Money, Technology, Vision
- some people believe that that is all you need to solve the world's problems. If you are one of them, you might want to tune in to MTV for their latest update on the state of the world!
people, neighbours, communities...
Money, technology, vision may be the bubble and fizz! that makes our world exciting, but without people, neighbours, communities...they are flat beer.
SAMUHA is Sanskrit for 'organised group' or 'society', and as the blurb says: the word reflects our belief that sustainable development is best undertaken through group processes.
And that group process includes the person who lights the candle as much as it does those who benefit from having a little of their darkness dispelled.
Working with people to improve the Quality of Life
Implicit in that SAMUHA goal statement is the acknowledgment that if we can help make the world a better place, then we make the world a better place for all our children.
Working with people...
To ensure that people are partners, not recipients, SAMUHA assists the people it works with to organise into informal associations. These associations become SAMUHA's partners in the field.
Practicing what we preach
Narayanswamy is the SAMUHA Director. And the buck stops with him. But all decisions before they go to the SAMUHA Board are discussed at the SAMUHA Project Heads Forum. In practice, the Office of the Director is a collegiate of the 17 project heads.
SAMUHA believes in consensus decision-making. While the Director can, and does make independent decisions, all decisions, especially those on which there is no unanimity are reported to the SAMUHA Board.
SAMUHA's General Body and Governing Council are made up of the same 8 members which functions as a collective. What they may lack in numbers, they make up in experience and in development cohesiveness:
Between themselves, the 8 SAMUHA Board members account for 175 years of developmental experience as volunteers, workers, planners, evaluators, donor representatives and heads of international and local organisations.
In 1996, Justice HG Balakrishna, former Judge of the Karnataka High Court accepted an invitation from SAMUHA to become the SAMUHA Social Auditor.
Braganza & Associates, Bangalore, are the SAMUHA Auditors. Because of the range of its activities, and their far-spread nature, SAMUHA follows a system of monthly society audits.
The quality of SAMUHA's work, the transparency of its accountability systems, and the integrity of its Board and senior management is reflected in the wide range of support that its activities have attracted.
Current SAMUHA donors are:
...a little history
SAMUHA was set up in 1986 to work in the Raichur district in the South Indian state of Karnataka. SAMUHA decided to work in Raichur district because it was the second most backward district in Karnataka with no major organisation working there. That it was, and continues to be so despite 5 of its 9 taluks being irrigated by the Tunghbadra Canal Irrigation project, speaks for the level of poverty in the 4 dryland taluks which keeps the whole district's average so low.
SAMUHA started work with 2500 families from 24 villages of Deodurg taluk in Raichur district. Deodurg is a drought-prone area which survives on a single rain-fed economy. And that does mean just surviving. Even with a good rain, 30% (60-80% in the event of rain delay/failure) of the families here migrate for 3-6 months of the year in search of work and food. In 1981, the general literacy percentage was 11% - while female literacy was a little over 7%. In 1991, the general literacy level had gone up to a little over 17%.
SAMUHA works with 55,000 families over 278 villages in the district. SAMUHA has also initiated work with vulnerable people in Bangalore City, the State capital, and in the Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada district.