Project Setu was done for a small, 30 family, fishermen community residing along the banks of lake Godh near Sindodi, a village in Shirur block of Pune district. For the local fishermen the main catch is Scampi (giant freshwater prawns) exported to Europe. One of the main buyers from Europe is Coop – a large retail chain from Switzerland who felt the need to improve living conditions of the fishermen and selected Rotary Club of Poona (RCPA) as their partner to help in implementing the improvement projects.
RCPA with the help of an NGO Sosva Training and Promotion Institute (STAPI) conducted a need identification survey of the community and found that primary focus of the project should be on water, health and hygiene, child education, house repair, women empowerment, skill training and creating awareness of social entitlements provided by the Government.
Camps were held for children, women and young girls to advise them on hygiene and health issues. Doctors were called from the local PHC centre and from Pune to address major health concerns and also to distribute free medicines.
The main success of Project Setu, over one year, was to transform the mindset of the villagers and to make them aware of their social entitlements like obtaining an Adhaar Card, Bank Account, BPL card etc. so that the community could avail the benefits provided by the government. In addition, training the community to help themselves through “shramdaan” – in keeping the village clean, repairing own houses, planting trees, etc.
Future projects include greening of the community area, providing safe drinking water, smokeless cooking and solar lighting for the village.