Quick Heal Technologies has undertaken a comprehensive social development project for the Katkari tribes at Paud, near Pune. Katkari tribe is the only Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) identified in the region of Sahyadri. This group is located in 9 Talukas. According to the census of 2001, the Katkari population is now at 14,091 in Pune District. Today most of the Katkaris work as laborers at construction sites. The Katkari tribals are known for hunting, fishing and collecting roots for their livelihood.
Mulshi Tehsil has 48 Colonies having 15-30 families each. Each colony compiles of about 150 to 350 male members who are primarily engaged in labor and farm work. 75% of the women also contribute to the family income through similar activities. With severe economic conditions, the families are unable to support the education of their children. At the tender age of 10-12 years, the children often drop out of school. While the boys start taking up manual work girls are given away in marriage. Early marriages and no proper diet often leaves the girls malnourished and anemic.
From its beginning the Quick Heal foundation has been involved in several humanitarian activities to promote and provide facilities to the needy and deserving. In an effort to provide the basic amenities to the Katkari tribals, the Foundation is building a school for the education of the Katkari children, a medical center for health check-ups, baths and lavatories for ladies, a community hall of 800 sq.feet along with an information center complete with a television. Quick Heal has also deployed a full-time representative to oversee and supervise the holistic development of the community in terms of availability of drinking water from bore-well and to promote a hygienic environment in the village.
Inaugurating the Sarvoday Bhavan (community hall) for the tribes, Kailash Katkar, Founder & CEO, Quick Heal, said, “Native communities like the Katkari’s are now facing urgent health, economic, education, and environmental impacts as they are unable to make a proper living out of their traditional jobs. Their current problems need urgent attention. We are glad to have been given an opportunity to help, secure, and fund environmental, health and education projects for them. These projects will help us work side-by-side to improve the health and living conditions of the community.”
The company has also taken up an herb plantation project in a nearby forest area and aims to work along with the Katkari community to generate means of additional income. Quick Heal will also provide them with marketing support.
Quick Heal has also conducted a small survey to understand and identify the various problems that are being faced by the tribes. The survey clearly shows a low literacy rate at 12%. One of the factors contributing to this would be the migratory nature of the tribals moving in search of stable occupations.
Commenting on the projects, Mr. Sanjay Katkar, Co-founder & CTO, Quick Heal, said, “Through the Tribal program, we are strengthening an important partnership between Quick Heal and the tribal communities in addition to supporting research to combat illiteracy, improve health and sanitation. We are directly involved in supporting Katkari Native communities to develop and implement innovative, sustainable solutions that will help them support their families.”