The low sex ratio, no economic value attached to the domestic chores of women, no decision making power, no economic standing plus the social onslaughts of neglect, discrimination in food, provision of education and dowry at the time of marriage have all relegated and pushed the women to a croner with no avenues for development.
Given this general scenario of women especially in rural sectors a comprehensive program to cover different socio-economic aspects of women through the formation of the women groups was started by the organisation.
The major focus revolves around the overall development of their village, tackling the social issues affecting them, the collective participation in thrift and credit and revolving the money among the group members for consumer and consumption and loans.
The impact of the group formation has led to the following changes in the rural scenario: · The moneylenders in the villages had to take back steps as the women groups did not allow the money lender to carry on his unscrupulous lending practices. · The women and the community in general were able to generate their own money and bring it to use in dire circumstancaes through the group efforts. · The average savings of each women ranges between Rs. 10 - Rs.50 per month.
In addition to agricultural activities the women are also engaged in seasonal business enterprises to enhance their income.
The ensuing issues at the village level both the social, economical and developmental issues such as lack of drinking water, street lights, Public distribution system are all tackled by the women group members themselves.
The women group members are also contesting in the local panchayat elections and as well as assembly elections. There has been success stories of atleast 22 grass roots women members being elected to the panchayats and one women has got elected in the assembly as well.
Supported by Unicef to empower rural women in areas of social, economic development in Omalur block in Tamilnadu. Through this project Self Health Groups were promoted and savings habit of the women were motivated and capacity building for rural women to organise themselves into groups is an important component in this project. It is also planned to increase employment to the rural women. About 134 women groups were promoted through the project.