Karunah Society for Development

A girl child is broking Bhilwa nuts to earn food for herself and her younger brother. We can see wounds on her hands, legs and other body parts

About society:


‘Karunah Society for Development’ is founded with the vision to work for the welfare of needy communities in backward areas of the country, especially Madhya Pradesh.


We are registered under Madhya Pradesh Societies Registration Adhiniyam, 1973 with registration no. 01/06/01/30006/15 dated 25-Aug-2015. Registered office of the society is situated at Main Road, Bodkhi, Amla, Dist: Betul, Madhya Pradesh, India. Society’s Gujarat office is at Shivkrupa Nagar, Bhuj.


Karunah’s aim is to work with the backward and needy people of society for their socio-economic uplifment. In 2015, we started working with communities in the area by building trust. Working with clear directions and systematic processes, we aim to make the lives of the communities better in terms of better health, skill education and sustainable livelihood.


About the area:


The population of Madhya Pradesh is over 7 crore. More than 75% of the population resides in villages whose main occupation is agriculture, while the rest of the population lives in towns. The majority population is Hindu with Muslims making up the largest minority community. The tribes of Madhya Pradesh constitute over 20 % of the state's population and are mainly concentrated in southern, southwestern and eastern parts of the state.


Betul, is one of the marginally located backward southern districts of Madhya Pradesh, lying almost wholly on the Satpura plateau.


The district derives its name from the small town of Betul Bazar. Major religions are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Jain, Christian and Buddhist. Main Castes are Gonds, Korkus, Kurmis, Kunbis, Bhoyars, Meharas, Chamars, Banias and Rajpuths. The languages spoken are Hindi, Gondi, Marathi and Korku.


Community and status:


We started working with the Nahar community of Prabhat Pattan village of Betul district in 2015. Community is dependent for their livelihood on ‘BHILWA’ (Scientific name: Semecarpus Anacardium), a deciduous fruit/nut plant. Various parts of these plants are commonly used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for the treatment of various ailments.


Community women collect raw Bhilwa from trees in nearby forest, waste-land and private farms. They also purchase Bhilwa from contractors/traders.  They break this nut manually to get its seed, called “Godambi” in Hindi, to be used as dry-fruit. They also burn waste of nuts after removing Godambi, to extract oil out of it.


This community is very backward and not educated. Most of the adults have the habit of smoking and drinking. Women work on the Bhilwa for livelihood, the men don’t work usually…….Apart from its medicinal properties Bhilwa is also poisonous without any purification. And the oil from its nuts can give blisters and painful wounds. These wounds leave marks on the body of the people who work with this Bhilwa seeds. Due to these marks, many of the children of the community do not go to school.


Here’s some facts of the community we are working with.

·        In Prabhat Pattan there is an entire locality of Nahar families called Nahar Mohalla.

·        Per day income of women from BHILWA is Rs. 100 to Rs. 120 in case s/he gets work fulltime.  Monthly income of the family is between Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3000 max.

·        Health status of the families is below average. Some are really in bad condition.

·        Not more than 15% people are educated.

·        14-15 families own land and some also keep livestock.


Our Interventions:


Interventions so far:


·         We have done two health camps for the community where many people got treated and given medicines. The skin issues due to Bhilwa oil are common. Also women and children lake nutrition due to bad socio-economic condition.

·         Given interest free loans to Nahar Women to purchase Bhilwa and generate livelihood. The loan support is a Revolving Fund with us.

·         Activity Centre for Kids: We run an Activity Centre for kids of community where 100+ children are taught and treated with nutritious food.  We have a good capable team to deal with children. Eklavya Foundation, leading education organization, is helping us to train our team. We are providing basic sitting arrangements, stationery and dress material to children. We did 3 trainings with Eklavya so far and the results are amazing. We are planning to work with 10 schools of the region subject to availability of financial support.


Many aged women work with Bhilwa livelihood

Their Homes

Kids ready to have food at Activity Centre