Where Do We Work
MSS works in the tribal dominated, drought prone districts of Udaipur and Dungarpur in Southern Rajasthan. Focusing on the blocks of Jhadol, Kotra and Kherwara in Udaipur District, and the blocks Dungarpur and Sagwara in Dungarpur District, MSS covers 270 villages and 47 Panchayats, reaching out to a total of 20,000 families.
The working area is characterised by hilly terrain, recurring droughts, lack of water and an ever-increasing scarcity of natural resources. People survive off subsistence agriculture on small and fragmented land holdings, along with seasonal migration, particularly to the Bt Cotton fields in the neighbouring state of Gujarat. Average land holdings are 2.5-6 bigha (0.5-1 hectare), with limited access to irrigation at best.
These factors, combined with limited access to energy resources, health care, education and transportation facilities, have created a deeply fragile environment in these villages where one small problem is enough to push a family into starvation. This is particularly the case when the monsoon fails, which often leads to crops dying and families being forced to take out unsecured loans at high interest rates, which in many cases they can never pay back.
Women and children tend to suffer the most from this. Children are seen as financial assets that can be removed from school and forced into hard labour, perpetuating the cycle of poverty for another generation. Similarly, women are discriminated against in the home and don’t receive the health care and support that they need during pregnancy and childbirth. Through MSS’s interventions, these realities are gradually changing.