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The drought of the sixties in the Ahmednagar district caused havoc which resulted in a serious deterioration in the ecological system, starvation and large scale migration.

Those who stayed back seemed to be fighting a losing battle against the ravages of drought on the one hand and the exploitation by rich landowners on the other.

A solution had to come by way of guidance, financial assistance and a lasting solution to the problem of water.

Enter the social centre with its watershed development programme and a host of other related activities

Started by a young swiss Jesuit Fr Herman Bacher in 1966 the social centre aimed at the development of a self-reliant community through proper mobilization and utilization of natural resources.

Till 1988, the social centre focused on agricultural development and income generating activities by providing interest free loans through banks to individual beneficiaries and groups. from 1988 onwards the focus shifted to developing communities along watershed lines by the mobilization of resources.

The social centre’s area of work has so far been restricted to the Ahmednagar district. since the last two years the centre has expanded its area of work to Beed District as well. besides the centre has also initiated a unique project called Child Focused Community Development. Under this programme health awareness camps are conducted for mother and child besides taking up fostership of children.

A farm at Newasa has been set up as a model nursery for preparation saplings to be planted in the watersheds. it is also a model agricultural plot to experiment with higher yielding varieties of food crops vegetables and fruits.

Consultancy services are provided to other NGOs and funding agencies. the area of consultancy involves feasibility studies project planning and monitoring, technical inputs and project evaluation.

The latest achievement is a new training centre at Hivare Korda.

Fr. Subhash Tribhuvan SJ

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