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Centre for Rural Education and Development Action

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UNDP India

MORD, Government of India
Separator
Name of Project

Community Based Pro-Poor Initiative (CBPPI) -
Strengthening livelihood For women's empowerment
Funding Agency Government of India - UNDP
Local Agency: CREDA
Project Period Start: September, 1999
Project Area 40 villages in Lalganj block of Mirzapur district
60 villages in Halia block of Mirzapur district
Total villages: 100
Community 14000 families from economically and socially marginalized groups including women, Adivasis, landless agriculture workers, child labourers
Problem 36% of India’s population lives below the poverty line. The poor and the underprivileged have not gained from the national development process.

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Objectives:

1. Support national efforts towards empowerment of communities for poverty alleviation through a process of social mobilization and people centred development.
2. Assist in training and capacity building of organizations of the poor
3. Facilitate creation of family and community assets and support demand driven social services
4. Build alliances and partnerships amongst various interest groups in order to mainstream the lessons of pilot initiatives into macro policy and programmes
5. Support pro-poor policies for creating an enabling environment.
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Activities Adopted
The following activities were planned to achieve the objective of mobilising existing community groups in sub-programme villages to take action on issues of livelihood security and access to entitlements:

1. Orientation for 1000 CREDA volunteers on the objectives and strategy of the sub-programme, and issues of livelihood security, sustainable natural resource management and gender equality through regular meetings and grassroots level workshops.
2. Village meetings of existing groups to discuss the sub-programme strategy and collectively affirm a broad plan of action.
3. Initiation of resource mapping and entitlements mapping in sub-programme villages in partnership with women's groups.
4. Norms for setting up and managing community development fund (Samooh Sahyog Kosh) developed by groups in partnership with women's groups.
5. Village meetings organised by community groups in partnership with CREDA and with participation of panchayat functionaries and Block officials, for sharing of details of government schemes and for transparent selection of beneficiaries under each scheme.
6. Identification in open meetings, of marginal farmer and artisan families to be supported from the community development fund, on the basis of collectively agreed criteria.
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Women's groups were organised in each of the sub-programme villages to take collective action on issues of livelihood security and access to entitlements. Activities to this objective included;
7. Selection of 20 women organisers and orientation on the basic framework of sustainable livelihoods, participatory gender analysis and group organisation methodologies and the objectives and strategies of CREDA in general and the subprogramme in particular.
8. Initiation of regular village visits and group meetings by women organisers, to establish rapport with village women and to discuss issues and share sub-programme strategies.
9. Identification of individual skills, strengths and resources, as well as common property resources by each woman’s group.
10. Participation by women's group in village resource mapping and entitlement mapping exercises.
11. Identification of degraded and marginal land for setting up fuel and fodder lots.
12. Identification of self-employed women who are to be given working capital loans from the village development fund.
13. Initiation of a movement for functional literacy and numeracy for all members of women's groups.
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Training and empowerment objectives were achieved by setting up women's carpet manufacturing centres in at least 10 villages.
14. Cluster-level meetings to identify villages where centres can be set up and women who can join.
15. Village meetings of identified women to plan for setting up and managing centres and developing norms for functioning.
16. Identification of land and construction of centres by community groups. Acquisition of 5 looms and other tools and equipment for each centre.
17. Skill training in carpet weaving for identified women.
18. Basic training in enterprise management including accounting, inventory control and marketing for members of carpet production centre.
19. Training in child care and pre-primary education for selected women. Interactions with established loom owners for sourcing of inputs.
20. Establishment of linkages with established buyers and the Carpet Export Promotion Council for marketing of carpets.
21. Monitoring of functioning of centres and community cottage schools by community groups/women's groups.
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Collective action by community groups/women's groups to regenerate wasteland and common property resources.
22. Orientation, training and exposure visits for selected CREDA volunteers, women organisers and members of community groups/women's groups, to build perspective on issues of common property resources and natural resource management.
23. Village-level exercises to identify common lands and wastelands and plan for their regeneration and development.
24. Community groups/women's groups to examine and decide on proposals for support from community development fund for cultivation on wastelands.
25. Action by community groups/women's groups and CREDA, to develop proposals for watershed development and access existing resources to take up activities for development of selected micro-watersheds.
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T
o enable effective and collective action to address community health issues the following activities were done.
26. Creation of a pool of knowledge and competence at the community level, on preventive and promotive health issues.
27. Village meetings to identify members of community groups/women's groups who can become health workers.
28. Training and exposure visits for 200 health workers as well as 100 CREDA volunteers and women organisers, to orient them to basic preventive and promotive health issues.
29. Training for 100 CREDA school teachers and childcare workers in basic health monitoring and first aid.
30. Establishment of linkages with women's health groups and health NGOs for training and resource support in health.
31. Village-level training camps for 50 traditional birth attendants, with focus onmanagement of childbirth, diagnosis and primary treatment of some common gynaecological problems.
32. Workshops with women's groups to identify, share and document traditional health knowledge, including herbal and kitchen remedies.
33. Preparation and dissemination of pictorial teaching/learning materials on preventive and promotive health, women's health, nutrition, contraception and traditional remedies.
34. Organisation of village health camps and health melas by community groups/women's groups every quarter.
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W
omen's /community groups addressed immediate issues of children's health and nutrition by;
35. Workshops at the cluster level with representatives of community groups/women's groups, local doctors and PHC staff, to develop village action plans and set targets for community action on health issues every quarter.
36. Action by CREDA, panchayats, community groups/women's groups to dialogue and link with UNICEF, the UP Water Corporation, CAPART and the Rajiv Gandhi National Drinking Water Mission for provision of tubewells in unserved villages.
37. Health screening camps organised every quarter by women's groups, to identify and refer children with disabilities, eye and eat infections and protein-energy malnutrition.
38. Planting of nutrition gardens and fruit trees by women's groups and children around schools and carpet centres, and on wastelands.
39. Action by women's groups to monitor mid-day meal programmes in villages where primary schools are functioning.
40. Action by women's groups to organise cluster-level immunisation camps. Mobilisation of youth groups and children for 'clean village' campaigns.
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S
uccesses – Features/ Highlights
· 100 SHGs have started small income generation activities as per collective decisions.
2,896 meetings of SHGs have been held and 1,990 women are being empowered and they are taking action through platforms provided by SHGs.
· Community Development Fund is being revolved by SHGs for meeting their requirements.
SHG leaders have started carrying on bank operations on their own.
Small credit process started by SHGs as per requirement and decision of group members.
· Training in operation and management of SHGs has been provided to 200 SHGs leaders (Presidents and Treasurers) and 40 Community Organisers.
Functional Literacy training imparted to 200 SHGs leaders, who in turn provided training to their respective SHG members.
One exposure trip to Indian Vegetable Research Institute, Varanasi has been organised for SHGs members and Community Organisers.
· Participation of women in SHGs has changed their mindset resulting in beginning of a new journey for them. Women's groups actively participated in the open village level Panchayat meetings and gave their valuable suggestions on the prospects of livelihood, village development and education.
· They ensured their participation with block level government officials to ensure widow pension and old age pension and made efforts to improve upon public distribution system.
· 131 rural women health workers trained on First Aid and Reproductive Health. They are providing support to the people as per requirements.
100 project villages covered under health check-up programmes through village health camps with participation of project doctor, women health workers and project staff.
· 10 durrie weaving training centres have been started in 10 project villages.
500 women have been trained in durrie weaving and 500 more women have been identified for the next batch of durrie weaving training.
The community has provided Temporary premises for durrie weaving training. Construction of two durrie weaving training centre (under one roof) buildings has been completed and that of third is nearing completion. The two completed centres are now functional. One godown (for the storage of raw materials and final products of durrie centres) has been constructed and is being used.
· Core team members of the district, block and village level monitored the progress of the project and gave need-based guidance and training.
· Prof. BN Juyal, a senior consultant, has been engaged for conducting study on Poverty, Entitlements and Human Rights. The study started in November 2002.
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Concerns
One of the potential problems being faced by CREDA is the general impression among the landlords in project areas that once the women are given wages at par with men, their profit share will decline. This is the immediate fallout of the 'women empowerment' propagated by CREDA.
This is the first time in the history of the area that dalits, backward and minority women have started organising themselves around the issues affecting them. The ruling class and landed gentry in the area are trying their best to demoralise the women and spreading rumours about the NGO, which can lead to some backlash.

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