EthniqDiva is proud of the achievements of jayanthi Ramanan , project director at NGO, Sewa International. She has worked tirelessly towards educating girl child , women empowerment ,healthcare
She is role model to all of us!. On women's day we would like to salute our women role model who are an inspiration to many of us.
Jayanthi Ramanan, nee Jayanthi Srinivasan, has been passionate about serving other people since childhood.
When Jayanthi was a three year old, her grand mother Rukmani Annaswamy Iyer, gave asylum to a pregnant woman from a different State who was abandoned by her in-laws place due to domestic violence.
Rukmani took care of this woman until her baby’s delivery, and after 6 weeks, brought the nameless lady to her husband’s village with a handsome dowry, so her in-laws could readily accept her.
This is when Jayanthi understood as a 3 year old that to serve someone in distress, there are no linguistic or geographical barriers.
Jayanthi’s parents were very supportive of her desire to educate girls so they can gain economic freedom.
During her school years Jayanthi brought home a girl who was both poverty stricken and of a lower caste, two important markers that held a girl child back in India. Jayanthi’s mother would feed her and clothe her, Jayanthi would tutor her after school. Today this girl has grown into a proud woman who is a retired teacher and a grand mother!
These experiences further strengthened Jayanthi’s passion to serve. She worked in nursing homes, senior citizen facilities and mental health institutions both in Montreal , Canada and Cleveland, USA.
Jayanthi’s many skills led to her involvement in diverse programs such as teaching English as second language to non English speaking communities, Drug Prevention Programs in schools, alcohol and Drug abuse programs with African American and Hispanic communities, Tutoring at Delinquent Centers, Planned Parenthood, Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, Teen Pregnancy Centers and Counseling, free medical clinics in ghettos and poor areas in Cleveland, OH.
Jayanthi is a Rotarian and a certified Toastmaster.
In 2013 Jayanthi had an opportunity to come to Bharath to study long term sustainable projects that could be successfully conducted by Sewa International. U.S.A.
After 6 months of diligent research, she chose Seva Kirana, an HSP initiative, to serve the poorest of the poor communities through a four tier program.
- Sanitation: building toilets in Government schools and slums so the girl child can go to school. “Yes, I can” became the slogan and the driving force for this project since then.
Menstrual hygiene became part of the sanitation program in 2015 with the installation of affordable sanitary napkin machine in Bangalore.
- Education: girls were provided with after school tuition classes to help them with the school curriculum as well as teaching them Samskaras, values of being an upright citizen.
- Health Care: ensure proper nutrition, healthy habits, hygiene through hand washing, use of toilets and the sanitary napkins, safe disposal of the napkins.
Dental and Eye health are ensured with the help of the local Rotary clubs.
- Environment: recycling , composting and creating community gardens; take pride in the community they live in.
These projects became a huge success and from 2013 to at present Jayanthi was able to impact the lives of thousands of young girls.
In 2015 Jayanthi had an opportunity to visit weavers in Banares. The conditions were so bad, many of them were committing suicide due to heavy debts and lack of resources and work brought on by powerlooms and cheap imports.
Many families were dying from starvation and malnutrition.
Poor hygeine had caused contamination of land and water, resulting in 10-20 infant deaths per day in these areas.
It was heart wrenching for Jayanthi and she was determined to do something to alleviate the stress this society was facing. In spite of their high weaving skills and art work, they couldn’t make it in todays world.
Jayanthi then traveled far and wide, over 25,000 kms. to learn of the plight of these weaving communities from Kashi to Kanyakumari, from Gujarat to Assam.
On January 4/2017 Sewa international (Sevakala Srushti Pvt. Ltd), partnered with Ethniq Diva and Venture to open an online portal ‘Gaata Katha’ to market the exquisite products from the weavers so they could preserve their dying art, heritage and rich culture.
Today Gaata Katha has already crossed Rs 5 lakhs in sales and is looking forward to a rapid growth.
Farmers are the central nervous system in any society. A group of organic farmers from Northern Karnataka approached Jayanthi to market their products in organic stores in Bangalore. This sure was the first step to create some economic viability for them.
The profit from these sales will be used to provide them with dryers, grinders and storage units. Lack of storage units has resulted in majority of the crops being wasted during rainy seasons.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives
Seva Kirana has established CSR initiatives with Texas Instrument and L&T in sanitation, Women empowerment programs, Digital literacy, Virtual classrooms and many more in the field of education.
Swami Vivekananda said: In India we can only build equity by not pushing the rich down, but by pulling the poor up.
Jayanthi believes in this and is committed to helping the poor in India.