The chief guest Ms Vineeta Dharam in her address said that the tribal women have a big responsibility towards improvement
of rural society including the rural environment. The Institute plays a key role in furthering the empowerment of rural and
tribal women. She urged the trainees to be self-confident in their lives so that they can become the pillars of their rural
society. The program was attended by members from the board of directors: Dr. Geeta Handa and Dr. Janak Palta
McGilligan who addressed the trainees and encouraged them to take proactive role in improvement of rural society. Ms.
Elisa Kohnlein (Germany) and Ms. Rebecca Heeb (USA) serving at the Institute also participated in the program.
 The trainees shared their experiences and learnings from the workshop in these words: (some of them are mentioned
below):
- Ms Sharmila (village Umrali, Alirajpur) said
“I learnt a lot of new things about agriculture and environment which are
undertaken by the Institute. Like the Institute conserves its water and also recycles its waste. Even kitchen waste is recycled
and made into compost manure. All these initiatives were never heard in my village. I thank the Institute for giving me this
opportunity”
.
- Ms Manjula (from village Kodiakhal, Bhikangaon) said:
“The workshop has taught me how to save the environment and
take care of my agricultural fields. I learnt new techniques of organic agriculture, saw interesting films on forests and also
discussed the critical issues related to environmental degradation. I will take back the learnings to my village when I go back
home. Institute has taught me a lot of new knowledge about organic agriculture, solar cookers and their uses”.
     
   The cultural program included a beautiful skit on the topic of “environmental conservation” was performed by the
trainees. Songs in Bhilali and Hindi languages were sung by the trainees who also took an oath to create “Green Villages”.
Towards the end, the guests participated in a tree plantation program in the Institute’s campus. During the two days , the
trainees deliberated on environmental issues like forest protection, water conservation, organic agriculture, health and
wellbeing, rural development etc. A number of environmental films were also shown during the workshop which revolved
around these topics.
  The event was attended by 60 women trainees coming from 39 villages of Alirajpur, Khargone, Badwani, Dhar, Dewas,
Khandwa, and Indore districts of Madhya Pradesh; and Banswada (Rajasthan). The program was conducted by Ms. Rekha
Kewat (assistant trainer) and a vote of thanks was proposed by Mr. Yogesh Jadhav (Chief Operating Officer).
4-5 June 2012
World Environment Day Workshop
Tribal women take an Oath to create “Green Villages”
A 2-day workshop celebrating the World Environment Day on the theme: “Green Economy: Does it include you?” was
organised at Barli Development Institute for Rural Women on 4-5th June 2012. The workshop was organized for the 60
tribal women-trainees who have been undergoing the 6-month training at the Institute and was aimed at sensitising them
about the burning environmental issues so that they could protect their village environments.
The program began with prayers chanted by the trainees. The guests were welcomed with traditional artifacts prepared by
the trainees. In her address, the Director of the Institute, Mrs. Tahera Jadhav congratulated the trainees for participating in
the 2-day workshop. Welcoming the guests she said that the World Environment Day is an occasion for reminding ourselves
that the earth is like our mother and we need to take care of her. She reiterated that the World Environment Day is
celebrated all over the world in memory of our commitment to protect nature. Nature is the reflection of names and attributes
of God, and it is being destroyed due to unbridled exploitation led by man’s greedy aspirations. There is close connection
between environment and spirituality. It will require overall spiritual transformation of mankind in the ways we see and
benefit from nature if we want to change the scenario. We need to commit ourselves to protect mother nature so that the
goods and services of nature could be sustainably obtained from the environment. Nature teaches us the spiritual qualities
of unity and harmony. She said that according to Baha’i spiritual writings, “the earth and the trees teach us how to become
humble and serve one another” and there is a close connection between environment and spirituality. We need to create
awareness and take action at local and global levels about how responsibly we use the environment and conduct ourselves.
   The board member Dr Geeta Handa said that the Institute has been great service to environment and it seems like an
oasis in the heart of a bustling city. Humans cannot be segregated from the environment and each day must be celebrated
as an environment day. Dr Janak Palta McGilligan said that the Institute has been striving towards environmental
conservation since its establishment in year 1985.
Chief guest of the inaugural day’s program was veteran film actor Shri Vijayendra Ghatge and the special guest and speaker
for the program was Mr Ajit Kelkar (organic farming expert and Director, Abhinav Krishi Evam Manav Vikas Sansthan). The
program was also attended by members of board of directors: Dr Geeta Handa, Dr Shirin Mahalati, and Dr Janak Palta
McGilligan accompanied by volunteers Ms Elisa Kohnlein (Germany) and Ms Rebecca Heeb (U.S.A). The chief guest of the
second day of the program was Ms. Vineeta Dharam (Parshad, Indore) and the special guest was Ms. Sangeeta Satalkar
(eminent social worker).