Adolescent and Women Empowerment
Adolescence is one of the most fascinating periods of human life that marks the transition from being a dependent child to an independently functioning adult. The health related experiences, attitudes and behaviour of these adolescent age groups intimately linked to their social, educational and economic aspirations and options, which will have a strong impact on the future of the Indian society. Several studies reveal the magnitude of the challenges working with this age group. Forty four percent of girls in the age group of 15-19 years in India are illiterate. Thirty three percent of women in India are married by the age of 15. Unfortunately, the unique developmental, sexual and reproductive health needs of this segment of Indian population are poorly understood and undeserved.
Since last one year, RDWS has started working with these adolescent girls in 10 villages of Pachipenta Mandal. Thrust areas included are transitional Education, reproductive health of adolescent girls and vocational training. We are already formed one core group with 5 members in our organization and we had been provided training and exposure to this core team to have in depth understanding about the issues related to adolescent age group. This type of capacity building initiative helped the members of core group to improve their capacities to plan and operate various programmes for the betterment of adolescent girls of our villages. We have already formed 20 SHG’s with adolescent girls in 10 villages of Pachipenta Mandal. The average size of each group ranging from 12 to 15 members in the age group of 15 to 19 years old.
The result of the understanding of criticality of poverty led us to look for mechanisms that will supplement the income of women and their families. We have learnt from other sectors of development that enable us to cater to the needs of women in poor communities. We have adapted the most popular mechanism available right now in the development field i.e. micro-credit support to the women those under acute poverty. This is proving to be an extremely appropriate mechanism in addressing the persistent financial needs of the women and their families. The process is initiated in 4 SHG’s of 3 villages in Pachipenta Mandal. This year, we had been provided seed capital to 60 women to take up IGP activities like, sheep and goat rearing, vegetable vending, milk diary etc. to stand on their own feet and to improve their economic and social status in the society.
The rural villages are the significance for the democracy and freedom. In reality the situation is quite different and opposite. ‘Majjulu’ is one of the communities in rural areas of Vizianagaram district. This community has its own traditional customs and cultural habits. The situation of women those who belongs to this community is a worst and exploitative. Early child marriages are common in this community. A 12 year old girl would be married with a 60 year old man, gradually, as and when this girl enters into 25 years age, she might loose her old age husband, she becomes an unmarried widow forever. The traditional customs of their community would not be allowed her to get remarriage. All these women were under most difficulty circumstances as without happiness, peace and hope until their death. This type situation forcing these women into prostitution and majority of these widowed women were ending their lives with starvation and infected with HIV/AIDS.
In genera these women were belongs to economically backward families those who engaged in agriculture work and they have no other means of earning except by their daily labour in daily wages process. And these families were facing lot of problems as and when there is no work then no food for them.
RDWS has already working with these deprived window women. We are organizing several awareness trainings on health, HIV/AIDS and we are formed them into SHG’s in all of our target villages.
In this year our organization – RDWS is provided 12 goat kids 12 widowed women of 6 villages. All these 12 beneficiaries were selected through Grama Sabha and provided with these IGP units as with the small contribution that we received from an American Organization.