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"JICA India Chief meets with Hon'ble President of India"

May 12, 2010


Mr. Shinichi YAMANAKA, Chief Representative JICA India Office, New Delhi had an interactive meeting with Hon'ble President of India Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Apr. 23, 2010 (Friday).

JICA India, Delhi Jal Board (DJB), Art of Living Foundation, Development Alterative (NGOs) interacted with the Hon'ble President of India to apprise on the ongoing public outreach advocacy program being undertaken for cleaning of the river Yamuna. Hon'ble President appreciated efforts being undertaken by DJB, JICA, Art of Living Foundation and other like-minded organizations to clean the river Yamuna and Delhi. The discussion was part of ‘the Aao Jamuna Mein Jaan Dalein’(Public Participation and Awareness component under JICA assisted Yamuna Action Plan Project) and Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna campaign (initiated by the Art of Living, under which more than 6.33 lakhs student children participated in art competition on the eve of World Earth Day on 22nd April), which have since inception successfully mobilized support from all sections of society, including the Government, NGOs, Schools, Colleges, Universities,and Resident Welfare Associations, etc. The objective of this campaign is to sensitize the public and involve them on the issue of cleaning the Yamuna and the city of Delhi. During the discussion, the Hon'ble President of India emphasized upon the initiatives of the learning of the parents through their children in spreading message of cleaner Yamuna and Cleaner Delhi.


[IIT-H] Visit of Professor Yuichiro ANZAI, for acceleration of Collaboration with Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad (IIT-H)

April 21, 2010

photoProf. Anzai(left) and Prof.Desai(right) wished successful collaboration with Daruma, looking forward painting the other pupil.

A mission led by Professor Yuichiro ANZAI, former president of Keio University visited India from 6th to 10th April, 2010 to discuss and exchange views with Professor Uday B DESAI, Director of IIT-H regarding faculty and student exchange programs between IIT-H and Japanese Universities.

photoStudents of IIT-H during the lecture

Professor ANZAI is currently the Executive Adviser for Academic Affairs at Keio University and has been designated by the Government of Japan as Adviser to the IIT-H Consortium of Japan, which was established in August 2009 as the umbrella organization of government, academia and industry partners from Japan with the aim of promoting collaboration with IIT-H. To undertake his duties to promote academic exchange as direct counterpart of Professor DESAI, the Mission was arranged in consultation with Professor Yoichiro MATSUMOTO, Managing Director, Executive Vice President of the University of Tokyo, which is the representative university of IIT-H Consortium.

photoAt Ministry of Human Resource Development. Mr. Ashok Thakur, Additional Secretary(lft), Mrs. Smt. D. Purandeswari(Union Ministerof State) , Prof. Anzai and Mr. Yamanaka, Chief Representative, JICA India

During this visit in Hyderabad, the Mission and Professor DESAI and faculty of IIT-H had a fruitful discussion to draw up a roadmap for promotion of faculty and student exchanges between IIT-H and Japanese Universities that would lay down the groundwork for further collaboration between the two nations like PhD/Master guidance by joint faculties, joint research project and tie-up with Japanese industries. Taking this opportunity, Professor ANZAI provided a special lecture titled "Interacting Physically with Robots and Virtually on Global Digital Campus", which inspired promising students in IIT-H.

photoMr. Ajai Chowdhry and Prof. Anzai

In Delhi, the Mission made a courtesy call on Smt. D. Purandeswari, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Human Resource Development, who welcomed this collaboration that will be promoting educational excellence in India. Subsequently, to reflect a broad range of opinions and perspectives for better collaboration, the Mission visited various important personalities such as Mr. Arjun G. Asrani, a former Indian Ambassador to Japan, Dr. Ashok Jain, President of Mombusho Scholars Association of India, Mr. Ajai Chowdhry, Chairman & CEO, HCL Infosystems and Chairman of Board of Governor, IIT-H.

It is hoped that this visit would be a momentum to accelerate further progress of collaboration in establishing IIT-H which will become a symbol of Indo-Japan academic cooperation.


Health Camp organized by the JICA Alumni Association of India (JAAI)

September 13, 2009

The main street of Harijan CampThe main street of Harijan Camp

One of the activities of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is to dispatch personnel, mainly from the Indian Government, to Japan for technical training. A large number of personnel undergo technical training, in Japan, every year.
The ex-participants of the JICA training programs have formed an association namely the JICA Alumni Association of India (JAAI) which comprises of about 870 members. JAAI organizes a variety of activities to promote friendship among its members, to promote cooperation between India and Japan and also contributing to social development. One such activity was the health camp which was organized on 13th September, 2009 (Sunday) in a slum area named Harijan Camp near Lodi Colony. The objective of this camp was to provide free health check-up to the slum dwellers.

Dental Check-up in progressDental Check-up in progress

This health camp was organized for the first time in the year 2008. The main doctor for the camp was Dr. Rajesh Rastogi from Safdarjung Hospital who supervised the free health check-up of the slum children by pediatricians. The health camp this year comprised of dental check-up and awareness on Tuberculosis in addition to check-up by pediatricians. The executive committee members of JAAI volunteered themselves for arrangements in the camp site, registration of patients, promotion of health awareness and screening of video clippings. The response to the check-up was spread to the entire slum area through the slum children who came in large numbers for the check-up.

425 people were registered for the check-up out of a population of about 2000 people. The patients registered this year drastically outnumbered the patients registered last year. Further, the patients who were diagnosed for follow-up treatment can avail it free of cost at the Safdarjung Hospital.

Indian slums not only exist in Mumbai, which was portrayed in the movie 'Slumdog Millionaire' , released this year, but also can be seen in Delhi. The improvement of health condition and living environment of the slum dwellers is presently a hot topic. While this health camp was organized as a social contribution by ex-participants of training programs conducted by JICA, it is expected that the health condition of the slum dwellers of this area would be understood and improved upon by the said personnel.

Other activities are also scheduled to be organized by JAAI during the current fiscal year beginning with this health camp.

(Author: D. Shekar, JICA India Office)


Three JICA Partnership Programs Have Been Newly Implemented!

August 3, 2009

June and July were busy but exciting months for JICA and its NGO partners. Three JICA Partnership Programs (JPPs) have been launched, in addition to six ongoing JPPs in India. Following are the goals and expected activities of the three new projects:

The main street of Harijan Camp SHG (Self Help Group) members organized by ASHA's village school

1. Allahabad Project (Uttar Pradesh) "Practical Farmers' Education Project for Improvement of the Quality of Life among Marginal and Small-Scale Farmers in North India"

Asian Sustainable Holistic Approach (ASHA) has been providing assistance for agricultural and rural development activities that facilitate the self-reliance of marginal rural farmers, especially in North India, as part of a JPP project since 2004. Between 2004 and 2007, ASHA mainly assisted in the encouragement of agricultural production and sales activities by organizing organic farmers' cooperatives.

Lecture given by food processing specialist from ASHALecture given by food processing specialist from ASHA

New project has started in July 2009 and is expected to further strengthen rural farmers' cooperative activities and enhance their quality of life. ASHA and its local partner, the College of Continuing and Non-Formal Education at Allahabad Agricultural Institute at Deemed University, have targeted the nurturing of rural leaders and facilitating the capacity development of rural organizations through practical education in organizational management, organic farming, income-generating activities, and development of a supply chain.

On July 8, 2009, Dr. Teruo Miura, Project Manager, visited our JICA India Office with some beautiful packages of herbal bath mixtures in his hands. "These were made in our project site and are sold in Japan. Rural women are gaining confidence from making a profit," said Dr. Miura. "We have successfully nurtured rural leaders through our consecutive activities. We are hoping that these leaders will be a driving force for the project we are starting."


ASHA http://ashaasia.org/ (Japanese only)

2. Dehradun Project (Uttarkhand) "Adolescent Girls Self-Sufficiency Support Project in the State of Uttarkhand in Northern India: Establishing a Gender Resource Center and Raising Peer Educators in District Dehradun"

photoAdolescent girls attending TPAK's sewing class at Gender Resource Center

Terra People ACT Kanagawa (TPAK) has been actively conducting JPPs in North India in collaboration with a local NGO Mamta Samajik Sanstha since 2005. In a previous project (2005-2007), the improvement of sanitary conditions was TPAK's main activity, in collaboration with Mamta and the local government. As the project progressed, it came to TPAK's attention that women from the poorest minority groups are severely oppressed and live in very difficult situations legally, socially, and economically.

Given these realities, TPAK started a new three-year project in June 2009 with the aim of improving women's quality of life and promoting women's empowerment. During the project, gender resource centers will be established as a venue to provide vocational training. The trainings are for income-generating activities that use microfinancing. Leaders among the adolescent girls will be selected and nurtured to promote women's empowerment with sustainability. The vocational trainings are tailored to the beneficiaries' needs, and include sewing, beauty aesthetics, horticulture, dairy, poultry, and organic agriculture courses. In three years, Dehradun Project is expected to change rural women's lives as well as the gender mind-set among their families, neighbors, and villages.


TPAK http://www.tpak.org/
Mamta Samajik Sanstha http://www.mamtasanstha.org/


3. Kovalam Project (Tamil Nadu) "Regional Development Project through Self-Help and Leadership Training in Kovalam, Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu"

Eco-san Toilets or bio-toilets have grabbed attention as a tool to provide toilets in developing countries. The eco-san toilet is a waterless toilet system that utilizes a natural biological process to break down human waste into a dehydrated odorless compost-like material, which is then recycled into fertilizer.

The Institute of Buddhism and Economics of Komazawa University started a project in June 2009 that utilizes eco-san toilets to improve the sanitation of Kovalam village. Residents of the village live separated by religion and caste, and they don't share common goals for the benefit of the community. Under such social conditions, the sanitary environment tends to be poor and the economy to stagnate. Komazawa University partners with a local NGO, Coastal and Rural Development Trust (CRDT), to improve sanitary conditions and livelihoods by promoting eco-san toilets and training village residents in sales method for organic fertilizers. The project also aims to nurture young leaders for the betterment of the community.


Institute of Buddhism and Economics, Komazawa University http://www.komazawa-u.ac.jp/gakunaisoshiki/kenkyujo/bukkyokeizaiken/


(Author: Mariko Numasawa @ NGO-Japan Desk)


For a better quality of life
-JICA's intensive assistance for improving service levels in urban area-

July 1, 2009

Due to number of government initiatives such as Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), key urban infrastructure services have developed rapidly in recent years. However, when it comes to the quality of service delivery, it is far behind the desired level as such infrastructure is rarely utilized to full capacity. Many Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) are unable to grasp and assess their level of services correctly, and there is no clear indicator for the services level they need to deliver. It is imperative to have information about the operational and financial performance of urban infrastructure services so as to ensure their sustainability as well as equitable distribution of the services.

Considering above circumstances, the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Government of India, in consultation with key stakeholders has developed Service Level Benchmarks (SLBs) for four categories of urban services: water supply, sewerage, storm water drainage and solid waste management. MoUD has developed a Handbook on Service Level Benchmarks, broadly specifying the parameters and targets with the objective to assist the ULBs to enhance performance standards of urban service delivery of the abovementioned utilities.

Based on this initiative, JICA has decided to start pilot program implementation and selected 8 cities namely Amritsar, Jullundur, Delhi, Bangalore, Kozhikode, Trivandrum, Hyderabad and Guntur. In this pilot program, JICA will coordinate and support implementation of the SLB framework which would encompass four aspects:

(i) Collation of performance data using the indicators and methodologies outlined in the SLB Handbook;
(ii) Preparation and implementation of an Information Systems Improvement Plan (ISIP) to support provision of this data on an on-going basis;
(iii) Preparation and implementation of a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) to facilitate improvement of performance levels on select service indicators.
(iv) Integration of the SLB framework into the existing planning, reporting and decision-making systems of the pilot cities

With a view to facilitate hand holding and extend ground level support to the ULBs and utility providers in this pilot program, JICA has appointed as consultants, the Administrative Staff College of India (ASCI) and Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT), two of the well known institutions in the field of urban governance and planning.


It is hoped these initiatives would go a long way in assisting the 8 JICA assisted pilot cities to improve their service levels in the long run leading to operational improvements and financial sustainability for the ULBs and ultimately providing a better quality of life for their citizens. Successful experiences expected from this pilot program can be replicated in other cities.


By Mihir Sorti, Senior Development Specialist, JICA India


Renew the Past for Tomorrow's Wisdom 1
Indo-Japan Agricultural Extension Centre, Ara, Bihar

June 2, 2009

JICA opened its India Office in April 1966. Japanese technical cooperation in the earlier years used to be initiated by the Embassy of Japan in New Delhi and implemented by private non-profit organizations. In early May 2009, I had a chance to visit one of the old technical cooperation sites in Ara, Bihar.

1. Indo-Japan Agricultural Extension Centres

It is said that the first Japanese agricultural cooperation in India was initiated around 1955 by a few Japanese youths, who stationed at Myohoji Temple in Rajgir, Bihar. After a few years' practice there, some of them were invited to a demonstration farm at Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh, by the Embassy of Japan. They were engaged in the rice cultivation in a small plot of land and contributed to the productivity enhancement. This "Japanese method" drew attention of the Government of India and led to the signing of the agreement between the Governments of India and Japan on the establishment of agricultural demonstration farms in April 1962. Ara is one of the four sites where the Indo-Japanese Demonstration Farms was opened.

In the earlier years of the technical cooperation in Ara, a few Japanese experts were assigned in the field of rice farming, agricultural machinery and extension. The agreement was renewed in 1967 and the farms were renamed as Indo-Japanese Agricultural Extension Centres. The project continued until 1975. According to the old JICA reports, the rice cultivar introduced by the Ara Centre had covered more than 50% of the cultivated area of then Shahabad District. Also the reports say that the power tillers introduced by the Centre had attracted the local farmers, who had become more reform-oriented, being aware of the improved productivity through the use of appropriate machinery and equipment.

2. Ara Centre Today

Indo-Japanese Agricultural Extension Centre in Ara has been transformed to Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in 1994. Although the name has changed, local people still recognize the KVK as "Japani Farm." Even the rent-a-car driver who took me from Patna to Ara during my trip said he had heard of the Japani Farm.

At present, the Ara KVK is covering Bhojpur District (former Shahabad District) mainly to provide following services: (a) demonstration on agricultural practices; (b)vocational training for farmers; (c)training for extension officers; and (d)helping seed growing farmers of the district through seed village scheme. Facilities and equipment for lab-testing and training are available in the KVK compound, and three subject-matter specialists have been engaged for soil fertility testing and preparation and implementation of various training programmes. According to Dr. P. K. Dwivedi, Programme Coordinator, they usually spend 10 to 15 days a month for training programmes at the centre, and the rest of the time is allocated to on-site training programmes with model farmers and monitoring the farm practices of the training participants. Also, the number of mobile phone users has been dramatically increasing in rural Bihar, which has enabled the KVK to take an innovative approach to consultation. Whenever farmers come up with questions on farming practices, they are able to call the specialists and ask for their advice. The centre receives almost 50 telephone inquiries a day.

The first batch of management traineesKVK Staff and Old JICA Project Staff
Dr. Dwivedi in centre, and Mr. Singh with a white cap

I met an officer who directly interacted with the Japanese experts during the project period. Mr. P. D. Singh, 58, used to be a junior officer at the Package Work Shop, State Department of Agriculture, which was located adjacent to Japani Farm. He used to do machine repair work and was assigned the charge of Japanese power tillers and then became an assistant to a Japanese expert. He is currently working as Sub-Divisional Agriculture Officer and Accounts Clerk. He remembers well the names of the Japanese experts and describes their activities in the early 1970s. According to Mr. Singh, the Japanese experts used to carry all the extension tools by themselves whenever they went out to different sub-centres on a routine basis. He says that he had learned from the Japanese experts the respect to the manners and customs in the locality and the work ethics with strong responsibility for the work they did. Also, Dr. Dwivedi said that the Japanese experts extended the knowledge on line planting practices, which had been non-existent in the State of Bihar.

KVK is looking not only at the facility-based training programmes, but also at the on-site training programmes for effective teaching/learning on a variety of subjects: from farming practices to renewable energy promotion, organic farming and vermicomposting, microfinance, food and nutrition. Their training programmes are comprehensive covering quite a few aspects of farm management. In addition, they are utilizing the new technology. I think that the KVKs are still one of the best sites for us to learn the good practices taken on agricultural extension work on the frontline of the Government of India.

By Koji Yamada, Senior Representaive


VLFM Project First Annual Session Held At Mumbai

July 29, 2008

TAward Ceremony at the first VLFM Annual Session held at Mumbai, IndiaAward Ceremony at the first VLFM Annual Session held at Mumbai, India

One of the unique features of India's recent economic growth has been the rapid development of the service sector. While the service sector makes larger contributions to India's GDP, there is a growing realisation that a substantial manufacturing base is essential to absorb the workforce moving out of agriculture, and to ensure sustainable growth of the economy.

The National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (NMCC) has stated in its policy document - "The National Strategy for Manufacturing", that one of the main constraints to India's competitiveness in the manufacturing sector is the shortage of engineers and qualified technical manpower. In response to a request of Government of India, JICA is participating in NMCC's unique initiative called "Visionary Leaders for Manufacturing Programme" (VLFM), which directly addresses this issue at various levels. This programme is bringing together the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Indian Institutes of Technology (Kanpur and Madras) as well as the Indian Institute of Management(IIM), Calcutta, to jointly work towards producing leaders and visionaries for India's manufacturing sector.

Japan's support to this programme stems from a Joint Statement in December 2006, by the former Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Shinzo Abe and Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. JICA has agreed to support the VLFM program by requesting the participation of Prof. Shoji Shiba, a world renowned expert in Breakthrough Management Professor Emeritus, Tsukuba University, Japan and former Adjunct Professor to MIT, USA

The first batch of management traineesThe first batch of management trainees

Apart from guidance of Prof. Shiba as Chief Advisor to the programme, VLFM India has received through JICA, leading experts from Japan in the fields of new product development, TQM, TPS, IP, etc. The programme has also received support for procurement of video conferencing systems, training of faculty, facilitators, etc in Japan and publication of text books and manuals.

The first Annual Session of the programme was held at Mumbai on 26th July 2008. The function was presided over by Dr. V. Krishnamurthy, Chairman-NMCC, Mr. C. Banerjee, Director General CII and leading industrialists, such as Mr. Jamshyd N. Godrej, Chairman, Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co. Ltd. and academicians, such as Mr. Shekhar Chaudhuri, Director, IIM Calcutta. A message from the Indian Prime Minister was conveyed at the session in which he appreciated the involvement of Government of Japan and said that the programme will "enhance the government's skill building initiatives critical to developing competency in India's manufacturing sector".

The annual session featured two important events the graduation ceremony of the first batch of middle and upper management trainees ("Opportunity A"), as well as the inauguration of the second batch for the same course. The 46 newly graduated participants of VLFM received intensive skill based training in innovative Japanese manufacturing ("Monozukuri") practices. They will transform their current businesses by perceiving future opportunities. These Visionary Leaders jointly pledged their resolve to contribute to transforming India's Manufacturing Sector.

By R. Dinakar, Sr. Programme Officer, JICA India Office


[Report] NGOs in Pune (III) - CASP

July 28, 2008

Dr. Gokhale and CASP/ILU/ILC StaffsDr. Gokhale and CASP/ILU/ILC Staffs

CASP was founded in 1975 and its main thrust is child sponsorship. It envisages a world where all the children are ensured of all rights to develop their full potential in a society which provides conductive environment for improved quality of life for all. It strives to diversify and strengthen its organizational competency to develop strategies and programmes to enhance the capacities of children, families and communities through participation and advocacy leading towards sustainable development and empowerment. Whenever they implement various programmes, they enter into partnerships with different institutions: other NGOs, universities, private firms and foundations.

CASP has its own building on the suburbs of Pune City. When the organization was founded in 1975, the head office was located in Mumbai and they started with support to the slum children in the Mumbai area. Soon they expanded their programmes to the neighboring districts like Pune and Satara, and finally shifted the head office itself to Pune in 2001.

But it doesn't mean that the organization occupies the whole floors. Besides its head office, CASP has their affiliates located in the same building: CASP/Plan Project, International Leprosy UnionHealth Alliance (ILU-HA), International Longevity CentreIndia (ILC-I). ILU-HA and ILC-I are both headed by Dr. S. D. Gokhale, founder of CASP. Also located in the same building were HDFC Bank, Pathfinder International, and Children's Future India. They are also the partner institutions of CASP. CASP also establishes Athashri Foundation, developer of old-age home complexes in the Pune area and one of the complexes is located just behind the CASP building.

CASP is partnering with CARE India, Danish Government, HDFC Bank, NACO etc. They are also very active in advocating for corporate donation. For example, in the partnership with HDFC Bank, they introduced a new fixed deposit with special interest rate so that a certain percentage point of the interest rate should be pooled in the fund from which the various NGO activities could be subsidized. CASP is also a Mother NGO of the HIV/AIDS-related NGO programmes in the State of Gujarat.

Since the purpose of my visit was not for the overall programme pictures of CASP, but for the one related to the elderly citizens, I minimized the time to spend for the interview at the CASP head office and spent more time in the interviews and discussions with Dr. Gokhale and his staffs on ageing issues. Their support to leprosy under the ILU-HA heading was also touched upon.

1) International Leprosy UnionHealth Alliance (ILU-HA)

Although the Government of India has officially declared the leprosy eradication in the country in January 2006, they were still fighting the stigmatized diseases like leprosy. When you look around at the scope of activities of different local NGOs, you could be surprised at the number of NGOs which include leprosy as one of the major infectious diseases affecting the poor population in India. ILU-HA was formed in 1986 by voluntary organizations and leprosy workers from over 20 developing and developed countries which recognized the need for linkage and networking among like-minded groups and individuals actively pursuing the cause of eliminating leprosy and integrating those who are affected by leprosy into the mainstream of society.

So ILU-HA could be regarded as network NGO and implementing NGO as well. Their programme has three main pillars: (i) advocacy, (ii) training, and (iii) research. In implementing its own projects in the backward states in leprosy elimination i.e. Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, ILU enters into a partnership with local institutions. In the advocacy wing, they organize seminars to disseminate information to the MPs. Their research currently focuses on the amendment or rebuilding of the laws and acts against discrimination against leprosy-affected people, emphasizing that the discrimination against leprosy is a matter of human rights, not only of medical treatment. They receive funding from WHO and state governments. Also they are in close relationships with Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation in Japan.

2) International Longevity Centre-India (ILC-I)

ILC-I was established in May 2003 by the initiative of CASP, in the reply of the elderly citizens in India to the Madrid Declaration on Ageing in 2002. The mission of the ILC-I is, according to its annual report, "to function as a not-for-profit organisation in the areas of Education, Training, Research, Media, Documentation and Advocacy and also undertaking Pilot Projects for the Population Ageing." It is one of the ten ILCs in the world and has close relations with the ILC-Japan.

As the above mission statement specifies, ILC's focus is three-folds: (i) education and training for human resource development, (ii) research and documentation that will lead to initiatives that would review and revise policy, and (iii) undertake pilot projects to set good practices for a limited period and hand them over to social organizations after three years.

Under the first heading, they aim at advocating the politicians and government officials and training the government staffs for the policy formulation for the sake of elderly citizens at the central level as well as at the individual state level. ILC-I is planning to open a state training institute "YASHADA" in July for the State of Maharashtra. Their current focus for research is on abuse on elderly, but they also intend to bridge their research and human resources development and because of this research focus they have been implementing the training programme to the young people of SLC Certificate level to avoid the cases of elderly abuse by the youth.

Also, ILC has been engaged in the review of the NPOP, National Policy on Older Persons, May 1999. They have been undertaking the comparative study on the national policies for the elderly people among the five countries; India, Japan, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

As for project implementation component, ILC has been implementing two pilots projects: (i) mobilization of 450 senior citizens as community volunteers so that the elderly citizens with expertise in deferent fields could rectify the problems that the senior residents are facing in the same communities; and (ii) connecting the senior citizens to the next generations using the schools as a platform of their interactions. Another important pilot project, which was already handed over to the other local institution, is help-line for the elderly citizens. According to the recent news article from the Times of India, when the help-line was introduced in 2006 in Pune, they used to receive only 2 emergency calls a week from the senior residents asking for help from the abuse executed by their family, especially children. However, they have been receiving 5 calls a week now, and the cases of abuse seem to have emerged for the last decade. That is the background for ILC's research focus on elderly abuse.

3) Athashri Foundation

Retirement Home Complex Behind the CASP BuildingRetirement Home Complex Behind the CASP Building

I also had a chance to visit the office of Athashri Foundation, one of the partner institutions of ILC-I. ILC-I used to do research on assisting devices for the elderly, their availability and affordability in India, and the findings of the research has led to the development of the old-age homes equipped with such devices for the smooth life of the elderly people with limited mobility and high risk of tumbling and falling. New design of old-age homes is called Paranjape Scheme and Athashri Foundation is working on the development of the retirement homes in the Pune area.

So far three complexes have been completed and one under construction. I could have a chance to visit the fist complex behind the CASP building. It is totally safe with strict security checks at the gate and the entrance to the building. All the corridors and staircases are equipped with handrails and the flooring materials are not slippery and reduce the risk of the residents' falling down. Also, the width of the corridors is made wider than usual so that the wheelchair residents are able to move.

There are two buildings in the first complex. The first building was completed in 2002 and the second one in 2004. There are 310 residents now and, according to an Athashri staff, the buildings were occupied without posting the notice in the local newspapers or web-sites. Almost all of the residents are from different states and their children are living abroad, mainly in the United States. This means that these retirement homes aim at attracting the rich retirees who have succeeded in life and accumulated huge wealth while they were working. Many of them are senior government officials, lawyers, medical doctors and businessmen, and the complex seems to be the formulation of a powerful community among the experts and specialists on different fields.

If I stop describing further on the project, it may be regarded as a business model targeting the rich population. But to my surprise, it has turned out that the mechanism of income redistribution from the rich elderly to the poor elderly was built in the model. At the purchase of the quarter, the residents have to pay the 10-year equivalent of maintenance charges. The revenues of the Foundation from the maintenance charges may cause a huge income from the interests, and the interests should be used to the support to the elderly people in the villages around Pune City.

(By Koji Yamada, JICA India Office)


[Report] NGOs in Pune (II) - Sevadham Trust

July 25, 2008

Dr. Gore, Managing Trustee of Sevadham TrustDr. Gore, Managing Trustee of Sevadham Trust

Sevadham Trust was founded in 1978 with four medical doctors, starting with its first programme for the tribal area population. Then, the Trust expanded its scope to the support to slum dwellers in Pune in 1990. The Trust aims at working for the backward communities helping them in their socio-economic development. Currently its activities include leprosy eradication programmes, mobile clinic, training programmes for different categories of health workers, AIDS awareness, women SHGs, income generation training and watershed management with the 250 staffs.

Their scope of activities is summarized below. Geographically their focus is on: (i) urban work, (ii) semi-urban work; and (iii) rural and tribal work. In addition to those three geographical pillars, the Trust has also been engaged in networking and capacity building of the local NGOs. Its thematic focus is on health and education and mothers and children are their primary target group of the population. They raise funds from various grant-making donors, i.e. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for AIDS programmes in tribal areas, Indo-German Foundation for watershed management programmes, the World Bank for community forestry programmes, and Smile Foundation for the mobile clinic "Smile-on-Wheels" in the Maval Taluka.

1) Urban Work:

Rapid urbanization has been bringing about the formation of the slums in and around Pune City. At present, slum dwellers consist of 40% of the total population in the City. The number of slums that Sevadham Trust has been covering has been increased from 100 in 1990 to current 134. The slum dwellers come from the distant states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, as well as Karnataka and Andra Pradesh. They normally join in to the slum communities that the migrants from the same state have formulated, and they tend to stay long and in often cases bring in their families from their home villages. For those slum communities, the Trust has provided Balwadis (early childhood education programme) and non-formal education programmes for the children. Their earlier investments on slum children have paid off by the youth who have grown up and returned to the home slums to contribute to the upgrading of their communities.

2) Semi-Urban Work:

This programme component has been sharing the institutional and economic infrastructure with ICA India. The main geographical focus is on Talegaon and the Sevadham Hospital is the centre of the village. Though I could not have time to visit the Hospital, I thought that the participants in the NGO-JICA workshop at the Environment Education Centre could visit it for the purpose of medical emergency relief as well as the venue for the observation visit. Mr. Shankar Jadhav of ICA India has once worked with Dr. S. V. Gore, Managing Trustee of Sevadham. The Hospital is equipped with 30 beds and it applies special tariffs for the poor patients at the affordable level while it takes normal tariffs from the richer residents on the cost recovery basis.

3) Rural and Tribal Work:

This programme component is targeting the tribal areas around Malegaon, Maval Taluka. They have been running an ashram school for the tribal children, where there are 386 students (245 boys and 141 girls). The Sevadham staffs have recommended me to visit the school next time I visit them. The Trust expects the graduates will remain in their villages after completing their school curriculum, but it would be more probable that they migrate to the urban areas.

4) NGO Network:

Currently there are approximately 60 NGOs who are regular members of the NGO network in Pune District. They gather in every quarter and discuss the issues that they are commonly facing. The issues they have identified as a challenge in common include the capacity for raising funds and staff shortage as a result of the increasing competition with private sector in the labour market.

The office of Sevadham Trust is located in the crowded commercial area in the downtown Pune. According to Dr. Gore, the Trust was established by four local medical doctors and in spite of their initial expectations that they could volunteer on a part-time basis, the task they were engaged was huge and they decided to dedicate their whole time to the NGO activities. Although they receive funding from different international donor agencies, their office and the staff showed a kind of voluntary way of working and this gave me a lot of similarity to the Japanese NGOs.

Because of the time constraints, all I could do was the office interviews with the officers of the key programme components. But the interview with the staffs of urban work and rural / tribal work components enabled me to understand the whole picture of their programmes in the Pune District. Their programmes cover the whole spectrum of the rural-urban migration which is taking place in the area.

Another thing to note is that Sevadham Trust has a child sponsorship programme and it targets the students from tribal communities. NGO-JICA Japan Desk sometimes receives an inquiry from Japanese individuals who would like to donate their money for the support of the children in the underprivileged areas and we have difficulty in identifying those children. The fact they were working in the tribal areas shows that the Trust provides a good opportunity to introduce the children to the sponsoring individuals / institutions. The distance between the target villages and the center of the City gives a better chance for the child sponsors to come and visit their sponsored children.

(By Koji Yamada, JICA India Office)


[Report] NGOs in Pune (I) - ICA India

July 23, 2008

Koji Yamada, Deputy Resident Representative, JICA India Office, visited Pune, Maharashtra, from 7th to 10th of July 2008. During his stay there, he visited a couple of local NGOs working in Pune City and its surrounding villages, and submitted the Back-to-Office Report to Resident Representative. Here is the excerpt:


Group interview at Katarkhadak villageGroup interview at Katarkhadak village

Mulshi is one of the most poverty-stricken of the 13 Talukas in Pune District. 73% of the villagers are farmers but most are small-scale and do without irrigation scheme or machinery. In 1999, ICA India carried out an afforestation programme in the Taluka to alleviate soil erosion. Since then, ICA has installed an irrigation system with pipelines from the water reservoir, and carried out pilot projects of agroforestry and biodigesters in Khamboli. According to the JPP (JICA Partnership Programme) project proposal, the new ICA project covering the 4 villages (Khamboli, Katarkhadak, Andhale and Jawal) aims at:

(a) Leadership training for community members and local government staffs;

(b) Establishment of a new source of income through capacity building in rearing dairy cows and formulating a dairy cooperative;

(c) Introduction of alternative energy source through biomass from manure; and

(d) Expansion of cultivable land and its productivity through the introduction of appropriate technology in irrigation and agroforestry.


Transplanting the rice seedlingsTransplanting the rice seedlings

I saw lots of villagers transplanting the rice seedlings from nurseries to the paddy field. Most of the villagers were out in the field and we just interviewed a group of representatives of a lift-water irrigation usersf cooperative and a poultry cooperative in Katarkhadak and Khamboli villages. All of them were male elderly, and they seemed to have known ICA India for a long time. Their interactions with ICA started when the villagers participated the rice production training carried out at the Environment Education Centre in 2001. ICA started the Khamboli cluster project in 1998 so that the neighboring villages watched the success in Khamboli. In our group interview in Katarkhadak, a village leader, who was a rich farmer and a member of the lift-water irrigation and poultry cooperatives in Khamboli village, participated and shared his experiences

One peculiar feature of the ICA intervention in the target villages is, in my observation, no special focus on women and children. In fact, the staffs have been interacting with the male adult villagers. SHG formulation was also observed in the villages, but that was not within the scope of ICA. ICA also emphasizes its rural facilitation techniques, and the photos of the past workshops show that they did not distinguish women from villagers in general.

Another important reason for their no special focus on women and children is the demographic composition of the villages. These two villages are located just 5 km away from an IT park. Urbanization around the satellite towns was frequently observed around Pune City, and this has been enhancing the employment prospects as construction laborers or workers in the service sector. Heavy migration of the youth population was observed in the villages and the family members engaged in the farming practice were elderly people and women, and they constitute the majority of the villages who remain in village even in the daytime. A few villagers raised the issue of labor shortage as one of the challenges they were facing. This is why ICA has come up with its highlight on the measures to improve the agriculture productivity and diversify the farm management by introducing new product lines which have strong linkages with the consumers in the urban areas.


Village leaders at Khamboli villageVillage leaders at Khamboli village

One of the main constituents of the village population even in the daytime is the male adults and this gives us a unique picture in the ICA's proposal, compared to the other proposals of the rural development JPP projects. But the geographical conditions have led to the proposed scope of activities, and it seemed quite appropriate.

Also, ICA's past intervention in the rural development in the Khamboli cluster has already built mutual trust between the villagers and the outsiders like ICA, and this is a very important precondition to start a new project. Presumably ICA has a certain image of the villages after three-year implementation of the new JPP project, and I thought the proposed JPP project could bring about a good result in the target villages.

(By Koji Yamada, JICA India Office)


Visit of JICA Senior Vice-President, Mr. Kenzo Oshima, to India

July 7, 2008

Mr. Oshima Outside a Metro Station in DelhiMr. Oshima Outside a Metro Station in Delhi

JICA Senior Vice President, Mr. Kenzo Oshima visited India from the 1st to 3rd July 2008. The main purpose of this visit was to reaffirm the commitment of 'New JICA' to the development needs of India, and to appraise senior Indian officials on Japan's new initiative for helping Africa become self-sufficient in food grains.

During his brief visit, Mr. Oshima had meetings with Mr. Nalin Surie, Additional Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs; Ms. Sindhusree Khullar, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Finance; Dr. P.K. Mishra, Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Cooperation and Dr. Mangala Rai, Secretary, Department of Agriculture Research and Extension.

The Indian side cordially welcomed Mr. Oshima's visit and expressed their sincere appreciation for Japan's ODA projects in India. Ms. Khullar, pointed out that "every experience with Japan has resulted in a positive, visible change in India".

Mr. Oshima at a Meeting with Dr. P. K. Mishra, Secretary-DAC, Ministry of AgricultureMr. Oshima at a Meeting with Dr. P. K. Mishra, Secretary-DAC, Ministry of Agriculture

Officials at the Ministry of Agriculture recalled the pioneering efforts by Japanese agricultural experts 30 years ago, for introduced 'Japanese method of rice cultivation' in India, by setting up eight demonstration farms across the country and following it up with widespread extension work. This effort was part of the Green Revolution that boosted domestic rice production, making the country self-sufficient in food grains. It was generally agreed that African nations too could double their rice production in ten years by adopting a similar model.

For Mr. Oshima, this visit to New Delhi was like a second homecoming - he had worked here 30 years ago (1977-1980) as an official at the Embassy of Japan. He noted that the transport infrastructure had improved noticeably over the years with the introduction of the Delhi Metro Project.

By R. Dinakar, Sr. Programme Officer, JICA India Office


Successful Completion of the Project for Control of Diarrheal Diseases

July 4, 2008

Training on New Equipment at NICEDTraining on New Equipment at NICED

The Project for Prevention of Diarrheal Diseases, one of the longest running technical cooperation projects of JICA India Office, is being successfully concluded on 30th June 2008.

One of the biggest challenges to India's Health Care System comes from infectious diseases like Cholera and Diarrhea, which are the major cause of infant and child mortality in the country. Diarrheal diseases are caused by a wide range of bacteria viruses & parasites, and in the past decades, the fight against these diseases was further complicated by the emergence of new types of Cholera bacteria and drug-tolerant dysentery bacillus.

The Project for Prevention of Emerging Diarrheal Diseases was first launched in 1998, in response to a request from Government of India. The main counterpart agency for this project was the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED), Kolkata, a premier institution under the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

During the initial years (1998-2003), close interaction between scientists from Japan and India resulted in the transfer of technologies for the study of diarrhea disorders, as well as the procurement of basic research equipment and material for augmenting the laboratories at NICED. Phase-2 of this project was launched in 2003 with the objective of strengthening the capability of NICED for the prevention and control of diarrheal diseases.

This was the first JICA technical cooperation project that saw a high level of interaction between medical institutions in Japan and India. Over the past ten years, JICA deputed 76 experts to this project, and trained 31 NICED counterparts in Japan. Equipment worth about Rs. 13 Crores (Yen 325 million) was supplied to NICED.

Skills and expertise gained by NICED under this project was imparted not only to hospitals in Kolkata but also to other medical institutions across India and other developing countries. Technical expertise to identify diarrheal pathogens was imparted to 112 trainees within India and to 54 trainees from South and East Asia as well as Africa.

Under a separate but related Japanese ODA project, NICED received a grant assistance of for a new Diarrheal Research & Control Centre (DRCC) at Kolkata. The DRCC covers an area of over 6300 sq.m and houses fully equipped labs for research & control of diarrheal diseases.

In a terminal evaluation of the technical cooperation project, it was found that the objectives had been achieved to a fair extent. During 2003-2007, identification of diarrheal pathogen has increased from 12 to 35; research institutions capable of molecular identification of pathogens had increased sharply from four to forty institutions. Impact of NICED research publications had also increased steadily.

NICED now proposes to develop a constant surveillance network with 25 peripheral institutions in India for sharing data on enteric pathogens. This network would be critical for taking timely preventive measures for diarrheal disease outbreaks.

JICA's decade long project with NICED has strengthened India's capacity to battle diarrheal diseases. During the past ten years India's Infant Mortality Rate has reduced from 72/1000 in 1998 to 58/1000 in 2005. This is expected to improve further as NICED improves its expertise and surveillance network against diarrheal diseases.

By R. Dinakar, Sr. Programme Officer, JICA India Office


Participation of a Japanese Judo Coach to Judo Training Programme in Orissa

June 27, 2008

Mr. Kimoto coaching at the training campMr. Kimoto coaching at the training camp

Japanese Judo coach, Mr. Tomoya Kimoto, joined in the Judo training programme from 6th to 26th of June in Bhubaneshwar, Orissa. The training programme is hosted by the Orissa State Judo Association (President, Shri. Priyabrata Patnaik, IAS) for the Judokas (Judo players) in the State. Almost 100 Judokas participated in the training camp.

Mr. Kimoto is a Judo coach dispatched to the Judo Federation of India, Sport Authority of India under the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) programme of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). He has been imparting training at the West Bengal Judo Federation since March 2007, and his 18-year experience of Judo practice in Japan has contributed to enhancing the skills of the junior Judokas in West Bengal in a short period of time.

Mr. Kimoto's visit to Orissa was made in accordance with the agreement between the Judo Federation of India and JICA India Office, both of which expect that his Judo experience and skills would be fully utilised if he is provided opportunities to interact with Judokas in the different states.

Referee at the judo tournamentpReferee at the judo tournament

Mr. Kimoto was born in Hokkaido, Japan in 1978. During his college days, he led his team, Ryukoku University, Kyoto, to win the 3rd place in the Kansai Inter-College Judo Team Competition, and individually he won the 1st place in the 2nd section of the All Japan Judo Therapist Vocational School Competition held in 2002. He has 4th Dan (grade) in Kodokan Judo certification and is a certified Judo referee of the All Japan Judo Federation.

On the last two days of the training camp, the judo tournament was organised where Mr. Kimoto contributed his skills as referee.

JICA has been implementing the JOCV programme since 2006 in India. At present, eight Japanese volunteers, including Mr. Kimoto, are working in India in the field of Japanese language education as well as Judo.

By Koji Yamada, Deputy Resident Representative, JICA India Office


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