Major Achievements of MWS

Infrastructure development

BUILDING A BRIDGE OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR WELL – BEING

"Main akela hi chala thaa jaani-be-manzil,
Magar log saath aate gaye, aur karvaan banta gaya."

Kaifi Azmi had a dream------as well.

In 2017, a bridge over Kunwar river was built that connects Kanneri and 40 villages in surrounding areas to Phoolpur Tehsil. The people of both Mijwan and adjoining Kaneri villages have welcomed this with joy and applause. Earlier, villagers had to travel 6 kms along the Kunwar River to reach Mijwan. The most adversely affected by this distance were students from Kaneri and nearby villages who were unable to attend the school in Mijwan, which had been opened by Kaifi Azmi to ensure education for each child in district Azamgarh. With the new bridge in place, they will be able to attend school in Mijwan, which will now be just a short distance away. Life will also become easier for the people in the surrounding villages, Jagdishpur, Gobarha, Aspatpur, Khojapur, Bhormau, Gandi, and Jaffarpur. One major advantage will be the straight journey to Sikror market, where the villages regularly go for their basic and other purchases.

The Pradhan of Kaneri, Dharam Yadav, Jagdishpur Pradhan Sigaari, Mansha Yadav, Dinesh Pande, Ram Nivaare Yadav, Banaarsi, Bhuylot Yadav, along with several others have applauded the success of this attempt by Shabana Azmi"

A new electricity line has been set up for Bakshpur in February 2016. A total of 18 electricity poles and 163 KVA transformer have been installed. Around 1,300 people have benefitted from this.

Ashu Malik MLC contributed 10 solar lamps making an impressive total of 23 between Mijwan and Bakshpur. There are 28 handpumps that have been installed.

All the inner roads that were kachcha have been converted into all weather pathways. Kaifi Azmi Road connecting Mijwan to Phoolpur have been rejuvenated.

Pradhan Dharam has aptly said that along with Mijwan, Shabana Azmi has taken village Kaneri also under her wing, and they will never be able to repay her.

Shabana Azmi wants no repayment. Mijwan, and surrounding villages, becoming model villages will be the best gift bestowed upon her.

The Primary Health Sub-Centre (PHS)

It has been upgraded with a full time Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) stationed there. Medical camps for all villagers with special emphasis on adolescent girls’ health, mother and child care by the District Administration are a regular feature. There is 100 percent immunisation and maternal mortality rates have been reduced. Mijwan has been declared Open Defecation Free (ODF) by the Administration. MWS emphasises that health is not just a right it must also be a responsibility and that prevention is better than cure.

The Gram Sabha has allotted a one acre land to build a playground and covered tennis court. Plans are underway to level the ground and construct a boundary wall.

Mijwan Village has been selected for Organic Farming

Mijwan has been selected for Organic Farming by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) for three years and 50 farmers have successfully completed their training in Azamgarh. They have been awarded Rs.5,000 each to encourage them to recycle dry and wet waste in order to make organic compost. As an incentive by the DOA, the value of the crop will be sold at twice the market value.

Arid farms have been converted to grow produce that is sold in the local markets giving a more robust livelihood to the farmers.

World on a Platter

On 17th and 18th Feb 2018, 25 girls from MWS participated in Delhi at Skill India’s World on a Platter expo held under the Ministry of Skill development in partnership with SWACA. They displayed their exquisite outfits and launched a new line of home linen. They conducted beauty workshops at the pavilion, displayed a range of agarbattis and a variety of home made pickles. The event was graced by the CM of Himachal Pradesh. It was matter of pride, when the trainer of the Kaifi Azmi Embroidery and Sewing Centre Sanjogita Prajapati was called on stage to address a gather. Her contribution to MWS was applauded by the dignitaries present.

Workshops

MWS has partnered with Ignus-ERG Education Resource Pvt. Ltd. to provide trainings to the Kaifi Azmi School and Inter-College teachers to help them develop their teaching skills and build confidence with new and effective teaching methods.

Hina Desai and her team from VN Rai Institute supported by Oxfam held gender sensitisation workshops with the students. The girls spoke about equal rights and their aspirations to stand on their feet with passion. They were less forthcoming when it came to a discussion about their bodies and biological changes. But soon opened up under the vibrant leadership of Hina Desai.

Founder Sarika Gupta of Safe N Happy Periods has conducted workshops on shame-free and pain-free menstruation. The vision is to break the stigma around periods and to encourage girls and women to feel confident about their bodies

FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE

Every girl in Mijwan has her own bank account. “I no longer have to ask my husband for money, in fact I often give him money when he needs it”, says a beaming Shahjahan. Her photograph has appeared in a prominent English newspaper and her family looks up to her with pride. Economic independence has shifted power equations within the family leading to women participating in the decision making process.

Union Bank Azamgarh has opened an ATM centre in Mijwan and the daily withdrawals have come as a pleasant surprise to the authorities. Every villager also has an Aadhar card giving them an identity and bolsters their self-esteem. Seemingly small steps but beyond the reach of many bigger villages.

MIJWAN GOES DIGITAL

Mijwan has bank accounts for all its villagers, free Wi-fi services in the village, as well as Point of Sale (POS) machines for all shopkeepers so that buyers can make digital and cashless payments. To ensure that all the villagers can avail of these technological amenities, awareness programmes have been conducted for all villagers on internet and mobile banking, and on how to make digital payments. State Bank of India (SBI) has selected Mijwan for its Customer Service Point (CSP) programme. This provides limited banking facilities in rural areas where SBI does not have a branch. License is given to private parties that are regulated through the nearby SBI branches.

MIJWAN, MANISH MALHOTRA AND MIJWAN FASHION SHOW (MFS)

The Mijwan Welfare Society’s association with renowned fashion designer and India’s most celebrated couturier, Manish Malhotra began in 2009, when MFS ensembles designed by him and crafted by the women of Mijwan, was held for the first time in Mumbai to raise funds for MWS.

MFS has gone from strength to strength since its inception 9 years ago. The reigning stars of the Hindi Film Industry from Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan to Ranbir Kapoor and from Priyanka Chopra, Anushka Sharma to Shraddha Kapoor have walked the ramp for us. Naomi Campbell has also donned an outfit from the Mijwan collection. It has been overwhelming for these girls to be pulled out of oblivion and have reigning stars of Bollywood and Hollywood wear their creations.

This is a story of women empowerment and changing equations in the power structures of a patriarchal society. Women traditionally considered liabilities are now being considered as assets. Says Sunita, “I am the first member in my family who has travelled in an aeroplane. I had to pinch myself to believe Shahrukh Khan was wearing the sherwani I had embroidered. It made me realise that my craft is my biggest asset.”

The then CM of UP Akhilesh Yadav celebrated Mijwan’s achievements by posting his message on twitter.