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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 : Pothnal

POTHNAL is a steadily growing village situated on the State Highway and is located between Sindhanur (21Kms) in the South and Manvi (21kms) at the North. The Capuchin Presence started there in 1994 with our North Karnataka Thrust to involve ourselves in the socio-economic development of the people, especially the Dalits, the women, children and the other marginalised. The Clara Vihar community of Capuchin fathers are catering to the needs of the people in and around Pothnal. Particularly in 14 villages the fathers are involved in faith formation of the Christians. All along these fifteen years we have contributed in various social spheres for the development of the Poor and the Marginalised specially the women are identified as the marginalised among the marginalised.

The North Karnataka area, with its cultural and caste-class dynamics is a unique area where the disparity between the haves and have-nots is very stark. The socio-economic marginalisation for the poor is a great matter of concern to whoever thinks of Jesus' God's Kingdom/an egalitarian society with peace and social justice. Dalits form the lowest rung of the society and even to this day they are treated as untouchables with no entry into the temples. Hotels, etc. They have meager (0.5 or 1 acre) land and most of them are agricultural laborers, earning Rs.60 per day, that too only four months of the year ( agricultural season), though according to the minimum wages act, they should get the wages about 90/- per day. The brunt of all the suffering among the poor and the marginalised fall on the women and they have to take care of children and take care of the family. However the need today is that of education. Any changes in the society could be brought by educating the people.

Education Scenario

The overall literacy rate of Raichur district is 35%. The SC/ST lit. Rate is 21.25% of which the male LR is 31.87% and the female LR is 10.61%. Of the 65% illiterates, the Dalits form a huge chunk of 78.75%. Though there are schools of one or other type in most of the villages, the infrastructure, human resource (teachers) is very scarce and of lower quality. Due to the poor transport the mobility of people and of children for the schools from one place to the other is very slow and infrequent. Hence, as a general trend, children (those who are enrolled and persist) stop with the education provided in the village.

Besides, education has to be seen in the context of the socio-cultural-economic conditions. In the prevailing agrarian economy the rigidity of caste-class structure is very strong. The resources (land, water, money, business, etc.) are in the hands of the upper castes of the general or other backward category. Thus the upper caste have sent their children to the town schools availing the facility of transport or hostel, boarding etc. However, among the lower caste the enrollment rate itself is low; among the enrolled the dropout rate is high; the female enrollment is very small and the retention rate is hardly any.

The scenario of female education in general is very dismal and is very discouraging in the lower rungs of the caste hierarchy. Many get absorbed as agricultural labourers by the age of 7, and are married off by the age of 13. The scene is slowly improving in the course of these years. However, adding fire to the fuel, the wages of the agricultural labourers, of whom Dalits make the biggest component, have not increased beyond Rs.50 per day female and Rs.60 per day male. The only steady source of income for these is the agricultural labour which is available only for four months in a year, that too subject to the conditions of rain and the weather. The children from this section who pass out of 7th are by and large are deprived of higher education.

With the above background we will glance through few of the activities those took place in Vimukti Pothnal in the areas of education, medical and social during the year past years.

The main aim of the Vimukti is the education of poor children. And this trust is trying to cater to most of the poor children in the villages, especially those going to Government Schools. This year 40 boys of a near by school are accommodated in the hostel. In the evening these and other neighbouring children come for free tuitions. Giving importance to the girl child, another 50 of them are looked after by the Franciscan Ursuline Sisters near to this Cell. Here their character is molded and they are given the useful knowledge

Through Vimukti we also organize Christmas celebrations, Independence Day, Children's Day, Ganapathi festival and Deepavali. Our students perform street plays, folklores and other cultural activities means as used to convey the message of peace, brotherhood, harmony to the people.
Vimukti has taken the responsibility to treat snake bites and scorpion bites. The record shows that during the year 300 people were treated free of cost. A few patients were admitted in the Assisi Hospital, Vidyanagar, Raichur and were given the necessary treatment. A few others were directed to the near by Government Hospital. Supplying water to the public of Pothnal locality is being continued. The public irrespective of caste or creed considers this charity a great help. It is really appreciated even by the Government officials.

Every year interested girls are helped to complete their nursing course and also GNM courses. We are happy that four girls are already employed in this area.. Boys are helped to do diploma in electrical and electronics. They go to Manvi and Sindhanur. From PUC to Degree and vocational courses are helped by the society. For this purpose this year a sum of Rupees twenty thousand was spent. Due to the extreme breeze many poor had lost their houses and the roof. Considering the poverty and the need of the hour during the year a sum of Rupees eighteen thousand was spent in repairing the house in the different villages. At the same a number of time out door charities being done.

  1. Meeting with Government Authorities:
    While initiating the new Project in the area the Organisation thought of building a rapport with the Government Officials in those areas where we will be working. Since some years the project was stagnant and now the new beginning should be brought to the notice of the people in the vicinity and the Government Officials. To actualise Project dreams we had organised meeting with the government officials, seeking their support and introducing ourselves. The Primary purpose was to learn the Government Schemes and help them avail to the poor people in our Project Area. All the Government officials were present including the local MLA.

  2. Tailoring Class:
    Young girls from the village have very little opportunity to go out and make a living on their own. In most of the villages still the culture and family does not encourage the girl child to work outside and earn. By seeing the fate of those young girls who work whole days in the field for a meager amount, Vimukti thought of organising Tailoring Centre to give a fresh lease of life to these young girls. Thus by convincing the girls and their families Vimukti Organised tailoring units in villages and in the project center.
    Today we have completed three courses and two are in the process. Two were organised in the center and other three are in the villages by well trained instructors. The students are regular to the training and very happy learn and make a living of their own. Even the parents are happy to send their daughters to the classes.

  3. Basic Computer Education:
    Illiteracy we say is the major evil in this region. However today we see few interested family sending their children to schools and colleges. But we are landing into another problem called Computer Illiteracy. While the able and accessible could afford Computer education from the nearby towns the poor are deprived of this facility. So Vimukti thought of giving an opportunity to the youth and the children during holidays by organizing basic computer courses. Many aspiring boys and girls have come forward to learn the basic computer education. At present we are in the fourth Computer course which will last for three months. They spend almost two to three hours with theory and sufficient time for practical knowledge. We have divided them in groups since to give them ample time to work and learn on the computers. The students are very happy to know the basic computers which will in turn help them to choose a better future.

  4. Safe Drinking Water
    As Vimukti staff was in their visits to different village for the survey they noticed people do not get sufficient drinking water and even if they get they have walk miles to get a pot full of drinking water. One of the causes would be the broken and non functioning bore well pumps. To solve this problem in the villages Vimukti carried a survey and numbered all the bore well pumps which were not functioning well and came forward to repair those marked bore well pumps. Totally we have repaired 15 bore well pumps and helped the villagers to have an easy access to the safe drinking water. The villagers are overjoyed to see their bore well pumps working again because no government officials headed their plea, more over it was very time consuming for them to fetch a pot full of water. Thus on the whole all the villagers where we have repaired the pump have expressed their gratefulness for the good work we have done through Vimukti.

  5. Income Generating Program(Milch Animal)
    In our visits to the villages we came across some of the most vulnerable families like Devadasi, Widows, HIV families who live in total insecurity. Either they do not have a family and proper income or they are separated from the families with some social taboos. By seeing the plight of these poor, uneducated people, Vimukti came forward to brighten their future by giving one each buffaloes to rear so that they can be self sufficient to take care of their family. We have distributed five buffaloes in different villages, and when we visit the families the milk yield is satisfying and more the family is happy.

  6. Remedial Teaching:
    The main focus of Vimukti is Education. We visited various schools of the village and made a survey of the number of teachers per school. The result said that in every school there are only one or two teachers to teach and take care of the children, which is primary cause of low education level in the villages.

    Vimukti Trust, interacting with the Education Department came forward to appoint remedial teachers in 14 schools where the scarcity of the teachers is found. Today these teachers are working hard, taking tuitions in the morning and after the school in evening. This becomes a great help to the poor and unfortunate children, who have desire to learn but nobody to teach them. The parents at home are uneducated and do not bother much about the education of the children this adds further woes on the students. This programme is showing good results as the students are very help to come and learn little more, so also teachers in the school too have expressed satisfaction, because with their limited time in the school they were not able to do justice to their profession.

  7. Adolescent Camp
    The Women are considered as the marginalized among the marginalized. Everything concerning is looked down as 'not worth'. They are cornered without anyone knowing their needs and wants. Though the women/girls have changed, society's attitude towards them has remained unchanged. Outside the family, women/girls do not always get the respect. Often they are reduced to mere sex objects. The flourishing flesh trade, the repeated rapes, the still prevalent incidents of female infanticide and cases of dowry deaths speak for themselves about the exploitation to which the women/girls of our country are subjected.

    Considering the above problem, Vimukti organised a three days awareness camp for young girls in order to help and educate them in their responsibility and know their stages of development. For this purpose we called an experienced resource person Asha Kotyan, Principal of a College in Dharwad. Since these young girls are coming from small, remote villages, who are very shy to talk about the changes in their body to their parents and who absolutely don't have any sex education in the school, gained a lot from the resource person. We had around 50 young girls who participated and gained a lot from this three days workshop. The girls expressed that they were ignorant to many things which they came to know in these three days. Since it was applicable to them, they were very free to clarify doubts with regard to their growing stages to be mature girl and later to be a responsible woman in the society and at home.

  8. Personality Development Camp for Children:
    "If you want a garden of good fruit, get the tree young". This was primary thought that was running behind us to organise a three days camp for the children. It was organised for three days starting from 13th November to 15th Nov. The number of children who participated for this camp were 197 from 5th standard to 10th standard. Different activities were held such as personal hygiene and cleanliness, discipline, respect to the elders, importance of prayer, preparing for the exams, bonded labourers and its practices, child rights and yoga exercise. These topics were dealt by experienced and qualified resources persons. Besides these they also had many talent hunt activities to exhibit their talents such as group singing, solo singing, small skit and speech and painting competitions, added to this they also enjoyed the indoor and outdoor games.

    We had children from fourteen villages. It was a grand success not because of large number of the children because they were just sheep without a shepherd and this was great help for them to build their childhood with good values and discipline in life. The children expressed their satisfaction regarding this camp, they were very happy because they gained new zeal, and enthusiasm to take back with them to build their childhood. Since they come from poor background, there is no one to guide them, their parents are uneducated and whole days busy with the work in the field, and children left all by themselves. So this camp gave them new idea and vision for their childhood.

  9. Distribution of Play materials to schools:
    The Schools here do have four walls and an old roof, other than these the children are deprived of co curricular or sports materials. In order make the school and learning more interesting and help the children grow physically we provided play materials to 14 Government Schools. It was also an opportunity for extracurricular activities and to create child friendly environment in school. As the children are hail from poor family good play materials is the dream for the children.

  10. Survey on the issues Child Labor, Devadasi and Disability:
    Project had a plan to evaluate the most vulnerable issues in the villages so as to address them and create awareness on these issues. As planned all the ten villages were surveyed and the staff had discussions with the villagers. As expected the major problems which the villagers poised are child labor, Devadasi and Disability. Once we all agreed upon these issues the project arranged street play, awareness songs and slogans through cultural groups and organised awareness program in all the 10 villages. It was a successful program when all appreciated our efforts.

  11. Availing Government Schemes:
    The Government has many schemes and facilities for the poor, the scheduled caste, the widows and the old, the pregnant and the sick. However these remain in the files in the Government Offices and end of the year the officials manipulate and take the amount for themselves. Vimukti took up this cause and the animators went around the villages creating awareness on Government Schemes and in many cases helped the people to avail old age pension, widow pensions, Janatha houses and scholarships. The people are happy that now they are aware of the Government schemes and also they are easy to avail.

  12. Health Awareness Programme:
    Due to the Flood in October 2009, people were suffering from various diseases in the village for which, in the selected 20 Flood affected villages of Sindhanur and Manvi taluk the programme on health was provided by Vimukti. Along with this the awareness on availing Government schemes were also provided. It was a collective program of three NGOs called Jagruthi Mahila Sanghatan, Shruthi Samskrithi and Ruvari Raichur. The program was relevant and useful for all those affected by Floods.

  13. Staff Exposure Program:
    This phase of the Project was inaugurated in November 2009 with the appointment of 8 staff out of which six are new and inexperienced. The Project felt a need for training and exposure. Hence the entire team along with the Director visited Vimukti at Chikkodi for the Training and Exposure Programs. It was a great learning experience with the good will of Chikkodi staff to introduce us the Village Development Committees and to Self Help Groups etc. The three days at Vimukti Chikkodi was perfect initiative into the programs for our staff.

  14. Exposures to Roshni Center Hangal:
    All the staff on the way back from Chikkodi visited Roshni Social work center Hangal run by UFS sisters. Sr. Cristine was generous enough to accommodate us and helps to know the project and the programs specially the visits to men SHG and the Children Eco clubs were inspiring to all of us.

  15. Flood Relief Work:
    Flood has been a devastating experience for the people around Pothnal. The houses were collapsed and the poor people did not have enough support to clear the debris of the fallen houses. The Organisation received ready generous help from the brothers of Kripalaya in the month of December. 28 brothers for full eight days served in five villages clearing the debris making the place ready to rebuild. Around 15 debris were cleared. It was a great help to the villagers along with them Vimukti too remains grateful to the Brothers of Kripalaya.

  16. Recreation to the Shifting Village Children:
    Hulgungi is a village totally destroyed and the people have shifted to a new place. Though the place is new they are not settled completely., The children are missing their old games and fields. Hence Vimukti organised one full day of Games, sports and Recreation to the children of this village. Of course on demand the elders too joined for some program. The help of Brothers from Kripalaya is commendable. They organised the day and also performed cultural programs for the children.

  17. Training to Remedial Teachers:
    Since the Government schools do not have sufficient teachers, Vimukti has provided Remedial Teachers to Government schools. These 19 teachers from 14 schools , were trained for one day regarding the teaching techniques.They were trained by the well known Government teachers Vishvanath Shasthri and Adeshappa. And also the Director of Vimukti talked to them regarding their relationship with the school staff, children and SDMC.

  18. Staff Capacity Building Training:
    Vimukti Charitable Trust had thought long ago to organise a training for all the Vimukti Staff. The dream was realized in January when a Training was organised for the new staff from Ujire, Banakal Chikkodi and Pothnal. There were also other staff from BDDS and JMS who were the part of the Training. The resource person Mr. Somashekar trained 30 candidates regarding Social work, Social workers and maintaining rapport in villages.

  19. Republic Day Celebration:
    In commemoration of Republic Day the Project conducted various games and sports in the 14 government Schools to improve the talents of the students. Indoor and out door games were conducted by our staffs and prizes were distributed to the winners during Republic Day.

  20. Cultural Competition, Children's Club and Child Friendly Programme Inauguration:
    Though we started our Project Proper in the month of November, we had never done it officially or formally through any inauguration. The arrival of the Governing Board members of Ensemble Agissons was an opportunity for us to make it an event of inauguration. Hence on February 21st 2010 cultural competition for 14 Government Schools were conducted in Vimukti premises. Competitions like mono act, solo singing, group folk dance, elocution and drawing were conducted to make the students competitors in life and to bring up their hidden talents. Same day Child Friendly Programme was inaugurated by Daniel Helbert the director of Ensemble Agissons. And Children's Club of 14 villages was inaugurated by Bernadette Helbert. A formal colorful cultural program was organised at the end by the students of Chilipili School of child labor and Sneha Jyothi Girls Boarding that entertained the audience.

  21. Awareness, Sports and Recreation Program :
    Shifting Villages are shifted with its roots. The children and grow up feel out of place. Hence the Project organised a day's awareness and cultural, and recreation program for the children and people at Chintamandoddi village. On 21 March the brothers from Clara Vihar along with Vimukti staff spent a day in the village boosting the people and entertaining them. We had organized competitions and given entertainment programme for the children, men and women of the village to come out of their stress and depression.

Vimukti Charitable Trust Pothnal is enrolling with the successful programme in these four months in the 14 villages. And still working for the poor children to improve their education, and to improve their talents with the help of forming children's club in the villages. There are various future programmes for the development of children and the community.

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