Stifan / Kaveri
BIJAPUR: Students of St Joseph’s College spent a week in Sindagi, Bijapur as a part of social outreach program from December 8 to 14.Around 60 students from Dept. of Mass Communication and Botany actively participated.
Fr Rohan Almedia, SJ, Principal of Loyola CBSE school and Director of Sangama Social Service center said, “Bijapur district has 10 talukas and we through ‘Sangama’ aim at the integral development of Sindagi taluka.”
“In Sindagi our main concern has been to stop migration. People migrate to Maharashtra, Bengaluru, Andhra Pradesh looking for job and education. Through the government schemes we try to provide work and thus stop migration,” he added.
“Sangama has tried to provide monetary stability to the poor families through ‘Self Help Groups’, which is a formal association of 20-30 women of same economic background. Every month they deposit a certain amount of their savings to help those who are in need of money,”said Sr Anitha D’Souza, UFS the coordinator of social programs.
Students visited the villages of Kanneguddehala and Antaragangi on the second and fourth day of the outreach program respectively.
Lack of employment has made the residents of these villages migrate to other cities. “Some people did not know anything about employment. Farmers get paid only Rs 100 on a daily basis and on some of the days, they just get paid half the amount,” said Renuka, one of the residents of Antaragangi village.
Sanitation and lack of toilets has also been an issue of worry in both the villages. “The government has promised to give us 15,000 rupees to build toilets but all we get is 10,000 rupees as the corrupt politicians take away 5,000 rupees for themselves. It is impossible for us to build a toilet in 10,000 rupees,” added Renuka.
The outreach program concluded with the students interacting withDevadasi women in the ‘Sangama’ organization.
“Our parents gave us away to the temples even before we were aware of anything. There was a belief that the wrath of God had befallen the family which would be pulled down only if the daughter was offered to God and that is the reason we were given away,” said one of the Devadasi woman.
“Sangama organization has 210 Devadasi women andmost of them have stopped practicing it. They are given a pension of 1000 rupees and some of them are deprived of the money,” said SrD’Souza, the coordinator of ‘Sangama’ organization.