Essential Oil Cultivation Project: September 2020

SNET is very excited to launch a new pilot project exploring the cultivation of citronella, geranium, vetiver, lemongrass and mogra.  We are very hopeful that these crops can be cultivated for income generation that will improve the lives of our tribal neighbors.

Hydroponic vetiver cultivationHydroponic vetiver cultivation

Geranium cultivation
Oyster Mushroom Growing Project at Fire Mountain

April 2019

Mushroom Harvesting at Fire Mountain
Oyster Mushroom Harvesting at Fire Mountain

We have started a new program of growing organic oyster mushrooms at Fire Mountain.  This means our already delicious meals at Fire Mountain now include tasty oyster mushroom dishes!  Once we perfect our techniques -- we will engage with local farmers to teach them how to grow these mushrooms and eventually create a new cash crop for everyone involved.

SNET depends upon the generosity of people who wish to see the world made into a better place for the local farmers.  Please assist us with a donation to our Agriculture Project.

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A New School Year Begins

August 2018

Why Aren’t Girls Getting A Quality Education? (click to watch video)

If educating girls creates healthier, wealthier, fairer, and more stable communities, then, why aren't girls getting a quality education?
Life is harsh for those living in rural outback of india, but life is tougher for women and girls.  And these hardships create obstacles to girls getting an equal and quality education.  A tribal girl works hard every day to support her mother in taking care of the family.
The average day starts before day break with fetching water, gathering fire wood, cooking on their family wood stove, helping look after younger siblings, And helping with farming and manual labor.  Since girls are very useful at home for carrying out domestic duties, parents can be reluctant to send them to school.
Impoverished families often cannot afford to give education to all their children, and families make the choice to educate their sons, rather than their daughters.  Even though the government might not charge school fees, there is still a price to pay for going to school   Students are required to buy uniforms, transportation, and supplies, such as textbooks, pens and notebooks.  And there is an indirect cost from lack of contribution to home chores, or possible missed opportunities to assist the family in earning from paid labor.
Some parents don't allow their daughters to attend school because of their fears about safety and possible attacks during the coming and going to school.  The girls in our area are subjected to a kind of street harassment called "Eve-teasing" and can be traumatic for girls of all ages. The girls become reluctant to go out of the house.
Girl's education is a low priority particularly in our tribal area where daughters are encouraged, and sometimes coerced into early marriage. From an early age, the girls are trained to expect to leave the house at an early age to move into their future husband's home. Very few have the encouragement to first go to school and have a career. Their early marriages then leads to early childbirth and resultant health problems, as well as a stop to her own education.
23% of India's adolescent girls drop out of school when they reach puberty due to lack of toilets at school.  Schools that don't provide girl students with access to separate toliets, washing areas, and sanitary products can discourage them who are menstruating from attending classes.  Schools often lack bathrooms, making it hard for girls to relieve themselves when needed.  Holding back their urine can lead to urinary and kidney infections.
The literacy rate for adult women in India is 65%, but even less in the rural areas, and greatest in the tribal areas. This ignorance among rural women and resultant lack of communication creates mental barriers for women and shuts them out of the larger world.  This then is passed down to their daughters. Girls need role models to encourage them to stay in school but most mothers are uneducated themselves . Majority of rural schools lack female teachers to serve as an incentive for girls to attend and stay in school.
The UN's Sustainable Development Goal #4,  "education for every girl by 2030" is quickly approaching. To meet this goal, tribal girls need resources and trainings in the use of the internet and developing digital literacy skills.  Effective use of technology can be a great aid in learning and bridging the gender gap.  In rural areas, girls are excluded from taking pre-requesites for science, technology, math, and engineering. Accessing additional tutorials over the internet can give rural girls the extra boost they need to catch up with girls from more affluent schools.
How SNET is Addressing the Needs of Women for Better Education
Shri Nityanand Education Trust has made it a priority to help Tribal girls and women from the Tansa River Valley to continue their education.  For the past eight years, SNET has solicited donors to help fund scholarships to individual girls.  In addition, SNET has created various vocational training programs for female students: sewing, embroidery, Marathi literacy, computer classes, Ayurveda Therapies, Guest Services, and organic farming.
This year, SNET has expanded its education programs to serve more young women.  SNET has increased its scholarship program from 28 to over 75 ( and counting) girls from primary school, Secondary school and college.  SNET has helped over 200 young women pursue their goals of higher education and offered vocational training to over 1000 women in the last eight years.
It has developed a full time computer center where women can not only learn basic computer knowledge (for free) but also two specific computer classes for qualifying for a government job.  The center also offers personality development. SNET is transporting ambitious women to Mumbai programs for on becoming entrepreneurs.  For the first time, SNET will answer the request to provide beautician classes. Each year around 40 women receive sewing instruction. Next year we plan to double this amount by stretching into a new geographical area.
SNET depends upon the generosity of people who wish to see the world made into a better place for women.  Please assist us with a donation to our Women’s Education Project.

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Ease of Cooking for Tribal Women

Firewood collection and carrying an overhead load of around 25 kg during transit from local forest to home is one of the most arduous activities for many tribal women in Thane and Palghar districts (of Maharashtra). For an average family of five, women have to make 80-100 such trips annually. In the existing cooking practices involving use of firewood, women typically face following problems: i) Drudgery involved in firewood fetching activity cause health hazards that include neck ache, back ache, calf muscle ache, and fatigue. It is quite tiresome activity for the women who are affected by anaemia, ii) Women spend around 450 work hours annually to fetch firewood. During the firewood fetching period, they can not avail the locally available wage labor activities, iii) Firewood fetching also disturbs child caring activity of the women and iii) smoke generated during cooking cause irritation in eyes, cough and sometimes head ache.
Since, November 2016, Tata Motors under its CSR in partnership with NGO Shree Nityananda Education Trust (SNET) and Dr. Vijay Honkalaskar, PhD from IIT Bombay have disseminated the Twisted Tape Pack (TTP) technology incorporated in the traditional cookstoves to around 8,000 tribal and rural women in six blocks in Thane and Palghar districts. It is estimated that the dissemination work has saved around 16,00,000 women work hours expended in firewood fetching and cooking activity. A qualitative assessment of the utility of the technology carried out on sampling basis reveals perception of women that in addition to reducing the firewood required, this intervention reduces time of cooking, reduces blackening of the palms, reduces irritation of eyes and cough due to the hitherto smoky firing of the cookstoves, lesser attacks of hot gases on face and reduced health expenses.

SNET Participates in Women's Organic Expo in Mumbai: March 2018

Fire Mountain Organics is proud to be participating in the "Women of India Festival 2018" Expo organized by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Welfare in New Delhi, co-sponsored by Mahila Aartik Vikas Mahamandal in Maharastra.

Padukas products made by the SNET Women's Workshop launched it's new line of organic quilts, jewelry and clothes.  The SNET Men's Workshop launched it's "organic farming in a bag" for patio gardners to benefit from their organic, natural products.

SNET Launches Organic Products

Women's Orgnaic Expo, Mumbai

Women's Organic Expo, Mumbai