[Under DFID's Poorest Areas Civil Societies (PACS) Programme]
PACS programme is inspired by UN's Millennium Development Goal to reduce the poverty by half till 2015. It is supported by DFID , UK and being administered in India by Management Consultants (Development Alternatives and Price Watershouse Coopers, New Delhi). GRASP
launched Stree-Shakti Lok- Shakti Vikas aiming at empowerment of rural community, women in particular and strengthening local resource based livelihood systems. The project commenced in September 2002, in select clusters of villages in Districts Aurangabad and Jalna, for a period of next 3 years. The project with an outlay of INR 6.4 Million, is implemented as a network project with 4 partner organisations, Pathika, Surabhi, Speed Multi-aid Assocaition and Krishi Saarathi.
Empower and enable the community, especially the women, to address the pertinent issues of socio-economic and institutional development in the project villages.
To improve the existing education practices in rural areas for overall development of the child
To improve the economic status of women and reduce their economic dependency
To empower women socially and politically
To enable the communities to work towards sustainable livelihood systems
Implementing in 54 selected villages falling in 4 blocks, namely Kannad, Paithan, Phulambri (District Aurangabad) and Badnapur (District Jalna).
Socio-economically poor and marginalised sections of rural society. Women, adolescent girls, youths, children and farmers are chosen as the focus groups.
Promoted 155 Self Help Groups of women reaching out to 2294 women and 52 Kishori Vikas Mandals(groups of adolescent girls) covering 1095 adolescent girls.
Skill training on art and craft (knitting, ragoli, flower pot making, wall pieces, flower drying, sewing, etc) and life skills (use of facilities and services of post office, telecommunication, development administration, police and judiciary) to the adolescent girls.
Promoted 40 farmers' groups and 43 youth groups, reaching out to 962 farmers and 942 youth, respectively.
Trained 846 women on SHG management. As a result, 1208 women are handling money, managing records and transacting with banks on their own.
Trained 245 women Panchayat members and SHG leaders on functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions, leading to meaningful participation of women (over 600 in number) in gramsabhas and Gram Panchayat meetings.
Three exposure visits were conducted for 169 women SHG members on best management practices in SHGs in other parts of Maharashtra.
Training programmes on income generation (goat rearing and livestock management) conducted for 116 members of SHG. So far 30 women SHGs have been linked to banks for enterprise development.
In all, 556 Adolescent girls were taken on exposure visit to places like post office, police station and other government offices.
Introduced environmental sanitation practices like gram swacchata, soakage pits, and kitchen gardens in all the project villages. These practices are gradually being adopted by an increasing number of families.
Facilitated construction of 4 temporary dams and 5 sub-surface dams for water harvesting and groundwater recharge on initiative of local communities.
Village level information centres for farmers started in 15 villages.
For the first time, women started participating in gramsabhas and influencing decisions.
The elected women members involved in Gram Panchayat functioning, which had been a male domain for long.
Women developed courage to approach banks, police, Block Development Officer, Tahasildar and other officials which they never did in past.
The SHGs helped in coming out of vicious cycle of money lenders in 75% of the villages
Women developed ownership over their earnings and started income generation activities like dairy, goatry, bird rearing, sewing through the loans from SHGs and banks.
Due to women's initiatives the villages got organised to address their problems collectively. They successfully handled the issues like drinking water, village approach roads, work under EGS, monitoring quality of mid-meals in Aanganwadi, sanctioning of Aanganwadi, ration shops, etc.
The adolescent girls classes helped the girls acquire different skills, increased confidence and awareness, which was a help to them in their married life.
These girls have bee successful in convincing parents on right age of marriage, bathroom facility, right to education, etc. The senior girls also are teaching next batches of girls in Kishori Vikas Mandals.
The erstwhile defunct Village Education Committees (VEC) started meeting regularly and helping in improving educational environment in their respective villages. The members visit the school, conduct enrolment drives, get from Zilla Parishad teachers appointed and class rooms or sanitation facilities sanctioned. They are monitoring the school functioning routinely.
The villagers developed habit of shramdaan for works like gram swacchata, social events, construction of kaccha roads, etc.