Kherwara Block covers 110,211 hectares, and shares borders with Gujarat state and Dungarpar district to the south. It is located in the Aravalli Mountain range, and is predominantly rural, with only one urban settlement.
Kherwara Block has 268,000 inhabitants, three quarters of which are tribal. In Kherwara, people depend primarily upon agriculture and animal husbandry for their livelihoods. Unfortunately these systems are not enough to provide for people’s needs due to small land holdings and poor irrigation infrastructure and in the non-agriculture season, a substantial portion of the population migrates, mostly to Gujarat, to find work as laborers.
The literacy level of the block is 58%. Seva Mandir has been working in Kherwara Block since 1973, when it initiated an Adult Literacy program. The Block is divided into six zones, and has its main office in Kherwara village, 80 km from Udaipur. Seva Mandir currently operates projects in 122 villages.
Minimizing Gender Gap (Plan Engender Program):
Seva Mandir has initiated several programs in thirty communities of Kherwara Block to minimize the gender gap between men and women. In February 2009, the community leaders from Gram Vikas Committees (GVC), Youth Resource Centers (YRC) and Women Resource Centers (WRC), in collaboration with Seva Mandir, detailed the objectives and the timeline of the projects to be implemented. One of the initiatives we have taken thus far is providing gender trainings at different levels, ranging from program in-charges of Seva Mandir and the middle management to YRC leaders and field workers. The trainings aim to provide the participants with a clearer understanding on gender, gender-related concepts and to enable them to apply this understanding in their fieldwork. Other awareness-raising initiatives of Seva Mandir in Kherwara include celebrating International Women’s Day, organizing discussions upon the topics of discrimination and exploitation of women and providing women with opportunities to highlight the challenges faced by them to the community leaders. In addition, a pair of male and female gender monitors has been selected from each of the thirty communities in Kherwara Block, in order to provide the youth with an outlet to voice their concerns regularly at the village level.
To read more about the Plan engender Program please click here