Newsletter, NOVEMBER 2007 - Part 1

Dear Friends,

Greetings from MGVS!

Once again it is time for us to update you about the MGVS activities. MGVS celebrated its 26th birthday in October. We are still very much engaged in working with the marginalized people in remote areas. MGVS has been an outreach program of the Christian Retreat and Study Centre Rajpur, Dehradun. As MGVS continues its rural development work, we need to deal with the government and non-governmental organizations. Therefore it was felt that MGVS should have its own identity. In the beginning of this year, MGVS registered as a separate society with the same name: “Mussoorie Gramin Vikas Samiti of the Christian Retreat and Study Centre.” There will be still some connection with CRSC through the Board members of MGVS.

Once again we at MGVS would like to thank all of you for your ongoing support and interest in MGVS activities. Please keep us in your prayers, and we look forward to sharing with you future news of our activities. All MGVS team join me in sending our best wishes for Christmas and New Year. With best regards ...

Sincerely yours
Surender Singh,
Coordinator, MGVS - November, 2007
Surender Singh (far right) attended Micah Network consultation in Malaysia.


In September, a one day workshop was held at CRSC for to develop MGVS “Vision and Mission Statement” for the next 20 years . The resource person for the workshop was Dr. Satyendra Kumar Srivastava, a Health Management & Community Health Resource Person from Herbertpur, Dehradun.

It was a recommendation from MGVS funding partner TEAR Australia that it is time for MGVS to review its Vision and Mission. Fifteen MGVS staff, including the school teachers, participated. Rev. Promod Kumar Tandy, Director of CRSC also participated as a representative of MGVS Board. The workshop was very participatory, with group discussions and presentations. Three key questions were discussed during the strategic planning:
  • What do we do?
  • For whom do we do it?
  • How do we excel?
Dr. Srivastava explained the importance of Vision and Mission for a organization in a changing environment, and how a organization can protect their organizational values. We visualized two facets of Vision 2027:

For MGVS: MGVS will become a credible Self-reliant regional Rural Development Resource Organization, with its own infrastructure, faculty and funds. MGVS will have a program demonstration unit in 4 blocks of District Tehri; Contribution of State Funds to MGVS programs will go up significantly.

For Rural Communities: MGVS envisages a Rural Community which is capable of finding & implementing sustainable solutions to its Socio-Political, material, ecological and cultural needs in 20 years period.

Our Values:
✦Christian Identity
✦No discrimination in Gender, Caste, Creed or Class
✦Identification & working with poor

Our Mission: To promote community development in Saklana Patti of district Tehri Garhwal through appropriate Eco-friendly Technology, Community Participation, Micro-enterprise Development, Community- based Health Initiatives, and by increasing access to Primary and Secondary Education.
MGVS Vision and Mission Planning Workshop

On-going Projects

POULTRY PROJECT: MGVS is promoting poultry raising as a small scale business with poor farmers. Since some farmers are successfully running small poultry units as side business, the Government Animal Husbandry Department was encouraged. MGVS approached government for the help to provide chicks to the poor farmers (Harijans). It was encouraging that Govt. Dept distributed 400 one day old chicks (10 chicks each) to the Harijans families. MGVS also started eight small poultry units with poor farmer with 20 chicks each. 330 chicks were distributed. Four new poor farmers started broiler chicken raising with 100 chicks, MGVS helped them to build a proper chicken house and provided them training of brooding and feeding.
Chick distribution to poor families.

Goat Raising for Income: 14 Village Health workers who completed their health training and started to provide health services in their village received help from MGVS to start a goat business as side income. All fourteen VHW received two goats, a male and a female goat, with an agreement that they will continue to work towards providing their health services in their village. At the time of goat distribution,a training was given on goat keeping.

Community Bulls (Hybrid Male Buffalo): This year MGVS also helped villagers to address one of their problems, that there was no hybrid male Buffalo for breeding purpose in this area. In March, MGVS helped two villages, Jargaon and Matiyan Gaon, buy two community Hybrid Buffalos for breeding purpose. So far 50 farmers have been benefited from the community bulls.
Community bull.

Fodder Grass & Silage Making: Three farmers from village Matiyan Gaon, Lamb Kandi and Hawali have planted 2 quintal of Napier grass as a demonstration to meet the needs of fodder for their animals. This grass was purchased from the Government research Centre. Four farmers planted Rai grass & Cocks Foot; the seeds were purchased from the government Department. Twenty men & women participated in a silage making workshop village Matiyan Goan.
MGVS provided fodder grass to farmers for planting.


The Women’s Organic Cooperative Satyon is making good progress. In the beginning, 15 women joined with 100 Rs Share. Recently six new women joined as associate members. The Cooperative is registered under the Government Coop Dept. It is applying for a license to sell food processing products. This year Coop’s income was 1, 47,100.00.

Members are growing different kinds of organic crops and vegetables, such as Soybean, Leak, Gobo, three kinds of Japanese rice, and the local sticky rice which is in big demand in Delhi and other places. They are also processing several kind of food products such as Miso Paste, Tofu, Ginger Limon Squash, Jam, smoky chicken and Soya sauce. There is regular demand of Miso Paste, Leak, and Tofu.

Janet Rao the Food processing trainer providing training to Coop members and other women. 106 women received training this year.
It is the real meaning of the Cooperative - working together.

Ms. Deepika joined the Cooperative as a paid Secretary. She is 22 years old from the village Manjgaon and the daughter of a Coop Member. Deepika was sent for a 10 month Leadership training course at College of Continuing and Non-Formal Education of the Allahabad Agricultural Institute. The main focus of this course was promoting sustainable agriculture as the basis for rural development. The Women Coop and MGVS shared the cost of her training. She was then employed by the Coop. She is helping to run Coop meetings and keeping all the records of the coop.

Organic Vegetables Nursery Growing &Fertilizer Making Training Workshops were held in seven villages. Ms. Deepika, led the workshops and trained 78 women and men.

Ms Deepika also trained 8 coop members in PSB making training. PSB, (Photosynthetic Bacteria) is pink-color bacteria which fixes nitrogen from the air and makes soil and plants healthy. It also purifies water also. PSB is diluted with water and poured near plant roots. Fish heads are necessary for propagation of PSB. When pleasant smell comes, then it can be applied. Ms Deepika learned the technique during her training at Allahabad Agriculture Institute.
PSB (Photosynthetic Bacteria) is ready to use on the farm.

Check Dams/plantation: MGVS helped build check dams in village Hatwal Goan, in other villages with the government’s help, under government self-employment schemes. In Hatwal Gaon, MGVS also helped to plant 250 trees to protect soil erosion along the river side.
MGVS helped villagers build check dams to protect farm land from flooding.

A New Project Towards Self-Reliance

MGVS organized a three months beautician training for the girls who are educated above high school. This training was organized by the help of the Government Ghadi Gram Udyog Department and was a part of the Government’s self-employment scheme. MGVS staff Mrs. Janet Rao was the resource person for the training. Janet was a professional beautician before joining MGVS.

Twenty young girls joined the training and paid Rs. 100/- as a registration fee. After completion the training, all 20 girls received a certificate from the Government Department.
Beautician Training - Learning to decorate a bride for her wedding.

Mrs. Renuka Chand and Mrs. Ruby Singh, the MGVS ANM/Nurse, health team staff, left MGVS in January, 2007, due to their appointment in government health department. Mr. Deependra Singh, Community organizer, left MGVS team in July due to his appointment in Government education department as a teacher.

Mr. Surender Sherring, Technical staff, left MGVS in March due to his retirement. He is now settled in Delhi with his family. We are grateful for his long services in MGVS and wish him and his family all the best.

Newly Coming:
Mrs. Kelsang Shoreng, (Tibetan background) joined MGVS Health team in February 2007 as a ANM/ Nurse.

Mr. Vijay Chowhan, a young man joined MGVS Team in Month of May 2007 as a technical social worker, his extra qualification is that he knows driving.

Mr. Dhirendra Singh, joined MGVS Team in Month of August 2007 as a Community Organizer. Dhirendra is good in computer skills both in Hindi and English. We are looking forward to benefiting from his skills.

Writing Grants - Managing Funds

Mr. Surender Singh, coordinator, and Mr. Raj Kumar, senior community health staff, attended a training workshop in August at the Indian Social Institute in New Dehli. The workshop was on writing effective project proposals and reports. It helped participants understand, from the funding organizations perspective, what kind of proposals and reports they want from the NGO’S to consider their proposals for the support.

(Note: The workshop was organized by the Micah Network, a group of almost 300 Christian relief, development and justice organization in 75 countries. The aim of Micah Network is to strengthen the capacity of participating agencies to make a biblically-shaped response to the needs of the poor and oppressed, and to encourage a deeper understanding of mission and advocacy for and with the poor. MGVS joined the Micah Network as a associate member in 2006. )

Mr. Dalip Benjamin, accountant of MGVS, attended a training program in April at CRSC on Finance Management of Organization The program was organized by the Christian Institute of Management, Chennai. Mr. Dalip Benjamin has worked with MGVS since 1994, and has been efficient in keeping all the MGVS accounts
Dalip Bejamin, MGVS Account Officer

MGVS Staff

The MGVS Field Staff and teachers at Kaplani & Donk Schools send their greetings.



Mussoorie Village Development Committee
Fund for Economic and Educational Development

PURPOSE - The mission of MGVS-FEED is to promote the work of Mussoorie Gamin Vikas Samiti, primarily by receiving checks payable to MGVS-FEED and forwarding these contributions in a timely manner to MGVS in Mussoorie, India.

Make checks payable to: MGVS-FEED

Mail to:
c/o Chris Petrak
408 Dover Road
South Newfane, VT 05351

  • In addition to contributions payable to MGVS-FEED designated to MGVS, contributions may also be designated to the Christian Retreat and Study Center (CRSC), or to help with the expenses of printing and mailing the MGVS newsletter and/or incidental expenses of MGVS-FEED.
  • Contributions will be accumulated to $1,000 and then forwarded to MGVS. No contributions will be held for more than six months before being forwarded to MGVS.
  • When contributions are received, the Coordinator of MGVS will be informed by e-mail of the
    contributor, amount, and any designation, so that he may acknowledge and plan accordingly.
  • Contributions will be sent to India by check using registered mail. When it is known that a friend of MGVS is going to Mussoorie, India, that friend may be asked to hand-deliver a check to MGVS. Large contributions may be sent by wire transfer, less the transmission fee.
  • As required by the Internal Revenue Service, contributions of $250.00 or more will be acknowledged by mail, including the statement that "No goods or services were provided." If a contributor requires such a letter for smaller contributions, please request the letter.
  • To keep all expenses at a minimum, please include your e-mail with your contribution.
  • MGVS-FEED ... Background

  • For many years, American friends of MGVS have made tax-deductible contributions by sending checks to the Presbyterian Church (USA) with a numerical code to direct the funds to MGVS. There have sometimes been delays, and expenses, related to these contributions.

  • The First Presbyterian Church of Stroudsburg, PA, has also received checks payable to the church and designated for MGVS; the church has sent these contributions in a timely manner and without deducting any expenses. We are very grateful for the Stroudsburg church's long willingness to provide this service.

  • However, many people feel much more comfortable writing checks to MGVS rather than to an intermediary. For some time, a small committee of MGVS friends has been trying to find a way for American MGVS friends to make tax-deductible contributions directly to MGVS. We conceived MGVS-FEED to which contributors could make checks, but were hampered by the cumbersome process of applying for non-profit status.

  • In 1994, Chris Petrak spent the summer as a volunteer with MGVS. Since then, he has been editing the MGVS newsletter. In more recent years, he also designed and maintains the MGVS website at www.mgvsnews.org. He is a member of the Newfane Congregational Church in Vermont. As a result of his work for MGVS, the Newfane Church has included MGVS (and its parent, the Christian Retreat and Study Centre) in its annual mission budget.

  • Early in 2007, the Newfane Church Council adopted MGVS-FEED as a mission of the church, with its own bank account. Contributions to MGVS-FEED are tax-deductible through the Newfane Church's tax exempt status.

  • In addition to the financial information which will be available by link from this website, and the oversight of the MGVS-FEED friends committee, the account will be audited annually by the Newfane Church's audit committee.