Shirpur Vishwa Mandal Sevashram (SVMS) is a non-profit organization committed for the socio-economic development of the Pawra tribal in the Shirpur taluka, Maharashtra. Shirpur Taluka is on the border of Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh with Pawra tribals comprising 90 percent of the population. Pawra tribals were wandering tribe who have traveled from Rajasthan to Madhya Pradesh and have finally settled in Maharashtra. They are one of the most impoverished and neglected tribal’s in the state of Maharashtra. Since 1969 Vishwas Mandal Sevashram is working towards the overall development of the marginalized sections of society. The three main initiatives of VMS are as follows.
We are working on social issues for last 50 years.
Our focus area is Sirpur, Maharashtra, with the Parwa tribes
SVMS works chiefly with adivasis and scheduled castes
We believe in working with all individuals irrespective of their religion, race, creed and social biases
History of the organization
In 1968, Viswa Mandal Sevashram's trust began in Shirpur with the aim of uplifting and empowering the marginalized sections of society. In 1978, balwadi classes, primary classes, and self-help groups in Shirpur were started by Canossian sister Monika Vayipana. In 1987 Frs Diago, Godfrey, Blaise collaborated with the Canossian sisters to support and continue Non-formal education & literacy programmes.
Fr Godfrey during his 19 years stay in Shirpur focused on the non-formal education programme. The classes started with the Jesuits and Sisters visit each village to inculcate the importance of education to the tribals. Children were sent to graze cattle or were made to look after their younger siblings while their parents were at work. With the consistent and patient efforts of Fr. Godfrey, children were sent to non-formal educational classes. Initially, 59 villages were a part of the non-formal education programme but the numbers reduced as many Zilla Parishad schools were established in Shirpur.
The non-formal education program was under the Universal Education Progamme but in 2005, the entire system of the non-formal education was structured with the introduction of Asha Zurich, an external agency willing to fund the non-formal education programme. The non-formal education programme was renamed as People's Action for Literacy and Self-help (PALAS)