Advocating for girls' right to education
Adhar is a local grassroots level organisation set up in 1992 with the vision of poor, deprived, excluded and marginalised communities having equal access and control over their rights and entitlements, resources and institutions, in order to lead a life with dignity.
Adhar utilizes several approaches to empower marginalized people and communities, with a focus on active community participation. Adhar works collectively with the community to identify and discuss issues and brainstorm solutions. Be it through skills training, knowledge dissemination, or service provision, Adhar listens first and acts collectively with the community second. Adhar empowers and mobilizes communities using a rights-based approach to development. At present, over 85% of staff are field workers, actively present in the communities on a daily basis.
Although this project (Collective Action for Children in Orissa, India) does not start until April 2012, Adhar runs a number of important projects. Here is a selection of its achievements during 2011:
- Promoted seed banks in 12 villages with emphasis on traditional varieties of seeds to help farmers reduce growing costs – a total of 298 farmers were supported through the seed banks;
- Provided capacity-building training to 54 women leaders on group management and entrepreneurship (topics covered included mushroom cultivation, fisheries and Agarbati manufacturing);
- Organised an immunization awareness meeting and health camp for pregnant woman; and
- Reintegrated 13 migrant children back in school.
Bilasha is one of hundreds of people supported by Adhar. Bilasha is a 70 year old widow who lives alone in Indira Awash and holds a BPL (Below Poverty Line) card. Although she owns ½ acre of land, because it is located 4km from her village, she is unable to farm it. With training and business set-up support (Rs4,500) from Adhar, Bilasha is now able to sell puffed rice and salt within the community. There is a large demand for puffed rice and salt in Champasar, and Bilasha is one of only a few vendors in her village. She earns Rs10 per day and is gaining vital experience of running her own business.