NAME: Village Bhadrapali, Chattisgarh
The women of Bhadrapali mean business. Once restricted to their homes, today every woman in the community is an SHG member, and earns their own income. This ‘women’s movement’ has caused a wave of change, with the women transforming the community into a ‘Model Village’. Juggling a multitude of tasks, these women are a force to be reckoned with!
• LENDING – Most families were heavily in debt to money lenders, so the group kick-started ‘lending’ – providing low cost loans to meet household needs and start small businesses.
• INCOME GENERATION – The women collectively produce agarbatti, phenyl, papads, washing powder, pickles and masks - and have even created their own vermi compost brand in the process.
• SANITATION – To tackle open defecation, the women organised rallies and awareness sessions, painted walls, and went door to door promoting the construction of 106 toilets. Today the community has Open Defecation Free (ODF) status, 100% toilet coverage and the entrepreneurial ladies have developed their own brand of toilet cleaner to meet a new market need!
• CLEANLINESS – Working with ACF, the women mobilised to install dustbins, build drains and collect garbage from every household. They also set up a waste and plastic recycling unit.
• HYGIENE – The SHG worked with adolescents on various health issues including menstrual hygiene management - procuring sanitary napkins to sell to girls who were too shy to purchase from the local shop.
• SOCIAL ISSUES – The women launched a campaign to tackle alcohol abuse. They also went as a ‘women’s force’ to the homes of abused women to negotiate with family members – even convincing some families to send their girls to high schools in nearby villages.
Bhadrapali is promoted as a leading example to
motivate other women SHGs in the district on what is possible! And the women
have transformed in the process – from meek, housebound housewives, to
confident, savvy women, who travel widely to train other women in income
generation activities. Now that’s what we call women power!