Social Welfare Services in Khopoli
The small town of the Khalapur taluka of the Raigad district of Maharashtra, Khopoli, has become an important place in the overall development of the state by its heavy industrialization. Due to its proximity with Mumbai (85-90 kms) and Pune (80 kms) the development has become more prominent. There is a broad gauge line of the Central Urban Railway of India that connects Khopoli with the finance capital, Mumbai or Bombay. With the rapid growth Khopoli has received all the facilities of a city in terms of infrastructure, sanitation and health.
But the original residents of the town and its surrounding region have maintained their inherited skill of being farmers on agricultural lands. The local villagers of Khopoli have a mundane and slow paced life with quaint houses and meandering pathways. Most of these villages located at various remote locations inside the rugged terrain of the Sahyadri mountains are economically backward.
The villagers have to trudge kilometres to acquire the basic amenities of life. Proper education, safe sanitation system, good roads and scope of work are some of the most essential items which a society wants to achieve. The state government is constantly coming up with many development schemes for the backward community of the society. Many non government organizations (NGO) have got into voluntary association with the local government administration in achievement of this social goal of giving the deprived of the society guidance to lead a healthy life. These NGOs work towards various social welfare programs which will gradually uplift the overall society of Khopoli.
Charitable Organisations in KhopoliMany NGOs are in operation inside the town of Khopoli and neighbouring villages with various programs towards the overall healthcare, proper education through classroom coaching, community development programs and numerous hindrances generally faced by the backward community. Many volunteers work day in and out towards making the society of Khopoli beautiful.
Kherwadi Social Welfare Association (KSWA) is a 76 years old NGO formed by a freedom fighter of India, Mr. B.G. Kher along with some of his fellow associates, who are working with the sole objective of making Maharashtra poor and slum dweller’s lives better. Their head office is in Mumbai city and they have extended their services to all parts of the state including Khopoli.
Education is their main weapon of operation. Various vocational training programs are being organised for people of all ages and gender by the volunteers and training is given of how to hone one’s skill and find jobs to protect their families. ‘Shramik Vidyapeeth’ has been pioneered by the KSWA and some of the training programs of the institution are, Motor Mechanic, Electrical Wireman, Air conditioning and Refrigeration, Nursing, Motor Driving, Beautician, Mehendi, Entrepreneurship and various Hospitality projects. There are no criteria for entrance to these courses and at the end proper certificates are being given, so that job hunting can become easier.
Many students of Khopoli who could not complete their studies due of dearth of fund can take part in these courses for free and make their futures bright. A youth movement program has also being launched by KSWA with the support of the President of India named ‘Yuva Parivartan’ which make aimless youths motivated towards any goal in life. A rural centre for the same has been recently opened in Khopoli for its societal upliftment.
Wartsila India Social Welfare (WIN) is another dynamic social organisation who have their main focus on touching the lives of the underprivileged of the society. This NGO is internationally acclaimed working in 70 different countries doing social work at the grass root level. Since 2004, WIN has started their free medical health camps for the common people of Khopoli. The result is that more than 300 needy out patients are being treated every month for free and medicines are also given.
In the Vavoshi village of Khopoli a permanent medical centre had been set up, where doctors pay visit timely to see patients coming from the backward villages. Other than medical facilities WIN has built ‘Khopoli Polytechnic’ an educational institute where various vocational training classes are arranged time to time. Many electrical workshops are being held in this institute and teachers from renowned colleges come to teach the needy students. No educational fee is being charged against any course. Wartsila also is helping in green development, which means an overall improvement in the nature of the region. Khopoli has been immensely benefited from this initiative as many types of greenery had been removed while setting up industrial plants in the region.
This shows that the NGOs are helping in the overall development of the place and also boosting the lives of those who live in Khopoli.
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