A Safe Building for their “Building Blocks”: Vinod Sahoo

[tooltip text=”Tooltip Text”]… a story of how a Samaj Shilpi worked relentlessly to get a new building for the village Anganwadi.

In a village called Panagar, in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, young Vinod Kumar Sahoo has been working as a Samaj Shilpi since 2013. Vinod was extremely concerned about the safety of children attending the anganwadi in his village. The anganwadi was housed in a dark, dingy, dilapidated and unhygienic mud house. Understandably, mothers were reluctant to send their children to such a place and attendance in the anganwadi was very poor. The anganwadi had to move to a better building. Vinod was determined to make this happen. But he also realized that getting a building sanctioned is not a task that can be accomplished by one person. After many sessions of awareness generation and information dissemination, Vinod identified 12 young persons, now called ‘Gram Mitras’, who were willing to their spare time for the development of their own village.

Vinod started by reviving a dysfunctional Mother’s Committee, the body that monitors the state and functioning of the anganwadi. He informed the Mother’s Committee about their children’s right to study in a safe place and to have hygienically-cooked nutritious food in order to prevent them from malnutrition and disease. He made the mothers aware of the provisions under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICDS) for anganwadi buildings and informed them that as a Mother’s Committee it is their responsibility to demand a safe, clean space for their children.

Mother's Committee in Panagar
Mother’s Committee in Panagar

Empowered with this information and encouraged by Vinod, The Mother’s Committee supported by other villagers placed the issue in the Gram Sabha. The Gram Sabha agreed to pursue the sanction of a new building from ICDS. Vinod and the Gram Mitras followed up with the local ICDS office and got the building sanctioned for a cost of Rs 1,80,000. Now they needed land for this building. The Gram Mitras persuaded the Gram Panchayat and the local patwari to allot a suitable piece of land and did not give up until it was done.

The anganwadi is now operating out of the new building. Fifty five children are enrolled. There is 100% enrollment in both the school and the anganwadi. The anganwadi attendance has gone up to 90% Those children who do not come to the anganwadis are taken care of by their mothers at home.


The Gram Mitras are assisting Vinod in several activities and are also encouraging youth sports and games. The young boys and girls of this village now regularly participate in sports events organized at the district and state level. Vinod and the Gram Mitras were also successful in getting the mud road to the village school converted to a cement-concrete road. In the rains, the wet and squelchy surface made it difficult for children to walk to their school.

From July 2013 till March 2015 they helped the village access schemes and benefits worth Rs 8.9 lakhs.

July 2014-March 2015
Scheme/ BenefitAmount (INR)
Anganwadi Building1,80,000
CM Awas Yojana1,20,000
Balram Tal Yojana50,000
TSC Garbage Removal10,000
Old Age Pension21,000
Panch Paramweswar CC Road2,40,000
Janani Suraksha2,800
NRC Referal900
TOTAL6,24,700
July 2013-June 2014
Scheme/ BenefitAmount (INR)
Swarojgar Yojana50,000
CM Awas Yojana30,000
Toilets19,000
Kapil Dhara Well1,00,000
Falodyan20,000
SG SY50,000
Prasooti Sahayata9,000
6,500
TOTAL2,66,500

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