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Thane base NGO Hirkani to setup headquarters for entire Africa in Rwanda

The NGO has been sanctioned 6.5 acres of land from the government of Rwanda

Thane NGO Hirkani, which has worked towards empowerment of women in the district is now to start its international chapter in Africa. The NGO has just received a sanction of 6.5 acres of land from the government of Rwanda to start its centre in the country.

Hirkani Mahila Utkarsh Sanstha from Thane is an eight year old NGO (non governmental organisation with more than 60,000 members in Maharashtra. It is engaged in empowerment of women in the state through education and self employment. The NGO has geared up its international debut with Rwanda.

"When we started Hirkani, our aim was to help empower the women of Maharashtra. We never thought that one day we would reach the international level," said Jayprakash Bhande, founder, Hirkani.

The chance to go international came when Bhande attended an NGO expo in August end this year at World Trade center, Mumbai. There he met people from across the world and Clarance Fernandes, ex representative of Rwanda development board for India and managing director of Rwanda Renaissance (NGO) who invited him to Rwanda in September.

"I went there in September for an eight day Indo-African summit and explained them about our activities. The Rwandan authorities were impressed and asked us to start our center there," he said.

In April 2015 Hirkani started Maher/mayka/paternal home in Gunde, Walshet where married women can come and stay for a few days and take a break from their routine home life. Situated on a 43,000 square feet plot, Maherghar has all kinds of amenities like dormitories and separate rooms. Over 70-80 women guests can stay here, have a relaxed time and leave. There are rope cots instead of beds, jhula (swing), a television to watch their favorite serials and a place to indulge in gossip sessions.

"When I told them about the concept of Maherghar, the Rwandan authorities were excited and offered us a 6.5 acres plot to start our center along with Maherghar," he said. On Sunday on account of the annual day of Hirkani, Jo Elina from Rwanda was in Thane. "We will train her and more women from Rwanda as well as Hirkani who will take care of our Africa center. This center will be the headquarter for entire Africa. In the next quarter we will have a center in Thailand as well," said Bhande.

Hirkani is going to invite the first family of Rwanda to come to Thane during International Women’s Day next year. "The possession of the land in Rwanda after all the technicalities will be given to Hirkani by the honorable president of Rwanda. And we aim to invite our Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the inauguration of the center there," he added.


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