In 1988 when we entered the village, we only saw some old faces, no young or middle-aged woman would expose their faces in public. But they would come for meetings and listen to us, also expressed how suffocated they felt in their covered face.
Slowly with interactions and meetings they formed Self Help Groups with a budget, they became the keepers of their own money and began bank transactions for the first time. All this boosted their morale. It is through them that the family takes loans from Self Help Groups. They have become very vocal and confident. They started staging small plays on women’s day. They also started approaching Block to demand government schemes.
Many of them became Asha workers, some Anganwadi Helpers. Now they look for opportunities to become self-reliant, many of them run petty shops. Many of them keep animals for income generation. Earlier when a card is printed for their son/daughter‘s wedding mother’s name was nowhere. But now it is not so, they have become part of the decision-making process. Every marriage invitation card has mothers’ names on it. Slowly the mindset of the people is changing positively.
Chirag aims at the economic empowerment of women belonging to the
There are nearly 200 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of women
who have savings in the formal bank. It became difficult for the women to have
bank transactions. So, the women decided to open their own banks in the
name of “Mahila Sashaktikaran Alp Bajath Yojana” These banks help women to
have easy transactions and inter-loaning facilities. It is a very user-friendly bank.
Women taking a loan from these banks do Income Generating Activities (IGA)
such as the opening of shops, farming, animal husbandry, etc.
Women becoming economically independent has an impact on them, their families,
and society at large.