Prakash, leader of the project in India, tells us about the biggest changes that he has seen during his time there:
Question: What are the biggest changes that you have seen during the years of being involved in the project?
When we started our work we could see many young children are with their mothers in the Bidi factories when she was rolling bidies. Children sleep, eat, play in the tobacco atmosphere which was hazardous for their health. Not only that but children were exposed to tobacco dust since they are in mother’s womb. But due to continuous awareness and motivation now bidi rollers understands the dangers of tobacco and keep their children either in pre-school centres or at home, when they role bidies.
Earlier when we used to asked mothers about future of their children, particularly girls, they use to say that she will roll bidies. But if you ask any woman in NISD Project area she will say that I don’t want to bring my daughter in this hazardous work i.e. bidi rolling.
Earlier Money Lenders were very common in these villages. They used to give loans ( on very high interest rates) to these women and exploiting them. NISD started Self Help Groups in these villages and now there are around 100 Self Help Groups in our project villages. These SHGs now cater the loan need of these women and money lending system is abolished completely in NISD’s project villages. SHGs not only fulfilled monetary needs but also built their unity and solved number of social and other problems of women and children of these villages
With your continued support, we can carry on bringing about meaningful and lasting change.