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Womens Empowerment

A Women bear almost all responsibility for meeting basic needs of the family, yet are systematically denied the resources, information and freedom of action they need to fulfill this responsibility.

The vast majority of the world’s poor are women. Two-thirds of the world’s illiterates are female. Of the millions of school age children not in school, the majority are girls. And today, HIV/AIDS is rapidly becoming a woman’s disease.The current world food price crisis is having a severe impact on women. Around the world, millions of people eat two or three times a day, but a significant percentage of women eat only once. And, now, many women are denying themselves even that one meal to ensure that their children are fed. These women are already suffering the effects of even more severe malnutrition, which inevitably will be their children’s fate as well. The impact of this crisis will be with us for many years.

Studies show that when women are supported and empowered, all of society benefits.Their families are healthier, more children go to school, agricultural productivity improves and incomes increase. In short, communities become more resilient.

AJSA firmly believes that empowering women to be key change agents is an essential element to achieving the end of hunger and poverty. In our operational areasour programs aim to support women and build their capacity.

AJSA has been at the forefront of efforts to support women’s rights,Women’s empowerment, and gender equality by mainstreaming gender through the integration of gender equality perspective in all its programs and interventions like Self Help Groups, women federations, Leadership development, entrepreneurship building,education and in its innovative movement “Adarsh Gram Gathan Abhiyan.

Self Help Groups and their savings

Formation and strengthening of SHG’s has been one of the focused programs of AJSA since its inception. These self –groups are making use of their saving for starting income generating activities such as agriculture, livestock rearing, horticulture, Raising nurseries, pisciculture, vegetable cultivation, collective marketing, managing of public distribution system,, goat rearing and leaf-plate making form some of the enterprises taken up by members of SHGs. etc. Generally self-help group unites 10 to 15 members of the community, who commit to jointly make savings every month. As the fund grows, the members may borrow money from the fund. To support these self-help groups AJSA provides support and capacity building, including basic record keeping and financial training and supports groups to undertake income-generating activities. These small informal women’s groups provide working capital loans to their members and encourage improved savings habits. They also address the issue of , women’s marginalization; being disproportionately under privileged in income generation and other economic activities, such as money management, SHG’s offer a unique opportunity to empower women within the household and the community. They encourage the creation of linkages, solidarity and joint responsibility within the group and others to enable women to approach formal financial institutions to open savings accounts, which provides to acquire credit, which can then be reinvested into the community. The initiative undertaken by the SHGs has enabled the women and their families to reduce their dependence on money-lenders and has given them a greater financial security.

AJSA India,AJSA Orissa, Anchalika Jana Seva Anusthan

Women’s Education &Leadership Building.

The Role of Self Help Groups Members In Village Development Process.

Basically in rural Odisha, women are not involved in the village decision making process, their roles are very minimal in the public affairs of every village .A key to the capacity building of women is to ensure that “they have a voice and are involved in taking decisions that will impact the people in a village. To address these kinds of issues SHG (Self Help Group’s) have been formed at village level. Which help women in a village come together to collectively address their problems.

The objective behind these groups is to help women increase their savings and access small credits, but gradually this turns into a platform enhance the capacities, where women speak out and gain confidence, which enabling them to voice their opinions in village meetings (Gram Sabha’s)and become active participants in the village development process Now women are coming to the fore front, not only in addressing gender issues and participating in village development processes, But also they now able to issue their own job card’s, they demand their jobs in panchayat offices and now they are taking active Participation NREGA and different schemes.

SHG Leaders meeting- AJSA India-Orissa-Bolangir

The self help groups have given women a previously unavailable opportunity to come together and discuss social issues within their community such as domestic violence and lengthy distances they have to walk to water supplies. The self help groups have empowered the women to tackle these kinds of social issues whichhave also changed the perception of their families and the community and given them more respect Through providing basic education leadership building programs, AJSA strives to redress gender inequalities at all levels in terms of access,completion, and quality .The Organization also works towards the promotion of women’s empowerment and gender equality through different capacity building activities and trainings..

Entrepreneurship Development

SHG Leders Training Provided By AJSAAJSA works towards the promotion of women’s groups and federations by empowering them through the integration of various self-income generation programs and leadership building programs to fortify and cater the needs of rural women’s and to make them self-reliant .To build up these process in a proper way Federation has formed by the members of SHG groups in bongomunda block under co-operative society act., in collaboration with AJSA.Which is popularly known as “Bharat Janani Swayan Shayak Limited” The members of the cooperatives were trained in similar manner, as a result of which they are able to run fair price shops, collecting and marketing NTFPs, linking with banks, developing micro-enterprises and also undertaking internal lending. All cooperative society members also meet regularly to discuss on bank linkages, fair price distribution system, PDS issue, kerosene oil issue, migration issues.

SHG Leaders Training

The Role of S.H.G Federation

The Role “Bharat Janani swayan Shayak Limited” is to deliver the essential support these women’s organisations,self help groups  need to amplify their voice, increase their impact and bring about greater change.

Examples of its support include:

  • To provide expert training and information so their work to secure women’s rights can flourish
  •  To provide technical support on various livelihodd options and income generation activities i.e- fair price shops, collecting and marketing NTFPs, linking with banks, developing micro-enterprises record keeping etc.SHG LEDAERS TRAINING-AJSA India-ORISSA-BOLANGIR
  •  To connect them to the people who have the power to implement change.
  • To connect them with the resources that will strengthen their influence, voice and independence.
  • To help women come togetherby helping them claim their rights and improve their lives.

Liquor Free Movement

Generally in remotest areas Dalit &Tribal women’s were the main victim of liquor directly and indirectly, which was like an epidemic for each and every area. One of the major reasons of backwardness of the village people, besides other reasons, is squandering of the hard earned money in consumption of liquor.Earlier many villagers were consuming less, but with changing time consumption and demand, opened numbers of local liquor centers. Besides money lenders and contractors were controlling the poor villagers through liquor.

Anti-liquor Campaign In Bolangir- AJSA India-Orissa-Bolangir

AJSA started its campaign against the drawbacks of liquor and how it affects the number life both physically and financially. Local women leaders were played a major role in this campaign, The method was through community songs, street plays etc..The women took the maximum advantage one of this and campaigning strongly against it and banished the liquor trading in 12 villages.Not only that in some villages they destroyed the liquor center and faced many challenges including police cases. Some women leaders like smt. Sukun Bhoi, Smt. Purnami Mahanand,Smt.Lalita suna,Smt. Dashmi Tandi,Smt. Purnami Bhoi were praised by the District administration and media for their contribution towards liquor free movement.