Cutting across caste barriers, the sanitation and drinking water project brings together entire villages and helps the villagers realize their strength and potential when they work as one towards a common goal.
P radan has been working in Koderma district of Jharkhand since 1992–93, promoting Self Help Groups (SHGs) in three blocks, covering 83 villages. The SHGs comprise members from the poor and marginalized sections of society. By February 2009 there were 400 SHGs in the area, with no less than 6,000 women members. The SHGs in the area have been further organized into a federating body, namely, the Damodar Mahila Mandal Sangh. After close to two decades, today the women leaders of the SHGs have become very confident about interacting with the outside world.
The SHGs, along with their federating bodies, are important vehicles of socioeconomic change. The SHGs are engaged in regular savings and credit mobilization. The credit is usually utilized for investments in a variety of activities such as agriculture, animal husbandry, petty business, repayment of other debt, meeting day-to-day expenses such as ration, school fees, health and house repair. Loans are also taken for meeting working capital requirements in Pradan promoted activities such as poultry rearing and tasar reeling.