Sakh Se Vikas – Empowering Women, Transforming Lives
Sakh Se Vikas – Empowering Women, Transforming Lives

By auther pic. Jyoti

July 20, 2019

Sakh Se Vikas – Empowering Women, Transforming Lives

A woman benefitting from the ‘Sakh se Vikas’ programme through animal rearing

In 1999-2000, Tata Trusts started the formation of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in several backward districts of Rajasthan. It not only provided financial aid to the NGOs but also played a major role in providing technical help as well. Besides contributing in capacity development of SHGs, Tata Trusts through its ‘Sakh se Vikas’ programme has been linking them to major organizations like clusters and federations and aiding them to receive bank loans. Through this program, a lot of work has been done for improving their livelihood. In the last 10 years, ‘Sakh se Vikas’ programme has not only helped in getting bank loans of total of 60 crores to 130,000 women associated with 9000 groups, but also assisted in receiving 28 crores of government seed capital and revolving funds.


Saleeman from Alwar, one of the beneficiaries of the program says – ‘We got a loan of INR 50000 that was distributed among three of us. We bought goats and buffaloes with the money. We were able to repay the loan by the income. The loan of one lakh was invested in making and repairing our houses, buying buffaloes. And as the income grew, we kept making progress in life.’


Hajra from Alwar was able to open a shop with the help of the loan of 5000 received from the group, now she is able to run her home and shop from the income.


Two heads from each group come for stocktaking of accounts in the meeting. They check the registers for attendance, recovery, repayment of instalment, etc. and resolve any dispute between members. Green markings show that the group is being run efficiently; red group shows deficiency and major mistakes are marked with yellow colour in the chart. The group members then give time frame to get things in order and correct the mistakes. The ‘Gram Sangathan’ consists of women from all groups, 2 women from each group. Further it works under the supervision of a federation of women body.


A woman exploring livelihood options as part of the 'Sakh se Vikas' programme


Sanjay Sharma, Team Leader, PRADAN, Dholpur says – ‘The NGOs have been working in Rajasthan for long but there was no such platform where all can come and learn from best practices of each other. ‘Sakh se Vikas’ has tried to build such a platform. Now there is uniformity of structure, functioning, governance, and management. The standard which was varied has now become uniform.’


Enhancing livelihoods of SHG members

The farmers after receiving training are being benefitted; other farmers in the village are also learning from them.


RamKali, a farmer from Alwar says – ‘After joining the group, I received advice on the better way of cultivation of Millet (Bajra)from ‘Krishi Sakhi’ that has helped in getting extra yield of 10 quintal more than before.’


Vimala, another farmer stands testimony to the initiative by saying – ‘Earlier my yield in cultivation was not good. After joining the MPOWER, I benefitted a lot and my yield has increased and this time I am expecting a good harvest.’


In the line of ‘Krishi Sakhi’, a model of ‘Pashu Sakhi’ has been prepared through which women are able to rear animals on their own and are now helping others on how to do it in a better way. Both these models are running in large scale, and its impact is such that Rajasthan Government too has accepted these models and has implemented it in its livelihood programme in all districts.


‘Pashu Sakhi’ is helping farmers in rearing animals. The farmers get their goats vaccinated every month which has improved the health of the animals. Earlier, they were selling their goats directly without weighing, but now with the help of weighing machine from ‘Pashu Sakhi’, they were able to get better prices for the same goat.


Technical support on Livelihoods to Government Programmes –

Jaypal Singh Medatiya, Project Director, MPOWER, Government of Rajasthan says – ‘The MPOWER programme was started by the Rajasthan Government. In this, there has been special contribution from Tata Trust, CmF and banks. We provide training to the rural women. The module of training prepared by CmF has helped in the economic and social development of women. In this project, the main emphasis is on improving the livelihood of rural women.’


Different models of livelihood prepared by CmF are being implemented in the MPOWER programme.


Improving the Quality of Life –

A new initiative on the issue of health has been launched. The tablets with healthcare apps are being distributed to the ‘Jan Shakti’ in villages. The main emphasis is on reducing the mother and infant mortality rate and on how to address the issue of health of rural women.


Shaymmati, Internet Sathi, Dholpur says – ‘I teach use of internet, and have taught 1150 women till now. On the first day, I teach how to switch on/off, photo gallery, how to increase/ decrease brightness of the screen, calculator, calendar etc. On the second day, after the recap of previous day’s lesson, I teach them how to change language, how to start internet on chrome etc.’


The microfinance initiatives under the Trusts' Sakh Se Vikas have helped bring about financial empowerment for women in the region. This has significantly altered the social order which is evident in the increased involvement of women in the decision-making process of the family.



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Jyoti, a post graduate of International Business, is working as a Senior Analyst Communication in NGOBOX and CSRBOX. A resident of Ahmedabad, she likes to spend her weekends in solitude by reading, with a steaming cup of coffee to give her company.


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