Realizing that it was staring at a deadly crisis of immense magnitude and proportions, the PRADAN team swung into action, collaborating with the local administration and institutions, to care for the survival and well-being of all members of the community
Taking the successful models and lessons of women’s empowerment and rural economic development from the SHGs in India and applying these in Mali, a region facing similar environmental and socio-economic challenges, is an encouraging example of global collaboration and kinship
From being docile and acquiescent wives, the women of Samnapur recognize their own strength and capabilities, and step up into the hitherto male-dominated arena of bidding for the role of tax collectors in the market, much to the disbelief of the men of their families and village
Once women were organised into collectives, they became more proficient in making decisions on livelihoods and enhancing economic stability; challenging family, caste and social norms then was a natural consequence
Whatever progress is made in the livelihoods and economic spheres of life, women in villages will only experience significant empowerment when violence—physical, emotional, psychological and other areas-against them is totally eradicated
SHGs are living organizations and need to be allowed to grow organically in response to internally identified needs rather than be directed by outside entities that have the narrow aspirations of economic growth only.
Emphasising the distinction between the being and the doing capabilities of a person and a community, the article stresses how corporate support in nurturing civil society, through collectives, will lead to holistic development of the poor, knowing they have the potential to bring about change in themselves and the world around them
Evolving a unique, farmer-focused research methodology, drawn from several complementary approaches, this research project brings about positive changes in the lives of women in this remote area, encouraging them to view themselves not as secondary drivers of agricultural output but as principal farmers, researchers, teachers and active agents of social change.