Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management

by Utthan
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Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Prepare Women Leaders in Financial Management
Work for Addition of 6 rooms to the Primary School
Work for Addition of 6 rooms to the Primary School

 

Kharakdi Gram Panchayat: A model for other villages to effectively access mandate resources for village development

 

Gram Panchayat Development Plans (GPDPs) have been mandated by Gram Panchayats for economic development and social justice. The scheme facilitates comprehensive and participatory planning and provides the accessibility of Union Ministries/Line Departments' schemes. Via efforts in last three years, the community in Kharakdi village, Bhavnagar district, was motivated and empowered to create an Integrated Village Development Plan, and institutional representatives and diverse village leaders, both women and men, from all hamlets were involved in the in-depth need identification process in each sector using a participatory approach. The plan value increased from 6.5 lakhs in FY 2018-19 to 1 crore in FY 2019-20. This plan was submitted for resources from the Finance Commission Award and various Departmental Funds. Participatory planning thus helped to build knowledge base of village leadership, provide the right strategies and finally substantially improved the resources mobilised by the local body. For example, funds were raised to expand the primary school by six rooms to serve the village's growing child population and work is underway. The infrastructural upgrade of the school will increase the enrollment of students. On the other hand, ensuring the education and continuity of girl children by assuring safety, convenience of transportation, parental awareness, and monitoring of teacher quality are inevitable for the overall human development of the village. The example of Kharakdi is now set to support the integrated village development efforts in 43  villages of Utthan's work areas. Women of the village were capacitated to take active role in planning and played a ket role along with men to build good quality plans.

Children in the existing school facility
Children in the existing school facility
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Biopesticide preparation for Kitchen gardening
Biopesticide preparation for Kitchen gardening

 

Indian NGOs await approvals to receive funds through GlobalGiving, but this has not detered a Covid response.

After having made good efforts in bringing relief in the form of food rations, kharif sowing, kitchen gardening, tool support, soaps, masks, sanitary pads/cloth pieces, this support raised by Utthan, tried to look into both, relief and resilience efforts with communities in coastal district of Bhavnagar. The objective was to provide support which would lead to income generation for the times to come. The type of relief efforts was finalised in line with needs of those vulnerable families who Utthan had not been able to reach until June 2020.The operation was carried out in collaboration with the Samarthan Mahila Sangathan (Bhavnagar) and Mahila Vikas Sangathan (Mahuva) in 32 villages of 3 blocks of Bhavnagar district. Following interventions helped 691 families:

  • Kharif sowing- 130
  • Rabi Sowing - 266
  • Kitchen gardening - 51
  • Disco nets for on shore fishing - 25
  • Nets No. 14 for deep sea fishing -53
  • Weighing scales - 32
  • Rope making units - 17
  • Poultry unit - 8
  • Cow unit - 7
  • Vermi compost production unit -1

Shardaben from Neswad village mentions, “Due to unavailability of funds due to no wage earning we had thought we will not cultivate this Rabi season. It is only due to the seed support made available, that we were able to get this production. We set aside a year’s supply of wheat for family consumption, relieving us of this worry for the year ahead.

Rehmatben became the first person to start poultry as a livelihood initiative in the village. In fact, she introduced the Kadaknath variety, a variety costlier than others. Their eggs fetch a better price too. She is able to collect 1 egg a day which fetches a price of Rs. 15 each. “I do not have land and work as a labourer. But we get only seasonal work. The poultry effort has created a source of income for me. I will use this as my employment and improvise. I am able to earn Rs.150-200/- per day now.” At an average, each hen lays one egg a day, thereby a total of 100 to 110 eggs sold at Rs. 15/- per egg. This brings an income of Rs. 1500-1800/- per family to these 8 families. The hatchlings are increasing the population of the poultry too. The 20 poultry have now increased to 40-50 birds. That doubles the income as well.”

“We sell fish every day. We use an approximation by filling a small steel plate considering it would weigh 50-75 gms. and sell at an average of Rs.20." The non-use of a small instrument such as a weighing scale leads to losses. A weighing scale distribution drive was thus planned.“Since we have weighing scales, we will now be able to fetch the correct price. Our selling price is Rs.50 for 100 grams. With proper weight, we are able to get Rs.100-150 more, daily.” What started out with Rs.25000 for 25 women is benefitting 50-60 women with a combined per annum increased income of Rs.187500 per month. In fact, even in the crisis period an investment of Rs.25000 will provide an increased income of Rs.13,12,500 on the conservative side in the 8 months of this business cycle of just the 1st year (a whopping 52 times). The weighing scale generally has a conservative asset life of 2-3 years. Thus making this a per annum benefit for at least next 2 years

Weighing scales giving correct returns
Weighing scales giving correct returns

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Small machinery for Rope making
Small machinery for Rope making

Utthan’s continuous contact with the communities it serves brought out that the immediate effect of the post COVID lockdown was loss of daily wages and inability to access basic food and nutrition needs. Utthan intervened to provide short term relief to marginalized communities across 228 villages. Its multiple interventions uptil date, have had a cumulative outreach to 44000 households directly.

Even in July 2020, 66% households in the communities we work, reporting ‘lack of money for food’ (Monitoring Rural Lives during the Pandemic, Gujarat data of a Nine State survey as part of a national coalition, Rapid Rural Community Response to COVID 19 (RCRC) we are part of, July 2020. Utthan data: 480/2001 HH, n= 16979HH.)

Utthan’s People to People Social Solidarity Enterprise model demonstrated post COVID, with Pagadiya women of coastal Gujarat Pagadiya fisher families (foot fishers, pag meaning feet) in in coastal Katpar village typically combine foot fishing in the near-shore areas, job work for rope contractors and migration into agriculture labour work for their livelihood. Climate change effects, frequent cyclones have impacted the catch which used to be available by wading in 7-10 kms. into the sea.
Utthan helped 10 women of the Women Fisherfolk Farmers groups to set up their own small rope making units as against labour work for rope making contractors. This is providing a benefit of Rs.8-9/kg since women are able to directly sell in the block level market. These women entrepreneurs are engaging other members of the group as labour in this activity, implying that even these women have found wages within their village. The 10 women are planning to initiate collective sale for even better returns. “We used to go to Una, 150 kms. away for labour in cotton cultivation work for 4 months. Now we won’t need to.”

While we continue wait for the India disbursements to open, Women Federation leaders and he Utthan team continue their efforts. Every drop we believe will make the Ocean!

Rope production- Own material & labour, Own terms
Rope production- Own material & labour, Own terms

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Utthan's COVID  response as of May 20
Utthan's COVID response as of May 20

Dear GlobalGiving Community!

While the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire globe, its impacts on public health, the economy and livelihoods have been disproportionately felt by marginalised communities, women, men and children in the global South.

In India, the immediate effects of the ongoing nationwide lockdown [promulgated by the government from March 24, 2020 as a preventive measure] were felt by daily wage workers unable to access basic needs of food and nutrition, forcing thousands of migrants in urban hotspots to start the arduous journey home. Meanwhile in villages, the apprehension of migrants returning home to limited work was compounded by the lack of protective measures such as masks and soaps, as well as access to markets for farm produce.  

Right from the start of this pandemic it was clear that government relief efforts were never going to be sufficient and that civil society had to contribute their insights and experience as development partners. In this context, the Utthan team, supported by a network of 15000 village volunteers and leaders is reaching out to respond to urgent needs in 350 villages across six districts of rural Gujarat where it has been working for the past 40 years building local groups of women and youth, on livelihood security, access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene, gender justice and conflict transformation.

In addition, all villages have seen the greater use of digital tools for communication, capacity building and livelihood support during these times of mandatory physical distancing. In an effort to build self-reliant village communities, Utthan decided that it would be best to promote and purchase local produce as part of their relief kits, be it sanitary napkins made by women’s Self-Help Groups or grains and vegetables produced by women farmers, at the same price they would get in local markets. 27 percent of the total relief package amount was infused into the local economy by applying the simple doctrine of local production and local consumption. An extremely important response from most of these women farmers was “I am feeling satisfied and happy that our grains will help many in my own village. Hence, this is a more valuable earning for me”

As of May end 2020, Utthan provided supported to 31365 familes acoss 193 viillages in 6 districts of Gujarat. 

We are looking at strengthening resilience efforts for communities who have lost a lot! 

                                                                   PEOPLE IN NEED HAVE MULTIPLIED

                                                         WE REALLY NEED SUPPORTERS TO MULTIPLY TOO!

Press Coverage of work April 20
Press Coverage of work April 20
Press coverage
Press coverage
Rapid testing facilitated by Sarpanch
Rapid testing facilitated by Sarpanch

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Our Solidarity with each one in the Health sector!
Our Solidarity with each one in the Health sector!

 

While we await clearances to India Projects, Utthan's team underwent a training to improve their skills in Socio Behavioural Change & Communication. This helped team to understand SBCC models and clearly understand the steps of behavioural change. 

This will help us designing future programmes more effectively.

Thank you to all our donors for their trust in Utthan's projects!

Currently  - all our strength and solidarity to health sector who are the forefront handling the Covid pandemic. Keeping the situation in mind Utthan has currently suspending village level events and engagement in the interest of our team and communities. 

While we work on home, we use this time to relook at our work, what can work better, what is that we want to do differently, what may be the immediate needs when things get back to normal. 

#Stay Safe  #Act Responsibly

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Organization Information

Utthan

Location: Ahmedabad, Gujarat - India
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Utthan
Pallavi Sobtirajpal
Project Leader:
Pallavi Sobtirajpal
Ahmedabad, Gujarat India

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