nurse, Village leader etc of that village. On the whole it is peoples organization to solve their problems of their village. Every month they come together discuss about the schemes, which come to them and thinks how to improve the surrounding of the village. This is also opposing committee to Gram Panchayath. Through this VDC Gram Panchayath President and Secretaries are active and ready to assist people in their problems. To build this VDC we have a strong support of SHGs, Mahasangha and Vakkuta also the farmers groups. Thus the vimukti in chikodi is concentrating not only on women empowerment but also it reaches to all people in the village. We have lot of support from government officers like Gram Panchayath and taluk Panchayath executive officer. There are lot of changes in women SHGs and Men SHGs. And our work of empowering to do the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) for all the 28 target villages is in progress.

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