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JAMMU, Feb 9: A five-year-long women empowerment and livelihood intervention from SOS Children’s Villages of India tripled the monthly income and the social status of several Extremely Backward Caste and Scheduled Caste women of Kamruddinpur, a village in Begusarai District of Bihar.
The case story titled, ‘Empowering women leads to economic development – Alleviating poverty through collective effort capturing this outcome has been adjudged among the top 10 livelihood development case stories in India by the prestigious ‘Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition 2021’, a national-level initiative to collate the best models of livelihoods’ promotion in the country. Conceived under the SOS Children’s Villages’ flagship Family Strengthening Programme, a community outreach model to build the capacity of vulnerable families in order to uphold quality childcare for their children, the Kamruddinpur project consisted of providing livelihood training, forming self-help group (christened as Dhanwanti), and facilitating the reach of welfare schemes of the government to the villagers.
The highlights of the program were: increase in the monthly income of women from Rs 2,500-Rs 3,000 in 2013, prior to the launch of the program, to Rs. 9,700 at present; access to microcredit at low interest; improved social participation and recognition; access to various welfare schemes from the Central and State governments, and better nutrition and education of children, who belong to these families, among others.
Commenting about the recognition of the Kamruddinpur case story, Sumanta Kar, Senior National Deputy Director, SOS Children’s Villages of India, said, “It gives us immense satisfaction to know that impact of our intervention in Begusarai, as part of the Family Strengthening Programme is getting recognized as one of the top 10 case stories in developing livelihood opportunities for the vulnerable communities. Since our program is something that can – and should – be replicated in many disadvantaged communities in the country. I hope the case story inspires civil society, government, and the private sector for coming together to transform lives of weaker sections of the society by strengthening the smallest unit- family through empowering women as primary caregivers and preventing their children from losing parental care.”
He said that the beneficiaries were illiterate women from the Below Poverty Line families living in a village known for its feudalist ideology and patriarchal dominance, and more importantly, their children, who were deprived of quality care and upbringing.
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