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Mrs. Maneka Gandhi
( Chairperson )  
   

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RUGMARK's Camp for Disabled Persons
RUGMARK BALASHRYA - an Open School now
Carpet Weaving Training Center for Women
RUGMARK GETS A MOBILE HEALTH VAN
17. RUGMARK BOARD MEETING
RUGMARK Springs a surprise at Spring Festival 2003
New Higher Classes Started in RUGMARK Schools
An Ideal Solution


RUGMARK's Camp for Disabled Persons

On 10th February 2004 RUGMARK Foundation organised a camp for free distribution of artificial limbs and appliances for disabled persons at RUGMARK Balashrya, Gopiganj (Bhaodhi). The Camp was organsied under the ADIP scheme of Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment of Govt. of India. The aids and appliances were manufactured and supplied by Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), Kanpur. Around 150 beneficiaries were provided with tricycles, wheel chairs, blind sticks, hearing aids, auxilla crutch and various other artificial limbs viz orthosis and prosthesis limbs etc. Beneficiaries included the villagers from all age groups from 5 year to 65 years. They were from different villages of Bhadohi, Mirzapur, Varanasi and Allahabad districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Dr. D. Kebshull, Permanent Advisor and Mrs. Sharda Subramaniam, Managing Director, RUGMARK Foundation were present on this occasion. They said that they believe artificial limbs and appliances would be helpful in social, psychological and economic rehabilitation of the disabled persons by reducing the effects of disabilities. Dr. Kebschull said that cooperation of all sections of society including disabled persons is necessary for all round development of the society.

While presenting limbs and appliances to the disabled persons, RUGMARK Directors, Mr. Ram Chandra Maurya (Ex MLA) and Mr. Parvez Suleman encouraged them to become self-reliant. Mr. Feroz Alam, Deputy CMO, Sant Ravidas Nagar praised the work of RUGMARK and assured for all possible assistance in future. Mrs. Subramaniam, Managing Director of RUGMRAK said that RUGMARK also plans to organise other such camps under the guidance of Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, former Union minister and Chairperson - RUGMARK Foundation. She thanked ALIMCO representatives, Medical Officers for their cooperation in making the camp a success.

The camp was managed by Mr. Arbind Chauhan, Mr. Rashid Raza, Mr. Sanjeev Mishra and other staff members of RUGMARK Foundation. 

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RUGMARK BALASHRYA - an Open School now


Balashrya children studying in 'Ideal Convent School'RUGMARK Balashrya enrolled 50 local children as day-scholars from the 2001-2002 session. More enrolments would be done in this session too. They will be imparted formal education along with other students of Balashraya. This will help Balashrya kids to interact, and find a friendly environment in the company of local students who stay with their families. 

RUGMARK - Balashrya, the rehabilitation centre located in Gopiganj in Bhadohi district of U. P. was initially geared to provide shelter for children freed from carpet weaving, who are in urgent need of social reintegration. After watching the progress of the Balashrya kids and also the proper formal and vocational education provided by the rehab center the local people requested RUGMARK officials to make it an open school.

It may be noted that Balashray kids are given formal education, together with vocational training in various fields. Besides, medical attention, fun, and sports, provide new perspectives for a different and better life for these children.

Recently Balashrya RUGMARK rehabilitation center has been made an open school and it was decided to have a dress code for the day scholars too. Mrs. Subramaniam who was on a three-day visit to Varanasi, Bhadohi and Gopiganj instructed Manager Balashrya to have plain brown shirts for the day scholars. 

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Carpet Weaving Training Center for Women: 

A carpet weaving training center for the girls above 14 years of age has started functioning in Gopiganj area of the carpet belt of Uttar Pradesh. This Centre is providing training in carpet weaving to girls and women, who are more than 14 years of age. Presently the training is being provided to 28 girls/women at this Centre.

In the 16. RUGMARK Board meeting Mrs. Maneka Gandhi who is the Chairperson of the RUGMARK Foundation, India has suggested that women empowerment is also important for the economic and social development of the carpet belt. Apart from rehabilitation center, schools with vocational training centers and adult education classes there was a need for a programme or initiative for the girls and younger women to make them economically self-sufficient. This training center provides them training in carpet weaving and special arrangements are been made to market and sell these carpets.

The women in the family, especially in remote rural areas, are mainly confined to household work. Traditionally, they have a very little role in direct income generation for the family. However, it is always felt that if the women also get an opportunity to support the family income, it could provide a great financial relief to the family. For this purpose, at the end of the year 2002, RUGMARK opened a Carpet Weaving Training Centre for Women, in Gopiganj, Bhadohi. 

The women are generally poor and illiterate. They get the stipend during their training. It is clear just from watching them that they enjoy not just learning a new skill but the chance to be away from their housework, children and family in a different, supportive and friendly environment.

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RUGMARK GETS A MOBILE HEALTH VAN 

The Rotary Club of Delhi Midtown presented an Omni Ambulance to the RUGMARK Foundation for running and managing a Mobile Health Clinic in the carpet belt of Uttar Pradesh.

This Mobile van is equipped with the basic medical facilities. It is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Seoul, Korea and the Rotary Club of Delhi Midtown under the Matching Grant programme of the Rotary Foundation of the Rotary International. This Mobile Medical Van is, now, operational in the remote rural area. It primarily attends to the health problems of the children and families of carpet weavers' community apart from the students studying in RUGMARK Schools.

The carpet looms are spread over a very large area and are also far away from the big cities, where health facilities are available. To provide on-the-spot health facilities for the children of the carpet weavers and their families, the concept of a mobile clinic was mooted. RUGMARK Foundation of India, that established a system to manufacture carpets without illegal child labour, has been organizing regular health services through experienced doctor (physician) for children of the RUGMARK schools. 

Sometimes, these weavers ignore their health problems due to a lack of time or because the village dispensary/health center is located far from their village. The medical services in the form of Mobile Health Clinic will provide them with an incentive to undergo timely medical aid for their kids. 

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17. RUGMARK BOARD MEETING 

RUGMARK label on a wall hanging! Strange, Isn't it? But don't be surprised. RUGMARK labels can now be seen on jute rugs, chenille cotton rugs, coir rugs, cotton dhurries and other such products. 

It was envisaged in the last Board Meeting that RUGMARK has to expand its ambit from carpets to other products that are still made with child labour. A new RUGMARK label that looks exactly the same as the European label has been developed and is smaller in size. By the end of the current year RUGMARK India hopes to issue huge numbers of the small labels for cheaper rugs. This will be in addition to crossing the 3 millionth mark of exports of RM labelled handwoven and handtufted carpets to Europe, USA and other countries.

This was the focus of the 17. RM Board Meeting chaired by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, Chairperson, RUGMARK Foundation India. It was held on 3. February 2003 at IGEP. The Board members shared a general opinion that a lot of new initiatives have been taken up in the past year. As per directions given by the Chairperson in the last Board Meeting a Carpet Weaving Training centre for Women in Gopiganj has started functioning. It provides training in carpet weaving to girls and women who are more than 14 years of age. 

The year also saw the starting of the RUGMARK Mobile Health Clinic in the carpet belt. It is providing free medical services to the children of the RM schools, Balashrya and carpet weaving community. The Rotary International has provided the Mobile Van and medicines under its Matching Grant programme.

The Board also delved on the outcomes of the evaluation team that was here in India from 26. November 2002 to 4. December 2002. It was a general opinion that inspite of the success so far, which has never been expected by the initiators of the scheme, there are still many tasks ahead. Marketing must be further strengthened to broaden the possibilities for the growing social activities. Co-operation with organizations working in the same field with similar objectives is to be further enhanced. And last but not least all efforts should be taken to develop RM as an integrated project providing young children with care, understanding, education and vocational training.

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RUGMARK Springs a surprise at Spring Festival 2003

RUGMARK labelled cotton dhurries! All displayed at Spring Festival 2003 from 28. February till 4. March 2003. Anybody could walk up and possess a beautiful dhurry at a minimum cost of INR 250. Although there were some exquisite pieces available at a higher range. But the objective was that one need not own a carpet to claim that one possesses a RM labelled product. This was probably the first time when a stall of RUGMARK displayed products other than carpets. The people appreciated this pleasant surprise. The response was encouraging for something that was new and experimental. 

RUGMARK has long been associated with carpets. Over the last few years it was under immense pressure to issue labels for other similar products like cotton dhurries, chennille, jute and coir rugs and other products. What better platform then the Spring Festival 2003 organised by People for Animals (PFA) and Mrs. Maneka Gandhi who is also the Chairperson of the RUGMARK Foundation-India.

The shopping fest, claimed to be the biggest festival ever organised in India by an NGO had 150stalls. PFA has 2.5 lakh members working at 65 centres in the country. They have opened 16 animal hospitals in India and hope to take that figure to 600 hospitals. The fund raised through this festival will be used for this purpose.

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New Higher Classes Started in RUGMARK Schools:

The strength of students, presently, studying in RUGMARK institutes has gone up to 1781. This has been facilitated by the addition of new higher classes in RUGMARK Schools from this session. In the Adult Education Centres too, five fresh batches has been started and 170 adult students will be availing this opportunity by getting non-formal education at these centers. Apart from the usual benefits of education it will give them the satisfaction of being known as a literate.

The status in RUGMARK Schools is as follows:
Name of school New class started
 Jagapur School  Class-8
Cherapur School Class-6
Handia School Class-6
Devnathpur School Class-4
Mirzapur School Class-5
Barhi Newada Class-6

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An Ideal Solution


Balashrya children studying in 'Ideal Convent School'RUGMARK Balashrya was inaugurated on 31st October 1996 by Mrs. Maneka Gandhi, former Union Minister and Chairperson of RUGMARK Foundation. Now with its completing five years of existence, the children have begun passing out of class five every year.

The boys, who do not want to go home after receiving primary education and vocational training at Balashrya, and are desirous of continuing their education further are arranged to be admitted in a local Ideal Convent School.

This year seven boys from Balashrya were admitted to this school. This brings up the number of boys studying in this school to nine.

Mr. B.D. Singh, the Manager of the school said We are very impressed with the discipline and motivation of your students, which is why we are charging only 50% of the fees from them.

RUGMARK, of course , is not only paying the remaining 50% fee but also providing the boys with free boarding and lodging, uniforms, books, etc. at RUGMARK Balashrya.

 

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