Friday, January 2, 2009

TARAgram, Orchha, U.P., 10 December 08

When we arrived in Orchha, we decided to call TARAgram where my training was supposed to have taken place. We were interested to see what kind of enterprise TARA was. So, on 10 December, we went over there to take a look around. In the material sent regarding the training I had signed up for I read what they wrote about TARA. Here is where the cultural differences get in the way. Indian English is ponderous and seems very self-righteous and grandeose. So, I reacted to what they had written by worrying that it was all grand language hiding the fact that TARA really wasn't much. Well, to my relief and pleasure, it was just the opposite. TARAgram was everything they wrote and more. TARAgram is the place where these operations happen. Hopefully these pictures will tell the story.
Here's the link to their website - If you don't get there through this link, try going to Google India and searching for Within, if you wish you can search for TARAgram.

TARAgram entrance Madhuban Pandey, Executive Training

Juhi Nigam, Training Assistant

Carolyn and staff person (we forgot his name)
Banner for recently launched radio station, reaching rural villages with messages about health, water, food, etc. This project was particularly thrilling to me because I see the need for education everywhere I go, and this is the perfect vehicle. It is actually designed around village women's input.
Recording studio
Anujaa Shukla, Associate Programme Manager, Development Alternative
(head of the radio project)
Carolyn and Juhi Nigam, our guide Micro Concrete Roofing Tile Unit

Concrete rural cooking stoves
Walkway tiles
Water purification, filtering work
Paper mill
where materials left over from textile industry production are used to make paper products. The men and women of local villages work here and benefit from the sale of the products. It is my understanding that the poor people come up with entrepreneurial ideas, and TARA helps make it happen.

Presses at the paper mill
The women would actually sit on the presses to make the imprint, but they didn't seem to want us to take a picture of that.

Thermal electricity
Wood chips used in the thermal electricity process Binding shop
Where some paper products are turned into sellable products like picture frames, notebooks, writing paper, lampshades

This project was impressive and has been functioning productively for twenty years. As soon as Joint Assistance Centre, Inc. (JAC), our volunteer agency, undergoes its planned transition to non-profit fundraising organization, TARA is an organization we would like to consider as a funding recipient.

1 comment:

Madhuban Pandey said...

Well written friend, I am amazed to see this much... written by you in your one hour visit to TARAgram