The 18-months' report covers successful stories of people benefiting from Hand in Hand India’s interventions as well as challenges in implementing the programme.
Eighteen months ago, Hand in Hand India introduced the Village Upliftment Programme-VUP in Konerypatti Agraharam Panchayat. Since its launch, the VUP has implemented interventions in the areas of self-help group and microfinance, education, health, environment, and IT and governance. The integrated development approach has not only brought out a progressive change but has also laid the path for a better quality of life for villagers in Konerypatti Agraharam Panchayat.
Empowering women through Self Help Groups (SHGs)
Poverty affects women and children the most. Illiterate poor women in rural India have, for long, confined themselves to the conventional way of life — household chores, working as labourers, or assisting in family-based enterprises. By forming self-help groups and providing affordable microcredit they are now away from the web of poverty in Hand in Hand India’s self-help groups (SHGs) and microfinance programme has helped poor women emerge from a cocoon existence and carve out an identity of their own.
From selling door mats to owning a home
Mrs. Deivanai and Mr. Iyyanar live with their two sons in Konerypatti Agraharam Panchayat. Deivanai was capable of buying a home and purchasing a land for her sons, all this was possible because of her amazing skills in weaving door(foot) mats on contract basis for private companies. On one hand, the business was picking up pretty well and on the other hand, her effort to build a home and purchase a land was in full swing; Repaying the loan which had a very high rate of interest was a hunch to her progress. She was introduced to Hand in Hand India’s entrepreneurship training and skill training on foot mat making and strategies and with the help of the staff and mobilizers of Hand in Hand India she found ways to enhance her livelihood. She is an active member of the SHG called Varadharaja Perumal. She viewed the loan amount availed through the SHG as an opportunity to enhance her business. She makes an average of INR 4000 to 5000 per month.
“Hand in Hand India has provided me with a great platform to improve my socio economic status step by step and it has made it possible for me to construct a home and acquire land for my sons and thus helping me fulfil their dreams and mine,” says Deivanai.
Rearing the cows is a habit
Chitra is a member of Hand in Hand India’s SHG named Annai Theresa. She has taken a lot of initiatives to improve the livelihood of her family. She actively participates in all the activities and aides provided by Hand in Hand India. She has taken a loan amount of INR 15000 from her SHG and purchased a Cow. The cow produces 7 liters of milk in a day; retaining one liter for her family she sells off the remaining 6 liters of milk at the cost of INR 30 and making a profit of INR 5400 a month. Chitra plans to buy more cows and setup a mini diary business. She also expects to take an additional loan through her SHG for the same purpose.
It has been noted and experienced by Hand in Hand India that basic health care services continue to elude large parts of rural India. Many villagers must travel a long distance to visit the nearest medical facility; this often means forgoing a day’s wage, a factor which prevents villagers from seeking immediate medical attention. The health interventions of Hand in Hand India focus on making health care services accessible and affordable to the rural population.
Yogeshwaren is a 25-months-old child and his mother participated in all the regular awareness drives conducted by Hand in Hand India. He was pre-weighed at 7 kg three months ago, and his post-treatment weight at the moment is 11 kg. A diet rich in protein such as pulses, millets, vegetables and eggs was given to him for the past couple of months and his weight has considerably improved. After the intake of nutritious food, he is more active and playful. He is healthy and growing.
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