The project planned to assist 200 women mushroom growers in six villages in Assam’s one of the frontier districts along the Indo-Bhutan border. So far FST has helped in developing the skill in mushroom cultivation among the women who are already in Self Help groups (SHGs). The women showed their interest as they considered that the production would be an additional income to their marginal farmer families living in a remote part of the state.
Facilitating the women in livelihood activities was FST’s strategy to collectivise them in organisations at the village level. FST believes that this would help the women to analyse their situation and take up steps to create a conducive environment where everybody can access rights. Since nearly all of them are members of SHGs, they already have the idea of group and working in a team. However, the space provided to them by the SHGs is restricted within saving, loaning and repaying. A lot of social issues are thus left ignored which could as well be addressed by this united strength of the women. For this reason FST focussed in this project on facilitating the mushroom grower women in forming village level organisations, which would generate their solidarity beyond SHGs. The SHGSs will continue to exist within these organisations. So far the initial works of the organisation building have been taken up by the women in four of the six project villages.
Works done so far:
- 1600 packets of mushroom spawn were distributed among the women
- Women mushroom growers have produced 172 kg.s of mushroom
- The production has brought them a profit of INR 17200 as a whole
- They have conducted meetings, discussed local issues, especially women’s situation
- In one of the villages the women have called on the local self governance head and discussed about Government entitlements.
Established in 2012 the Lynti Khasi School has progressed in a positive direction, despite the lack of proper infrastructure, lack of teaching & learning aids and irregularity in teacher’s salary. Prior to the establishment of the Lynt Khasi School, the children of the shepherd community of Umsawwar were attending the Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) schools. However the timing of these schools which did not suit the children, led to their dropping out of school. The primary reason here being is that parents of these children wanted them to gaze the cattle’s as it was their only means of livelihood.
While realising the depth of the issue Prince Thangkhiew formulate an alternative way for addressing the issue which is titled as “Lynti Khasi School”. FST played the role of enabler during the implementation of the idea for access to education for the children of Umsawwar village. The alternative and innovative model of the Lynti Khasi School operated from 6 AM to 10 AM. This alternative way of timing, helped the drop out children to return back to a school filled with joy and experiential learning. Lynti Khasi School covered the beginners, non-going children and school dropout children of the village. The school aims to provide alternative creative learning opportunities for the children of this remote village and facilitate their growth as responsible and creative young citizens. Apart from this, the school has introduced the traditional concept of local governance of Khasi community which is Dorbar (Council). The children Dorbar of Lynti Khasi School provides the platform to understand decision making process, gender equality in decision making and to make the children empower to create their own space of learning.
Being the enabler, Foundation for Social Transformation along with Prince is making efforts towards sustaining the school by providing the basic amenities of quality based education with appropriate infrastructure, sanitation facilities, teaching and learning aids, sports equipments, books and most importantly teachers, with a mission to uplift the future youths of the community, in order to foster development in the long run.
This project “Lynti Khasi School” has been successful in its own way and has achieved expected outcome. Umsawwar village had huge school dropout rate. After setting up of Lynti Khasi School the school has witnessed enrollment of 60 students and the school has appointed 2 full-time teachers. This school has a children Dorbar ( council) and this Dorbar is encouraging the students in active participation in the decision making process, especially girls, with the aim that few years down the line Umsawwar a remote village of Meghalaya will have a women representative in the Village Dorbar ( council), where till date Khasi women have no representation.
Our fellow Ms Lalthanzami has been continuing to work for the women who faced abuse, forced out of home and no home to live. She has been running a home for these women. The capacity of the home is 6 and usually women stay for three months. Women from different parts of the state. some even from neighbouring Myanmar also come to Safe Home. Sometimes police also send women to the home for short stay.
At presnet there are 3 women staying in the home. Ms Zami also lives in the home. She is mannaging the home alone. She has formed an alliance of the women to spread awareness on abuse, gender based violence and support the women. She has been able to generate support from the Mizoram Women Association, the apex body of the Mizo women in the state. The association support her work. Local village council also supports the work.
She plans to conduct livelihood skill for the women. Livelihood is critical issue for the women. In most cases, women are forced out of home and they economically poor. Without the any source of income, live become hasrsh for them. Many are with children and situation become difficult. So our emphasis is to develop skill of the women so that women can help themselves in such situation.
The Mizoram Succession Act also does not help women in this situation. If the husband dies and the children are of 18 years or above, the mother needs the permission of the children to be head of the family. Gender justice requires a different approach considering that the cases of broken marriage, violence against women is rising.
FST will analyse the situation and will adopt a different approach.
We are closing this project. This project is no longer running on GlobalGiving