Community Empowerment India

10 December 2018

Community Empowerment India

FROM NON-PERSON TO OFFICIAL RECOGNITION

Imagine if you moved to a new state and then the government denied your existence. No healthcare, no education, no voting rights, no government services at all. That was the experience of members of one of our community self-help groups (SHGs).

The women, and their children, were reduced to scavenging and sorting through metres-high piles of rubbish to find any rags they could sell. Rag-pickers, they were called. Then their homes – makeshift sheds, really – burned down. Enrolling in our empowerment program has transformed their lives.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER

5000 of India’s poorest women now receive health training, vocational training and education that helps them qualify for microfinance loans they had been excluded from. Those loans, in turn, allow them to send their children to school, improving the lives of generations to come.

Group member Noorjahan says, “By the SHG, now we are able to earn. We are taking money and spending money for our children’s education.”

Munni adds, “If we didn’t join the SHG, our situation would be like before the SHG. With no group, no money.”

The support they’ve received, along with the information they’ve been able to access, is helping many members gain official government ID cards, entitling them to services they’d long been denied.

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