On 10th May 2011, the Barli Development Institute for Rural Women
(Indore) celebrated its 100th graduation ceremony which was dedicated
to the memory of the (late) Jimmy jijaji (Mr James McGilligan. OBE). The
Chief Guest for the program was Mrs Manu Hasija (Head, DAH  
Chanderi, Indore), and the special guest was Mr Kashif Shaad (water
resource specialist, UK). The program was chaired by Dr Mubina
(Physiotherapist, Pentai Hospital, Malaysia) and was hosted by Mrs
Tahera Jadhav (Director) and Mr Yogesh Jadhav (Chief Operating
Officer) of Barli Development Institute and representatives of the Board
of Directors, Dr Shirin Mahalati and Dr Geeta Handa. This graduation
ceremony was organized for the 90 trainees from 44 villages of districts
including: Betul, Dhar, Badwani, Khargone, Burhanpur, Khandwa among
others.

  
  The program began with a prayer chanted by the graduating trainees,
which was followed by welcoming of guests by presenting artefacts made
by the trainees. The Director, Mrs Tahera Jadhav briefed the guests
about the Institute and its activities and said that the institute had been
actively involved in the process of empowerment of rural and tribal
women since past 25 years. It has trained more than 6000 trainees
coming from more than 500 villages who have been bringing positive
changes in their rural communities. She said that the Institute is inspired
by the Baha’i teachings, and one of the main teachings being Equality of
Men and Women. If women be trained on par with men, then only can
society prosper sustainably. Later the trainees shared their experiences:
in which Ms Rinku said about the positive changes brought in her due to
the Literacy subject taught at the Institute; Batik and Block Printing
experiences were shared by Ms Tara; and Ms Daya and Rekha shared
their experiences about “mera aur mere samuday ka vikas” (i.e. self and
community development) and solar cooking respectively. Ms Mamta
chanted a song about her stay in the institute’s premises - a song
composed by herself.
  
  This was followed by a talk by Dr Shirin Mahalati (member of Board of Directors),
in which she paid her respects to (late) Mr Jimmy (the past manager of the
Institute), and Dr Janak Palta McGilligan who had played a great role in the
development of the Institute. She said that the institute has succeeded in creating
a suitable environment for empowerment of rural and tribal women through its
training programs, which is helping to bring about gender balance, especially in
rural areas. She stressed the need for bringing equality of men and women, by
citing the example of a bullock cart, in which both the wheels must be made equally
strong. Another member of Board of Directors Dr Geeta Handa addressed the
trainees by saying that the Institute is being continuously striving to assist the
development of capacities in rural women. She stressed the need for the trainees
to continue to practice the learnings when they return to their villages, and help in
creating a better community and rural society. A Bhilali group-song was presented
by Ms Reena (from Alirajpur) and her friends. The special guest Mr Kashif Shaad
stressed the need for conserving the water resources and praised the trainees for
their hard work and dedication.
   
  The Chief Guest Mrs Manu Hasija addressed the
trainees and said that she has been honored to be a
part of the function. She appreciated the efforts of the
institute in training the women in batik printing and
other vocations and also said that this will help the
women in gaining a decent living. She distributed the
graduation certificates to the trainees. The Chair of the
program Dr Mubina addressed the trainees and said
that she had known the Institute as a great place for
assisting women’s empowerment, and was privileged to
be a part of the graduation ceremony. She wished all
the trainees her best wishes and praised them for their
hard work.
100th Graduation Ceremony : Barli Development Institute for Rural
Women, Indore

  Later, the 10 trainees who had undergone the training in solar cooking were presented with solar cookers.
These solar cookers (SK 14) are given to trainees (who had registered for the training) at a very subsidized cost
in order to encourage them to adopt environment friendly ways of cooking, as solar cooking is easy to practice,
saves energy and also saves money. In the end the Chief Operating Officer, Mr Yogesh Jadhav, presented the
vote of thanks. The program concluded with a prayer for the departed in memory of (late) Mr Jimmy (James)
McGilligan OBE.
Trainees sharing their experiences and learnings