Arising out of the strong conviction that Love in action is integral to Worship and Mission, our vicar Rev. Shibu P. Varghese encouraged the parish to start its Development wing. Accordingly the Development department of the parish was formed in March 2017 with 25 members and it was registered with the Mar Thoma Syrian Church Development Department on 30/3/2017.
The Development Department members explored various avenues and zeroed in to women empowerment as the point of beginning. It was also felt Daund, our mission outreach and Pune neighbourhoods to be the fields.
As part of women empowerment, we started tailoring classes at two centres at DAUND. At Sonwadi and Khorwadi. One of our believers trains the women in tailoring.
Over 75 women are trained so far at these centres. They had put up a stall at our Pune regional convention at Khadki in Jan 2019 displaying garments, bags and T- SOS (Tomato sauce) which they had made.
Those who completed training do stitching jobs of their house and some started taking up outside work.
Training in Tomato sauce making was given to women from Daund villages. One session was at our church and another session was at Daund. This was a learning experience for those involved, in planning, organising and executing things. They also learned the challenges in selling products.
With the ban of plastic bags we looked at opportunities in cloth bag and paper bag making. Cloth bag making was taught at our tailoring classes. Some of the villagers also participated in paper bag making training session by an external agency and the bags made by them were displayed at the stall at our centre convention at Khadki in Jan 2019.
The villagers are periodically notified on various other skills dvt. courses by Govt and other similar agencies. The motivation to avail these and development of the spirit of entrepreneurship are our challenges .
We initiated computer classes at Sonwadi. The need for persons to teach is yet not properly met. But children from the village practice under the guidance of a senior student there. This being a voluntary work we are still looking for committed persons.
Inspired by our Diocesan Bishop Rt Rev Dr. Geevarghese Mar Theodosius, the Managing Committee of the parish decided to extend this in our neighbourhood. This initiative is rooted in the belief that no one in our neighbourhood should remain hungry just for the reason that they cannot afford food. The initiative is not only on providing food but in recognizing the beneficiaries as unique individuals having a right to live with dignity. We have been in touch with local neighbourhood, nearby churches and social workers to identify needy persons for this. We thank our youth league members for actively involving in the efforts. We commenced this on 1/4/2018. We served food for different groups.
Since it was observed that it is difficult for people to come all the way to our church especially in summer and rainy days to collect a meal we explored other ways to reach them. The result of this review is the present arrangement of identifying needy families and reaching them a standardised monthly ration. 3 needy families are identified in different parts of Pune and they are being provided monthly provisions through young couples from the parish.
Introduction of SHG s, Skill development training (On site and off site), Micro finance, Computer classes, Medical camp, etc are some of the plans for next year. Organising over 75 women already trained in tailoring in gainful activities is also in the plan.
We dedicate our work to our Lord and Saviour and seek his guidance ahead.