21st December 2011

Vanasthali completed 31 years of activity. All centres organized a week of celebrations, with meetings and writing competitions. As thirty supervisors are going to meet in Pune next week to discuss of their practice in teaching Marathi language with Madhuri’s method. They will take this opportunity to say more about these celebrations.

November 2011 : Winter camp in Pune

This is just a brief information of Vanasthali revision camp organized in Pune for 253 women. Those women who had small children at home they did not come.
253  women participated into our winter camp. Balwadi teachers, Trainees, Trainers, Supervisors and Teachers who work through hobby classes in local municipal schools. It was  a mixed group.
From Nov 5th to Nov  9th. Residential arrangement was in our students welfare Association’s Hostel.
Programme :

  • Lectures on various needful subjects.
  • Demonstrations on warli painting, flower decoration, careful utilization of Gas, water ;
  • Electricity, simple experiments in science, simple recipes in the kitchen for nutrition food, etc ;
  •  Physical  exercise and games in open air ;
  • Revision of songs, storey telling techniques ;
  • Presentation of reports from all centers’ were conveyed in group meetings on 6 mobile book and toys, vehicles and on training courses etc.

On 9th evening all women went  back home after this enriched experience of being together and learning from each other etc. Friends, these camps bring women an enthusiastic experience which helps them to work with children.

Nirmala Purandare

May 2011 : a message from the President of Vanasthali

This month (May 2011), teachers and supervisors are going for a trip. They make their own plans in small group and receive some help from Vanasthali (roupies 200) and from Panpoi book trust (roupies 200). These excursions contribute to their personal enrichment.

On June 9th and 10th will be held the general annual meeting of the supervisors of Vanasthali. They will elaborate the new annual report, the different reports of their trips in the country, and the plans for next year.

Hobby classes are extending in remote destitute places, thanks to the efforts of the supervisors. This is appreciated by the teachers and the children. Budget will have to increase...

April 2011

Camille Bucher, a French young girl, accompanied Sunanda Nawale at a teacher training camp, a meeting of the supervisors in Pune and a summer camp in Shrirampur.


See the slideshow of Camille Bucher.

November 2010

For details and figures, see the latest annual report (April 2009/March 2010) : vanast_rep_2009-2010_english.pdf

A new district for Vanasthali

sindhudurg_watchtower_ph_s_ballal.jpgVanasthali is expanding its activities in Devagad village, district of Sindhudurg (Konkan). In 2009, two teacher-training courses each lasting 6 months took place there, under the responsibility of Sharmila and Sunanda, followed by a refreshing camp in June. The new supervisor, Shubanji Tali, is very enthusiastic. She was able to speak in front of all the existing teachers to convince them of the usefulness of the hobby classes. The inspector approved, encouraging the staff to welcome the Vanasthali teachers to come for the hobby classes, saying that it was a good thing, but unfortunately this could not be generalised because of the lack of teachers and structures. This district is different from the others, being far from Puné, thus must be managed more independently. There are no balwadi but many hobby classes. The « Paranjpe Trust »will take over the financial responsibility ; and several girls trained by Vanasthali are now employed in schools run by UNICEF.


Vanasthali has had two new trustees since september 2010 : Jaya Gophane and Vrinda Gupte.

Mobile libraries

Since 2008, there are more mobile libraries : 7 vans are now circulating around Baramati, Somatne, Shirwal, Lonand, Shrirampur, Lasalgaon and Saswad.


Nurse-assistant training courses : Since it started, 5 batches of nurse assistants have benefited from the six-month training course, i.e. about 60 young women, and almost all of them are now employed different hospitals in Pune where their competence is well appreciated. These training courses are organised together with the « Jagruti » centre, managed by Mangala.


Aparna, the supervisor of Baramati, spends a week each month in this remote and isolated tribal place (about an eight- hour drive from Baramati) ; hobby classes, balwadis and training courses are progressing well, with Sheela as a supervisor. Most of the local schools have given a room for the hobby classes, state and municipal teachers participate as well and speak to the parents ; now, the children seem to like being at school. They come from diverse origins, often nomads ; they understand Marathi, but mix it with neighbouring languages. In 2010, there are 41 hobby classes and 34 balwadis, including catering for mentally deficient children. The Vanasthali teachers of Udgir go to Baramati for some meetings. All this is the result of 10 years of hard work. The action in Udgir is specially sustained by the Swiss association, « Panah”.

A book to learn Marathi

After Three years of hard work, Madhuri Purandare has just accomplished a beautifully written and illustrated book for the learning of the Marathi language. She demonstrates it to the Vanasthali teachers and supervisors and various other schools.

October 2010 : 6 members of Entr'Inde in Pune

supervisors_oct_2010.jpgIn October 2010, a group of Entr’Inde met a few Vanasthali collaborators, including those who came to France in 2006 and 2010 on a training and sharing basis (except for Anita, who was bedridden in Lasalgaon with typhoid fever. She is better now). All appreciated this unusual experience ; they came home with more self-confidence and are more capable of speaking in public to expose what they saw and learnt. - On this occasion, Entr’Inde started to draw a portrait of some Vanasthali workers mainly in the Pune office.

March/April 2010

In march 2010, two Vanasthali supervisors (Anita Gandhe and Sunanda Nawale) were invited by Entr’Inde (a French association) to spend a full month in Saint Michel sur Orge (France) ; they were fully integrated into a nursery and primary school, working with the French teachers and exchanging their respective knowledge and methods ; the same experience took place in 2006 with 4 others ( Manisha Agashe, Sunanda Aglawe, Aparna Sabale et Kalpana Gunaki) who stayed 7 weeks but only in nursery schools. To know more about it, see the article in French : Stage de 2 superviseuses de Vanasthali

June 2009

Vanasthali Rural Development Centre
Summer Camp – 3rd to 7th June 2009


This year as usual the summer camp was designed by keeping in mind the overall personality development of every participant. Resource persons from different walks of life were called for the lectures and demonstrations.
The morning session comprised of lectures, the noon session was followed with various handicrafts and the evening was filled with games and activities.

Day 1 – 3rd June

On the first day there was a lot of excitement among 260 women as they came in from all the 8 districts.
This year 50% of the participants were coming for the first time for the camp. To everyone’s delight the summer camp was inaugurated by film actress and newspaper columnist Ms Sonali Kulkarni. The president of the function was Mrs Madhavi Vaidya. Mrs Bharti Bhide gave an introduction of Sonali Kulkarni & Madhavi Vaidya. Both the guests had an informal chat with the participants.

The evening was followed with a session on “self introduction”. The participants gave a good response to this session.

Day one ended with dinner and distributing responsibilities to be shared in the coming four days by each district wise group.

Day 2 – 4th June

The second day started with a review session in which the Mrs Sunanda Navale told the participants, the right way of conducting Balwadi training, the dos and don’t in taking a lesson for children. Kalpana Gunaki also shared the method of reviewing the training program. The new participants shared different songs & stories that they knew. Founder of “panpoyee library” project, Mrs Nirmal Pendharkar took a review of book reading. With the growing popularity of the library movement she gave some useful tips and suggestions to the hobby class teachers, who carry the books to the children either in bags or on two wheelers, in rural areas, and now through two well equipped vehicles.

This was followed with a session by an expert cook Mrs Jayashree Kuber. She gave guidelines and tips on how to run and manage a catering business, keeping in mind things such as quality, packing, price competency and marketing. She answered all the questions and queries in this regard and also provided some handy tips in cooking.
Next session was conducted by Madhuri Purandare who gave an insight into her book named “Marathi – self study” which is in the process of completion. The book helps in learning Marathi language along with its grammar in an easy way. It has lot of illustrations and exercises which will make marathi learning a joyful experience The afternoon session was filled with handicrafts demonstration by Sayli – puppet making, Suchitra – Warli painting, Sandhya – purses , Pushpa – face masks & Kalpana – candle making & sweet making. All participants participated in every session and were engrossed in putting their creative side to the best.

The evening games session was conducted by Ms Vibhavari Deshpande who taught the participants, the technique of role play. Our groups also performed role play on the basis of story books which were well appreciated. Vibhavari told the right way of expressing which can appeal to children. The intention was to encourage the participants to create small theatre plays around simple themes like environment, education and cleanliness etc.

Day 3 – 5th June

The third day started with the session by Bharti, Anjali, Sharmila & Shalaka. They gave a review of whole office administration of Vanasthali, Pune office and keeping correct accounts, bank transactions for smooth working of Vanasthali altogether.
It was followed by a session by Ms Dipti Khare. With the help of slide show she gave information about conducting a jungle trek, precautions to be taken and introduction of wild animals. She also gave tips for conducting a safe trek especially for children ; women asked several questions and many of their myths and doubts especially with regard to snakes were cleared by Ms Dipti.

The third session was conducted by Dr Sanjeevani Kelkar. She told about different problems that women face legal or emotional. She also gave information about her organization and how it has helped several women to solve their problems.

The afternoon sessions were a continuation of the previous day handicrafts making. Mrs Jaya Gofne conducted a session on effective communication and leadership skills. It was planned especially for supervisors and they received it very well.

Prof. Bhide & Prof Madhavi Kulkarni from well known SNDT COLLEGE, Pune, took games on “group coordination”. They had made a questionnaire which was filled by different groups. The main focus was on working in a group with equal coordination and participation.

The participants got a visual treat with a drama staged by children from a Pune group. It was based on a scientific story by eminent scientist Dr Jayant Naralikar. It was written and directed by Mrs Bhairavi Purandare & Mrs Swati Upadhe. The play was very well received and women got new ideas for setting up similar plays for rural school children in annual functions

Day 4 – 6th June

The day started with a session on hobby class evaluation methods by Ms Nandita Wagle and Ms Sayli Joshi. It was followed with a review on hobby class by Mrs Manik Kotwal.

The next session was led by Sumita Tumne who showed a kit with 10 simple science experiments which can be used for primary school hobby class children.

Ms Jyoti & Ms Swati conducted an evening games session in open air wherein women were taught innovative and funfilled games. These games were easy, not requiring costly material and all women thoroughly enjoyed playing them.

Day 5 – 7th June

The closing ceremony was graced by a young dynamic lady, Mrs Mukta Puntambekar who is the president of a de-addiction centre named “Muktangan”. She explained the ill effects of cigarette, alcohol & drugs which can ruin an addict’s family as well as his health. She gave information about various activities those are conducted in her centre which can lead a person to an addiction free life. The centre focuses on giving motivational treatment to the patients.

The personality development camp came to an end with the felicitation of supervisors who have worked in VDRC for more than 20 years. This felicitation came in as a surprise for every participant, as they were happy and proud of being a part of Vanasthali family.

Nirmalatai Purandare gave a heartfelt welcome to all new participants and best wishes for everyone for a fresh new academic year for Vanasthali.

Gauri Bapat Vanasthali office

October 2008

Training Program of Assistant Nurse

VRDC has organized a six months training program for Assistant Nurse.

March 2008

With many helping hands, Vanasthali has completed the construction of a multipurpose centre in Baramati for women and children.
Shri Sharadji Pawar, Agri Minister, Govt of India, will be the chief guest for the inauguration.
Shri Maniklal Shah, Baramati will preside the ceremony.
Day and Time : Friday 28th March, 2008 at 11 A.M


January-February 2007 : a member of Entr'Inde in Maharashtra

During a private trip from January 17th to February 13th 2007, Anne-Marie Dourlat, a member of Entr’Inde, spent part of her stay sharing the life of Vanasthali. If you want more details, click here : Anne-Marie Dourlat in Maharashtra

Annual report 2005/2006

To see the annual report 2005/2006 of Vanasthali, click here : report05-06.pdf

News 2006

A French group in Maharashtra

During the summer 2006, a French group visited some Vanasthali schools. This group was composed of members of the associations Artisans du Monde and Entr’Inde. Look at some photographs taken during their stay in Maharashtra :


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Four Vanasthali teachers in France

In spring 2006, four Vanasthali teachers (supervisors) spent 7 weeks in France to exchange experiences with French nursery schools teachers. French and Indians, teachers and children learnt and enjoyed .

If you want to know more about it, clik here : Illustrated diary

April. 2004

Dear friends,
I hope and wish that everything alright with you all. The climate must be pleasant and here it’s good in Pune but in villages the atmosphere is shaded with the accute shortage of water, dry farms and dry wells. It’s sad.

Vanasthali had its annual meeting in Pune on 27th and 28th March, 35 supervisors from 8 districts attended this meeting and presented all detailes of their various activities of their centres.

Overall we felt that everyone was happy with their performance and was enthusiastic to get prepaird for the new year - June 2004 .

  • May will be summer holiday for them.
  • Last week of April – camps for school children and trips of Balwadi Teachers. Instead of a big refreshers camp. Vanasthali will spend for these trips for around 350 women.

I am sending you an account of annual Vanasthali activities as follows:


Activities from April 2003 to March 2004.

  • No of Balwadis - 163 Includes Balwadis for Tribal children and children of other communities.
  • Total No. of children - 5405 (Balwadi – age group 3 to6 years)
  • No of Balwadi Teachers, - 163
  • Helpers . - 13
  • No. of Training courses in 8 Dists - 28 (six month duration)
  • No. of Trainees - 665
  • No. of Trainers - 35/40
  • No. of Supervisors for all activities - 32
  • No. of Hobby classes for local - 468 school children, of local Municipal. and Zillah parish ads schools
  • No. of Teachers –Hobby class - 468
  • No. of children in Hobby classes . (approximately) - 19,203
  • No of women working in Govt - 37 Remand Homes, Ashram Schools
  • No. of children in Remand Homes, & Ashram Schools (approximately ) - 1490
  • Primary school, Jejuri No. of Children in 4 classes - 160
  • No. of Teachers, visiting - 8 Lecturers, in primary school

Important events

  • May – 2003 Refreshers Camp for Balwadi Teacher
    230 women participated
  • Nov - 2003 In Diwali vacation this year our supervisors or organized get to gather for local women, Balwadi teachers, trainees. This event organized in each Vanasthali Centre.

1600 women taken benefit.
Hobby Class Camps Our supervisors also organized hobby class camp for children ( 6 to 12 yrs) more than 6,000 children participate for this camp.

  • Books Exhibition- Book exhibitions for children and adults organized by our Supervisors had a good response. These exhibitions held in 3 districts.
  • Supervision Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation has given responsibility to Vanasthali to trained their 110 Balwadi Teachers and Supervise them which we are doing since last 2 years.
  • Vocational Trg. Programs for Candle making, artificial jewellery, women in Somatane work Chalk making, Tailoring, Clay Mehendi , Rangoli, Agarbatti, Bakery products, Toys, washing powder, greetings doormats, beauty tips etc - 734 women taken benefit.

Forghtnight bazaars are organized by women for the sale of the ready products.

Interest free loans were provided to our teachers –

  • For scooter - 2
  • stationery shop – 1
  • higher education fee- 2
  • Computer training - 1
  • Sewing Machine – 2
  • Bicycle - 1
  • Water pipe line - 1
  • Aid to toilet – 16
  • Medical help – 1
  • Financial help for digging a well for an orphanage of 87 orphans near Latur (Problem of severe water shortage in this area)

Dear friends, I myself and Vanasthali workers keep in our minds that active and concrete sympathy from many of you, your groups, are behind all this progress, without your hand it was impossible to achieve these results. Please accept our sincere and grateful feelings.


A training for 40 Banjira and Mahar has started in Latur district.

22 balwadi (for 600 children) will be created. Vanasthali activities in brief 2000-2001 (received in June 2000) :

  • Training Courses : 150 Women.
  • Balwadis : 7,000 children.
  • Tailoring Courses : Baramati and Somatane (30 women)

All Balwadis are having their annual gatherings either separately or in groups depending upon the distances.

  • Helping in studies through hobby classes for school children in rural primary schools, daily or on Saturdays. Including 6 governement remand homes for children and 3 Ashram schools : Total No. of children : 11,000 (Ashram school and remand homes are residential schools run by the governement for the Nomads, and Tribals and destitute children.)

Books are purchased regularly to help the teachers and are distributed by rotation.
4 libraries for school children have been started since last year in Jejuri, Sangamner, Lasalgaon and Baramati.
Staff in Pune and regional offices : 25 (Pune, Baramati, Sangamner, Kolhapur and Jejuri, Somatane, Saswad and Lasalgaon.)
Total number of women working with Vanasthali : 400.

Construction and development of a multipurpose centre in village Bhalawadi near Pune is in progress.
No progress in vocational courses for rural schoolboys.
There were two meetings of all 30 supervisors by the end of March and all annual financial accounts of supervisors were settled. New year (as all the Balwadi open for the new term in the First week of June) Plans were discussed.

Finances : Vanasthali manages all its activities with donations from India and abroad. The income through fees or rural donations are not yet sufficient. Interest on the fixed deposits is our regular source of income.

For the last few years Vanasthali Balwadi Teachers have established contacts with great efforts with different communities from the poorer sections of the society.
We all are happy that we could reach out to this neglected section.

A change in routine summer camp :
Instead of a summer camp (refresher camp april 2000) VRDC had offered all teachers an outing to go wherever they wanted to travel in-groups, all the planning regarding the travel was left to the teachers. They all liked this idea. They did it successfully. VRDC (Vanasthali Rural Development Centre) offered each one some money.

Vanasthali keeps expanding...

After a training course for 30 women in Lasalgaon (district Nasik), with the initiative of 3 farmers ((Jagdish and Kishore Holkar, Pralhad Khadangale, with thanks.) having received a specific training in France, hobby classes were started.

Winter camp between 30 october and 5 november 2000, was organised at Bhalawadi, near Panshet, a new Vanasthali owned place, with 200 participants; various social topics were studied, such as dowry, adoption, AIDS awareness and information about plantation, family planning, etc. New games, song and craft were taught.

400 women took advantage of 14 courses (six months each) during the first half of this year.

The building of the primary school in Jejuri was completed in 1998 and instruction is being imparted to 132 pupils belonging to 1 to 4th Std.

  • Hobby cum study classes have been organised in remand homes at Kolhapur, Baramati, Sangamner and Shrirampur to encourage 2000 destitute children to take up their studies more seriously and to help them in their home-work in order to enable them to acquire a sense of belonging to the society, which is important for their developpment.
  • In Sangamner, 5 teachers are regularly going to the “Bidis” (hand-made cigarettes) factories to read to the illiterate women workers.
  • The calendar is also full of meetings, picnics, visits of all sorts.

This year VRDC provided loans to women to buy bicycles and to buy sewing machines were granted, solar Cooler and cattle. Also loans for starting own businness were given to two teachers and a loan for educational help to another. Return of loans is 100%.


A new training centre has been established at Somatane, where instruction in candle-making, photo-laminating, sewing etc. was imparted. This centre has been started with a view to making women economically self-sufficient.

Future Plans

  • To expand the activities for training and development of balwadi teachers, more winter and summer camps, to start new balwadis (nursery classes) in 250 villages, involving local communities.
  • To expand library activities.
  • To expand hobby classes.
  • To help construct toilets.
  • To help the teachers to equip themselves with bicycles and scooters for their work.
  • To start a few hostels for girls in district places or small towns.
  • To organise women’s groups in villages.

President of Vanasthali : Nirmala Purandaré

en/news.txt · Dernière modification: 14/11/2013 10:25 par yvesfraysse