Pune: Strange as it may sound, but Magsaysay award winner Neelima Mishra wants her organisation which facilitates micro-credit to the underprivileged segments in rural Maharashtra, to be shut down in a time-frame set by her ending 2027.
    
"By 2027, I hope I will be completing the third and final phase of my work initiated through Nivedita Gramin Vigyan Niketan (NGVN) and the targeted groups would be self-sustained needing no outside help," she said.
    
Hailing from Khandesh region of North Maharashtra from where she launched her NGVN to support self help groups (SHG) of women and farmers, Mishra who won the 2011 Magsaysay award for her developmental work, is now being invited outside Maharashtra to spread her network that has set the tone for transformation of rural economy, improving and sustaining standards of living of women and deprived farmers.
    
"The first of my three phase programme envisaging a model village started in 2000. Each phase is to last for nine years. Now I am in second phase and I wish on conclusion of the third phase in 2027, the network created by me in the region is no more required with a self-sustained development," she felt.
The activist whose commitment to the cause dear to her heart reflects in every word she speaks, said she was working on the concept of an ideal "model village" and was hopeful of evolving a concrete model that can be propagated and practiced far and wide in the country.
    
"The schemes that are implemented through government channels have limitations. But if an awareness is created among villagers about their own self-development, the projects that they would initiate can last permanently," she observed.

“Empowering 'Gramsabha' to offer interest free loans and financial incentives to those families who practise and implement the prescribed developmental work can be an effective tool," Mishra who first started her project by forming a women's SHG in her native Bahadurpur village in Jalgaon district noted.
    
"The self sustaining developmental work in a village can cover the environmental aspect as well, encouraging farmers to grow organic food, plant a tree in front of the house and building of proper toilets," she elaborated.
    
"Maintaining a good hemoglobin level for women in the family should also be made a pre-conditon for facilitating financial assistance to the needy by Gramsabha," she opined.
    
The Magsaysay award winner who stated that she had not taken any government aid so far to implement her project, however, made it clear that she was not averse to using government funds to take the model village plan at the national level.
    
"In future we will accept government assistance to take our own model for village self-sustenance to every nook and corner of the country," Mishra said.
    
Among those who are urging her to take her "model village" plan outside Maharashtra include noted social activist and current member of Team Anna (Hazare) and Medha Patkar.

(Agencies)