FACING CHALLENGES 24 x 7 !
As a young bride ……
Filled with dreams and enthusiasm for future, a young Archana entered into married life with Vijay. What she did not know, was that, she was slyly being deceived into a partnership which would bring only misery and pain. Her in-laws suppressed the fact that her husband was terminally ill. It was after some months into marriage that she came to know about it.
Bristling with silent anger, she decided to face life in whatever constructive way as possible. She helped her husband in illness, took him to hospital. She had conceived already, gave birth to a son, but decided not to have further issues.
When her husband died …..
“I had developed fondness for my husband and was still in shock at his demise. I was in for further shock when my in-laws asked me to hand over the child to them and leave.”
I said, “enough of injustice from these people.”
“I fought with my in-laws and got to stay on after partitioning the house.”
“I could do this because I was armed with information given at camps held by Chetana-Vikas about my legal rights, property rights.”
“I had no money, I was doing odd jobs as an agriculture labourer and was living hand to mouth.”
“My friends, women members of our Self Help Group, used to help me with small loans which were used up for every day living only. Seeing my integrity and honesty, they then recommended my name for getting a loan of higher amount.”
“I have come to know that, this was made possible because of your support”.
“I am happy to tell you that with this money I could set up a small shop at home.”
“My villagers like many different type of things. So I decided to stock up an variety of things like stationery, sarees (an Indian attire), various cloth materials, inexpensive artificial jewelry etc. I even sold the miniature Indian Flag on our independence day.”
“I go to the fields at 10 am and come back at 6 pm. There was still time on hand while waiting for customers. I decided to buy a sewing machine.”
“Due to budget constraints, I bought a second hand machine within the same loan amount. Now, on an average, I can stitch 2 cloth materials a day. My son helps me in tending to customers when he is free.”
“Now with some steady and extra income, slowly my life has started picking up. I can now start hoping for a future and also a decent education to my child.”
“ I will continue to fight for myself, my son & my house.”
Archana Mhaiskar is from village Pimpalgaon Lute. In her life of 32 years, she is facing challenges 24 x 7. Instead of moping over her sorrows, she is willing and eager to meet these challenges.
Appropriate support whenever and wherever needed helps her to go ahead confidently.
We once again call out to continue helping women like Archana who are ready to meet such challenges, by providing opportunities.
The upcoming "Festival of Deepawali" would be a good opportunity to spread the light. Please tell your circle of friends and relatives about http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/empower-deserted-women-and-widows-in-rural-india/
Thank you !
Warm Regards from me & Archana
10 August 2012 - Today rural women in India celebrate "Janmashtami" - a festival dedicated to cows in India. It is an animal widely domesticated in rural areas and is believed to bring health and prosperity to the people in general.
So, it is a good day to share something with you about KANTA DAHAKE and her cow.
Living in a village of about 100 house holds, middle aged Kanta has studied up to 4th standard, owns land a bit above 1 hectare.
How is she different ?
Kanta is not only a widow since some years but has been deserted even by her grown up son and his wife. Nobody has seen them since many years. Mostly, the couple did not want to shoulder her responsibility, reflecting the changing family values of the society.
What makes her different, again ?
So, her life dragged on, from one day to another....
Kanta is a member of the local Self-Help Group (SHG) and was till now taking small loans for agricultural purposes. After her husband’s death, she made a resolution and used the loan amount to buy a cow. That improved her situation a bit. She again demanded a loan to buy another cow.
With the support given by you all, Chetana-Vikas, and the other women of the SHG of her village decided to sanction her loan appeal since she had worked hard to return the earlier amount on time. Moreover, they noted that Kanta suffers from arthritis, and so she needed a business, which she could operate from home.
She does not go to the fields because of her pain and so her field is mostly tended by the youngest son living with her. Kanta is required to put in very hard, round the clock work to make things happen.
The two cows today are yielding milk which on an average fetches her family Rs.4,800 per month (about USD 87). The milk is consumed locally, sometimes is processed and sold on festival days which adds to her income.
The cows have given birth to male calves.
The bulk of farm-yard manure, now available from these animals, has increased from 2 tractor-loads to ten and is valued at about at Rs.20,000/- which Kanta and her son prefer to apply to their fields.
Abundant farmyard manure has played a role in doubling the production from their field that is totally dependent on rains of four months.
The two bullock pairs have attracted nearby farmers and has a market offer of Rs.40,000/ for a pair. But Kanta refused to sell the calves saying that “money comes and goes but the calves are my true wealth which will increase further”.
Kanta makes it a point to mention that “since you people are with me, I feel the presence of some heavenly powers with me which helped me sail through difficulties”.
KANTA FOR FUTURE
She plans the impending marriage of her son. This would also leave her some time to expand her business.
She says further, “I will try to bring in more women like me into our fold, so that they can also make their lives better”.
As Kanta has mentioned, we at Chetana-Vikas also feel that there are many more Kantas that we have to reach.
Your support ensures bringing back color to an otherwise life full of drudgery and subsistence.
Ensure your friends and relatives visit the page link –http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/empower-deserted-women-and-widows-in-rural-india/
You can also put up a widget on your Facebook page, Twitter to spread the information.
Bye for now. We are off to a village were the women are celebrating the festival with lots of cows.
Niranjana MaruProject Leader
Hullo friends !
Meet, 45 year old Manda.
A widow, barely able to sustain with earnings of Rs.30-50/day (up to 0.920 USD) is now able to earn Rs.200-300/day (up to 5.520 USD).
This was possible because of your support !
Manda – a shy, demure daily wage earner from village Talegaon, has studied up to 7th standard. Her world became totally a question mark when her husband died of renal failure, a few years ago. Her three teenaged children, who were till then aspiring for better education, suddenly had to think whether they could continue the education at all.
But daunty Manda did not waste much time fretting and worrying. She realized that her meager earnings were not enough, for her family.
She started with some odd jobs, took up a small loan to set up a petty shop. Due to inconsistent earnings and uncertainties, she could not keep it open and had to shut down intermittently. Moreover, there was no money to buy enough material to stock up.
She even took up a contract of preparing porridge as mid-day meal at a government child care centre.
Her commitment and efforts to somehow improve her and children’s lives was noticed by the women of her village.
With the program of helping widows like her gaining momentum at Chetana-Vikas , her case was brought to the notice of the Committee and she was provided an amount of about 110 USD. With this support, she bought stuff for her shop from a town 12 kms away, spruced up the small tin shop a bit and started stocking up on demands of villagers.
She sells grocery items and stationary. Very soon, the continuity showed results. The shop is running smoothly and her life has become stable. With earnings increasing six fold, she is now on the road to recovery for a decent and better life. She plans to expand further.
Her kids could continue their education due to some support from her maternal home.
The Women Committee members are village women who are pioneers and are selected because of their capacities already shown. With consistent efforts, they have developed the knowledge, attitude and skills to help people like Manda. It is the precise and necessary information gained at trainings regarding available government schemes, legal aid, property rights and other related issues which allow these Committee members to take up or suggest concrete action for the needy women.
Again, it is your support which is helpful for these village women to travel and attend these important committee meetings.
You have joined hands with us in this endeavor. Please continue spreading the word about Manda and many more like her who make the best use of your help. Please ask your friends and relatives to visit -
Manda sends her warm wishes.
Dear Partners !
Hullo ! It is good to connect with you again. Well, things got moving since your support came in the month of December, 2011 at GlobalGiving.
It is Sangita who wants to thank you. The widow who seldom comes out of her village and who barely utters a word in meetings. She has been able to complete the paperwork and bypass corrupted channels to avail of Rs.10,000 (USD204). In all, USD 3,250 have been channelized directly to beneficiaries from the Government Scheme for widows.
Sangita Thakare, a young widow at 35 with 2 children, is barely able to make two ends meet. She had no knowledge and inkling of what to do & how to improve her life. A daily wage laborer. Educating her children is the prime concern on her mind. Today, with the knowledge and help received, she is already speaking of setting up a small trade and reach out for better opportunities in future.
This was possible for her, because of the help rendered by the Committee, which gave information, legal aid and advice on methodology to win her case. 9 such Cluster Committees each catering to an average of 25 villages, solely has women members which include deserted women/widows.
YOUR SUPPORT helps them travel to meetings, hire lawyers, hold regular camps on legal aid, consistently spread information, awareness, take up cases, fight with officials when necessary, campaign with Self-Help-Groups.
These Committees could also take up issues related to children of widows. Atleast 17 children of widows were helped in variety of ways. They got textbooks and uniforms which improved their attendance at school, got accommodation in government hostels and 2 children could avail of treatment for sickle cell disease as part of already existing government schemes. The Committee now wants to help Sangita and many like her, get loans for micro entrepreneurship. 74 deserted women/widows have already come forward with appeals to the Committees for help in starting small businesses.
Your small help has helped make meaningful change. Please keep on directing your circle of friends to project 9386 at Global Giving. Visit : http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/empower-deserted-women-and-widows-in-rural-india/
You can also put up a widget on your Facebook page, Twitter to spread the information. Your suggestions and feedbacks are welcome.
We will remain in touch with all the developments. Together, we will bring back the smiles on their faces.
Thanks from all of us here at Chetana-Vikas, Wardha in Central India.
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http://www.chetanavikas.org (presently under reconstruction, but accessible)