Mokhada, a taluka in the Palghar district (erstwhile a part of Thane district) had been tormented by the condition of malnutrition. Dr Aniruddha Joshi has always tried to support and uplift the population who live below the poverty line. Hence, a survey was held in Mokhada by ‘Shree Aniruddha Aadesh Pathak’ to find the root cause of the people's difficulties. The reasons for malnutrition were-
- Due to perennial rivers, the locality faced immense water shortage
- Lack of employment opportunities
- Poverty along with frequent childbirth at a very young age
Thus, for eradicating the hunger problem, the 'Charkha Annapurna Yojana' was implemented by the organisation in a remote hamlet named Gandhipool on 2 September 2015. Under this plan, a hamlet-dweller was expected to spin the charkha for a minimum of 90 minutes in exchange of 200 grams of rice and 50 grams of dal. Because of this project, the villagers did not have to beg for money anymore and they could earn their food with utmost dignity.
Eventually, a team of volunteers was formed where they visited the designated hamlets weekly and trained the villagers to spin the charkha. To begin with, three charkhas were donated to the hamlets by the Pathak. This turned out to be a challenging task since the number of villagers who were eager to learn the technique was large.
Presently, there are 12 charkhas installed in Gandhipool. The Pathak donates the spare parts too along with the charkha.
Since then, this activity has gained tremendous popularity and gradually, the underprivileged masses are being benefited from the project. the Pathak has now extended support to additional seven hamlets which are suffering from severe malnutrition across the region.
Along with this, the Pathak formed an 'Annapurna Yojana' where the volunteers arranged for wholesome meals at a local school in Gandhipool on request.
The hamlet of Gandhipool is being designed in such a way that it could play as a 'model village' for rural development (gram vikas) where activities like Charkha Yojana, vermiculture, water retention, etc. are carried out on a large scale. Sixty-two families are getting support from the Charkha Annapurna Yojana.
The hanks made by the villagers are collected by the volunteers of the Pathak and are further processed into school uniforms which are then distributed in schools in Kolhapur. This is an initiative taken to encourage the needy and poor students in rural areas to get themselves educated.
Facts and figures of the project are listed as follows:
- ‘Shree Aniruddha Aadesh Pathak’ and ‘Aniruddha’s Academy of Disaster Management’ has been serving free meals to 157 students of Anganwadis at Gandhipool, Ambyacha Pada, Z.P. School (Gandhipool) and Toranshet (Morkhadak) since 12th July 2016 till date.