Ammini: From Wood-Mill to IT Infopark
An inspiring story of a woman who took up family responsibilities on her shoulders
Financial stability of a family is normally believed to be the responsibility of a husband. However, the belief is gradually changing in our society with the social upliftment of wome. Here is an experience of a woman named Ammini who took-up the family responsibility on her shoulders enabled by the programs run by Kudumbashree.
Ammini has a husband and two children. In her situation, lack of education was a big problem. She worked for a meager wage in a wood mill near her residence. The salary was not enough for the family to survive, yet Ammini continued the work as she knew her chances of getting a better job was too low. She struggled to make the ends meet for herself and her family.
That’s when she heard about the new course called DDU-GKY under Kudumbashree and she decided to join it. Through the program, she completed Security guard course from Rajagiri College of Social Science. Having no prior experience of a college life, Ammini was delighted to have experienced the college life through the program at the age of 32. That also served as a great motivation for her to continue and complete the course.
After the successful completion of the course, Ammini got placed as a Women Security Guard at InfoPark, Cochin. Now she earns a 5 digit salary and is able to meet the needs of her family. On the seventh day of every month she gets the salary without delay and moreover, she can take better care of her family members as she has the flexibility to work in shifts and is allowed to take leave for her personal needs.
Today, Ammini leads a happy life where she earns a good income, spend for her family and even save a bit for later use.
Saving a family from Despair
A case of Domestic Violence
Mrs. Xxxx was a victim of domestic violence and was evicted from her house due to the cruelty of her husband and was compelled to leave the home. Under this circumstance, she approached Snehitha with the help of an NGO, where her 3 sons were rehabilitated. Her health was not satisfactory when she reached Snehitha. Snehitha accommodated her for 10 days and provided support and counseling to empower her. Her husband was called to Snehitha and couple counseling was given to both of them. He was an alcoholic and had an extra marital relationship. From the discussion, Snehitha analyzed that an environment modification is needed, because the husband himself wishes to improve his life standards, but his peer influence, forced him to drink and this lead to violence at home. In this situation, Snehitha rehabilitated the lady and provided her a job and the husband was also transferred to the place where his wife was working.
At present, the family is living in a peaceful environment and looking for a rental house closer to their job location. The husband stopped drinking and has withdrawn from the illegal relationship. Their economic status also improved.
A case of Sexual abuse
Ms. XXX is a victim of section 376. The accused forced the girl to accompany him from the railway station at night, where she was sitting. She was working as a lady guard in a famous hospital in Kochi. She was evicted from the job and accommodation centre without any prior intimation. She has no money to travel and she waited in the railway station, with the expectation that she may get the salary and matriculation certificate within two days. The girl somehow escaped from the accused and reached Snehitha. With the help of The Deputy commissioner of police, Kochi city, Snehitha, along with the police team caught the accused from the same railway station, with the information and details given by the client. As the client is in a deserted situation, Snehitha rehabilitated the girl in Mahila Mandir. Snehitha with the help of North Circle Inspector of police chased the recruiting agency, which holds the salary and certificate of the client and helped the client to get her salary and certificate.
Daughter’s Request- Please helps my mother from my father’s hand
Snehitha enquire about the issue through CDS. They reported that the case was genuine and the lady was in distress for several years. Snehitha representatives (Counsellor and two service providers) went to that village on the evening. Panchayath representatives, Kudumbashree members, village people and police force provide good support to us for rescue the lady.
For past thirteen years a 40 years old lady was staying in a ‘Manger’, she has permission to stay in that manger only from her husband. The manger have around 10-12 cows, 5-7 goats, dozen hens and 3 dogs. The situation is so horrifying; We saw her in a unhealthy and untidy environment, she was cooking and sleeping in one corner of the manger, instead of nails we can saw cow dung on the tip of the finger…… etc. Same time her husband (a good looking man) staying in a big concrete house with in the same compound and enjoying a luxurious life. The most disturbing matter was this kind of treating by this man was knew to all the village people, but nobody is willing to enter with the issue. Everyone feared about that man, because of his political hold and money. We rescue that lady from their and accommodate her in snehitha for several days. That night we saw she slept well without fear of any other attacks. After that we helped her to registered case under Domestic Violence Act. We enquired about her relatives and at last we find that her mother is still alive. Her daughter is staying with her husband and family. After several days we rehabilitate her in mothers home. Now she is living safely and happily with her own mother.
A case of Domestic Violence
A 45 years old lady directly called to Snehitha on midnight from Kollam district due to domestic violence. She has two children, elder boy is studying in tenth standard and younger boy is studying in eight standards. Her husband is a coolie worker, alcoholic. Throughout her marriage she suffered severe verbal and physical abuse from him. After she learned that her husband was also sexually abusing their children, she finally decided that she had no choice but to call to Snehitha. That night he kicked out her and children from the home. A few hours she was waited in the neighbor’s home for police, unfortunately police was not come around 12’oclock again she called to snehitha and inform her situation. Gender consultant of Kollam district rescue the lady and two children on that mid night and produced in snehitha. Both three are frightened and tired. Snehitha provided shelter, care, protection and counseling to them for several days. With in those days registered case under Domestic Violence Act, police arrested the husband and produced in the court. We helped her to get Protection order from Protection officer. Now the lady and children were staying happily in their own home.
Wandering woman (Abnormal condition) with a five year old boy (Case handover by Railway Protection Force, Palakkad.
We received a child and woman (in abnormal condition) from Railway Protection Force, Palakkad. She was 32 years old and he was 5 years old boy. Both of them coming from Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. They had no idea about the language and places of Kerala. First we received the women and child, Snehitha brought them to hospital for a medical checkups and we are treated her more than one month. She came to Kerala to search for a job. In this case we informed the case details to Child welfare Committee, because of her child. Snehitha gave shelter to them more than 35 days all of this days we were tried to know about her past and native place, but she was not co – operating with us because of her arrogant nature, language problem and her abnormal condition. So we faced more difficulties to rehabilitate her. Then Snehitha put a news paper add in Mathrubhumi about this case and gave all case details with photographs. For this case we made a continuous contact with other departments to make easy to hand over them. At last Snehitha Contact Govt. women shelter homes and Childline in Lucknow in Uttarpradesh to hand over them through child line in Palakakd. At the end of this case Snehitha handed over the women and child to shelter home and child line in Luknow very safely. Different departments and agencies like Railway Protection force, CWC, Police station, ICTC unit, Child line, Social justice department etc were helped us in this case and to send them to their own place.
Impact of Gender Self Learning Programme
My name is Mini Varghese. I was the Vice Chairperson of Mookannoor CDS.’ I don’t have words to share the changes that the mental courage which I gained and the changes made in me through the Gender Self Learning Programme of the Kudumbasree and my experience here. Hope this would be an inspiration for others.
This is an incident that occurred in the Oliveli Chira, the second ward, which is my ward too. The girl named Leena Maria is a member of Kudumbasree. A life burned out in utter misery, after a marriage fulfilled after eight years of courtship. She was a poor girl who knew nothing, but who was not ready to compromise her dignity and loved her husband as herself.
The changes which occurred in her husband a short period after their marriage upset her a lot. He turned a fulltime drunkard. The fault that he found in her was that she was not ready to yield to the desires of his friends. Leena was never willing to tell anything frankly to her friends. But she used to say that if anything happens to me everything will be there in my diary kept wrapped in my wedding sari. Anyway, one day, her husband came home with his friend and repeated his request. When Leena was not willing to yield, the quarrel turned assault. At last, her hands were tied from behind and she was doused with kerosene and put to flames, while her parents-in-law were remaining moot spectators. Nobody was there to help her. Her husband left the scene after that.
When the body was brought after post mortem examination, after taking a few ladies who were there with me, I approached the police. We told the police that if the dead body is to be taken for cremation, Leena’s husband should be brought to the scene. Otherwise an issue will be created. Her body will not be released without his arrest. Even though the police tried to leave the scene giving the excuse that his whereabouts are unknown and that they will try to nab him etc., he was brought to the scene finally.
Even though he tried to escape in the name of lack of evidence (they have destroyed it), there were agitations under my leadership. It was a great thing that everybody stood together without taking any political party affiliation to consideration. Anyway he was remanded for three months. The case is still going on.
Even while all these were being done, my sister-in-law was the only person in my mind. She was killed after being beaten by my husband’s brother a few years back.
If I had the same knowledge, if there was Gender Self Learning Programme, Leena wouldn’t have died like this. Anyway, no such incident should repeat…. this is our collective decision.
“This life is to be lived fully, not to be burned down.”
Gender Corner- Vettikkavala CDS- Kollam Districts
Kudumbashree as an organisation, has played a big role in my personal life. In the ten years which I served as a Chairperson of Kudumbashree Vettikavala CDS, I have sought out more problems than having the problems come to me.
A woman who lived with her four children in a shed next to a canal, a woman who slept with her 5 children in railway stations and festival grounds, a woman living with a sixth child in her belly. Seeing people with no scope for education or people diagnosed with terminal illnesses with no idea how to survive, I gradually got involved in all these heart-wrenching problems. There were unique interventions as well such as referring the cases to the Child Welfare Committee for children’s education and food, providing space and house for the destitute using the Panchayat fund and including them in the Ashraya project, rehabilitating mothers needing safety and care into government shelter homes is something that is going on. The physical and emotional abuse faced by women due to their alcoholic relatives was removed permanently when police’s legal help was sought. We forwarded applications of economically backward students to Childline under their educational scholarship scheme. Regular follow-ups on all the solved cases are always done. Currently, Gender Corner’s activities are focussing on building a trustworthy environment with the women and children, letting them know that the staff will be available at their doorstep at anytime they need. There are fewer and fewer girls who are stepping into womanhood by facing all odds yet holding their religious values close to heart. Her resolve is strengthened when she realises that there is a lot of hard work to be done to gain something big. This was precisely the reason why we started a rehabilitation centre for such people who were physically and mentally challenged. The intention was to nurture each person’s unique qualities so that they begin to love themselves, begin to understand others and make them ambitious in life. When each problem received its appropriate solution, it instilled a confidence in the minds of the people and they were motivated to bring their concerns to us. This made me strongly realise a truth. There is nothing which cannot be solved, no matter how big the problem is. On a personal level, the activities I carried out for Kudumbashree especially under Gender molded my personality and gave me strength, just like for many other women. Such a transformation of mindset reflects in the act wherein 19 women of my CDS have signed up for the noble cause of organ donation.
Success story: Thrikkodithanam CDS- Activity Group- GSLP Third module- Women and Mobility
When a NHG of Thrikkodithaanam CDS of Kottayam District said to start an activity based on topic social influence of mobility, they identified an issue of difficulty to walk through a road near Pookkottuchira during evening. There was a liquor shop and because of the activities of alcoholics, women and children feared to use that road. 4 members of NHG decided to start a fast food shop which will be functioning at evening. And they started the venture which was a success. They gained a profitable livelihood and women and children could use that road safely. Later their venture has been included in Kudumbashree’s Micro enterprise project and now area is developing through different projects by tourism department. It was a place where no other activates is permitted because of the passive objection by departments and community mainly because of the presence of liquor shop and alcoholics of the area. This livelihood activity of NHG members improved the environment and made the space women and child friendly. More tourism projects are also aftermath of this initiation by NHG members. Such activities, not the duplication but relevant activities as per the peculiarities of the area.
Maary’s Story Anti Human trafficking Programme- Income Generation Programme Beneficiary
Marry is a 43 years old lady and she has got three children. She was residing at New colony, Munnar. Her husband was a woodcutter; they were spending their life by his small income. Two years back her husband passed away due to an accident. After his demise Maary and her children were in terrible situation. Their source of income was stopped they has stated facing financial crisis. Then she had started to work as a maid, her work consist washing and cleaning. This was her first step for their livelihood. Marry’s house was too small and not at all safe for her daughters. Her daughters were not safe in that home, and they faced different threats. At that time Maary decided to depart her daughters to a garment mill at Tirupur. Her daughters were 14, 17, 20 years of age at that time. She decided to send her elder daughters first, however after their departure her youngest daughter remains alone at home, so she decided to send three of them to Tirupur. That decision changed her entire life. Kudumbasree came to know about it and Kudumbasree restricted her to do so. Through AHT, Kudumbashree warn her to not to send her children to Tirupur and if she ignores it then Kudumbashree will file a case against her. Therefore she seeks kudumbashree to get a solution for her and her children.
Kudumbashree arranged loan for Maary through AHT and the loan amount was Twenty thousand rupees, which she had to repayment in installments. The project she had submitted to get a loan was, to prepare Idely and Dosha batter at home and sale it. Munnar ,newcolony is so congested area where so many families are residing. Idely and Dosha is most common and favorite breakfast in Munnar, that’s why Maary adopted this idea for business. For last one year she has been doing this business from her home itself. She charges ten rupees for one Cup of batter. Twice in a day (morning and evening) she sales this batter to customers. She gets 600 rupees benefit per day. Once in two moths she pays one thousand six hundred rupees as an electricity bill. She has disbursed her debt and loan. Marry’s elder daughter got married six months before. Rests two are studying now. Her hopeless life got hope and success. Now Maary’s sister-in-law also helping Mary in her business. Maary is doing work from home and it’s too safe. I have been able to do all this because of Kudumbashree.
Kudumbashree enhanced her self confidence and made her financially strong. Not only is this but the support which Kudumbashree has given Maary is adorable and priceless. When nobody was here to help Marry, Kudumbashree come forward to raise her up. Maary had never seen ten thousand rupees all together but she got twenty thousand rupees as a loan. Maary baught a grinder worth rupees seventeen thousand and five hundred. Maary wants to enhance her business in many areas. Today she would like to take this opportunity to convey her regards and to express heart full thanks to Kudumbashree Mission.
The comprehensive, sustainable and self-manoeuvring nature of Asraya programme: a case study of Ammukutty, Peroor, Kottayam.
Ammukutty had tough choices in front of her after her husband succumbed to cancer by not getting any treatment which was unaffordable for her. As she had no house or job of her own, she and her three children were already dependent on her brother for stay and support. And the children’s future education remained uncertain. Kudumbashree CDS in its extensive survey identified Ammukutty’s case and included her in the Ashraya programme. More than providing the basic facilities like land, housing, sanitation, education and self-employment, the Kudumbashree members did continuous follow up on the family and gave emotional support to move forward. In few years, Ammukutty could find herself a job in handloom factory, support her children’s education to the level that they found job in foreign countries. Having attained self-sufficiency, the family itself volunteered to move out from Ashraya programme. Ammukutty’s case is a true depiction of Kudumbhashree’s focus on all round development of families – physical and emotional. Also it indicates the sustainability and self-maneuvering of the Ashraya programme wherein the families themselves volunteer out of the programme, giving space for Kudumbashree to focus on poorer families.
Uplifting the extremely vulnerable families: a Case Study of Yasodharan, Mavelikkara Thamarakulam Panchayat, Alappuzha
Yasodharan lives with his wife Mani and two children - Maya, Mathu who belongs to SC community with a higher degree of social inequalities and problems. Yasodharan is a mental patient. Therefore Mani, his wife is the sole breadwinner of the family. She suffers from respiratory illnesses. The family was staying in a dilapidated house which is on government revenue land with no proper sanitation, drinking water, electricity and even no proper nutritious food.They were included in the Ashraya project in 2004. During that period both of the children were kids. Apart from the illness, Yasodharan is an alcoholic as well. All these factors added to their misery. Ashraya project had made a drastic change in the living standards of the family in all aspects. The issues identified during the base line survey were tackled during the project period. Considering the service delivery under the project, the family is benefited by availing 4 cents of land for the construction of house. Also, a house was given along with a well and a latrine. Two of the children were benefitted with study materials and dress materials with the help of sponsorships. Along with the material support, nutritious food kits were also provided on regular basis. As a part of service delivery, Panchayat had purchased land for house construction where their community lives. The new social environment, contributed to the change in their lives. Kudumbashree CDS had arranged continuous medical support for Yasodharan. Meanwhile Mani has been provided training on cane materials preparation under self employment and income generation program. Currently she has a descent earning with good living standard. Two children had now grown up and elder girl got a job. Now the family enjoys a descent living standard with limited social problems.
Ashraya’s community led movement for inclusion of the marginalised: A case study from Navailkulam Panchayat, Thiruvananthapuram
The Ayalkoottam, Neighbourhood group of Kudumbashree in Vettiara Navaikulam Panchayat knew that Sarasamma, 84 year old widow and her 51 year old mentally ill son were in dire need of support and care. They could not do much beyond occasional visits to house and providing food to the family. When the survey for Ashraya was initiated in the village, there was no doubt among NHG members to suggest the inclusion of Sarasama and her son. This suggestion was verified by home visits and approved by Gram sabha and Kudumbashree. The NHG members came forward to clean the surroundings of the house and provide the food to family until the project initiated. Later when the family started getting Ashraya’s provisions, the community members led the continuous monitoring and support to ensure that the beneficiaries were availing the fullest of it. In this case, it could be observed that the community not only took lead for inclusion of the marginalised but effectively participated in the delivery of public service.
Inclusion of excluded Ashraya families to the mainstream society: A case study of Ms. Ayisha Beevi, Mavoor Panchayat, Kozhikode
Mrs. Ayisha Beevi is a member of swaralaya NHG in 13 th ward. She is selected as Ashraya beneficiary on the basis of various difficulties she encountered. ADS and ward member strongly supported to include her in beneficiary list. She is living with her two brothers who are mentally retarded and son and his family. Ayisha beevi is a divorcee. Her house was not in a good condition when she was included in the Ashraya beneficiary list. Last year with the support from panchayat she repaired her home. Her son is a news paper boy. The family lives on the sole income of the son. Even though she admitted her younger brother in BUDS school he dropped out from the school. Due to the atrocities of the boy, the neighbours and other family members are not ready to come to home. After being part of Ashraya, a lot of changes had came to the family. Social conditions have changed gradually. CDS and ADS members visit our family. Being part of the neighborhood group meetings make me feel better. Her house was repaired and she is getting food kit from panchayat regularly.
Security to the most vulnerable: A case study of Ramakrishna Nadar, Panavoor Panchayat, Trivandrum
Ramakrishna Nadar, 94 years old, has 6 children. All his 3 sons are intellectually disabled and bed ridden. Out of his 3 daughters only 2 are alive now. His eldest daughter is also bed ridden. All of them are dependent on Rama Krishna Nadar and his youngest daughter to carry out even their self care. Since his wife’s death the family is taken care by the youngest daughter. None of Apart from the financial liabilities the family was always dependent on the neighbours to sustain their lives. The environment was so bad that even a meal a day was a luxury for them. Neither Ramakrishna Nadar nor his youngest daughter could go for work as they had to take care of the rest of the family members. These unfortunate circumstances pushed this family to the margins of the society. The series of disasters in the family has left the family down trodden. They are currently part of Ashraya family. During the neighbourhood survey the NHG members included them in the list. Now the family receives food, pension and health care through the project. Above all, the regular visit of the CDS and neighbourhood members provides relief for the family.
Saga of a Kitchen Tool Maker
KERALA is witnessing a silent revolution, spawning womanpower, possibly restoring to the State it’s lost matriarchal legacy, where the women enjoyed pre-eminence, safety, security and respect, including self-respect. This female empowerment is taking place through the Kudumbashree movement, which has engulfed the State "The women have become self-confident under it and they have regained their individuality," Krishna Kumari's story is as inspiring as it is astounding. Krishna Kumari lives in Edathara, a village near Parli.
In 1998, Kudumbashree started a group in her area, but Krishna Kumari could hardly find the ten rupees a week she needed in order to join the group. "All of us were in such dire straits financially that it was not just me, but the other women too found it difficult to save ten rupees. If we didn't pay the money for two weeks in a row, we faced eviction from the group. Somehow, I managed to continue with the group."
There was a time in her life when she could not spell a word to others. Today she can approach any dignitaries. She was the president of the NHG at Mundur panchayath where she was lived before her marriage and then she married to Sivadasan. Now she is the president of Archana Kudumbashree, Edathara. Her husband was a worker of Blacksmithy unit and he knows all Blacksmithy works. She also trained in the work. The District Mission realized that the existing market structure was inadequate and planned to provide marketing support of the products of these type NHGs, A new marketing system was created. A District level meeting had held in Palakkad for the launching of “Monthly Markets” strategy in an around 2006. Krishnakumari had also participated in the meeting. This meeting was the beginning of her success. Now she is participating in all Melas like special Fair, SARAS Fair at Vishakapatanam, West Bengal and so on. She used to walk to sell her products when she started, but today, She hire tempo for shifting goods. She travelled all over the country with her Kitchen Tools-She used to visit all SARAS,IITF melas “It gives us an avenue to step out, to interact, and to expand our horizons which is no more limited to the four walls of our homes."-She says. Direct marketing has become the hallmark of Kudumbashree thus eliminating middlemen and ensuring that actual profits reach the producer. Today, she owns 10 cents of land!..... She didn't have a home of her own. Today, she has a home! …..
Souparnika Cloth and Rexin Bag Unit, Koottilangadi
Souparnika Cloth and Rexin Bag Unit from the 7th ward of Koottilangadi Grama panchayath in Malappuram District. This unit formed in the year of 2014 under the leadership of Raihanath and Raseena. Kudumbashree provided trainings in the areas of skill, technical and entrepreneurial activities. After the completion of training they started running the unit with a basket of products like office file, jute bag, cloth bag, rexin bag, rexin caps etc. The main challenge faced by this unit in the beginning was marketing of products. In this circumstances they decided to conduct a market research for identifying potential buyers, as a result of which they arrived in the conclusion that many of the government offices can become stakeholders due to the huge demand for their products. They tried very hard and got an opportunity to tie up with the organisations. As a result now they are able to provide cloth bag, jute bag and all other products to the offices like Suchithwa Mission, DRDA, Water Authority, Gramapanchayaths and Municipalities.
Apart from these prestigious clients they used to supply their products to political party rally, religious celebrations etc. Especially the rexin caps and cloth banners and other kind of decorating materials. With all things, now they are able to maintain their stability of market among their competitors.
Aishwarya Herbal products- Bindhu, Pallichal Panchayat
The demand for traditional herbal products is increasing considerably in this modern society especially in Kerala , people tend to have reluctance towards chemical products an entrepreneur namely Bindhu found opportunity in this changing scenario. Bindhu from Palllichal Panchayat developed herbal products with her knowledge in traditional recipes. The traditional recipes which Keralites used to make are somewhat unavailable now even in our homes because of our busy and hectic schedules. But they are easily prepared by Bindu. Not compromising on quality and taste and her customer-friendly approach are the factors behind her success. The various medical products and hair oil made by her enjoy great demand. She began with Aathira Hair Oil, and now has various medicinal products such as ramacham scrubs, face packs, Bhrahmi Jam, Brahmi health mix and so on. The positive factor is that she has her whole family’s support and the marketing is done by her husband. She is now supplying to around 50 shops in and around the city and regularly participates in different fairs and festivals. We can find her products in e marketing sites and super markets also. As the evidence for her hard work and confidence she received award for Best entrepreneur from sate as well as central government in the year 2012 and 2014 respectively.
Santhwanam, a success story
Marina, a typical housewife from Thrissur district like any other Kudumbashree woman came into the micro enterprise field quite unexpectedly. She used to take tuitions for school-going children. She possessed a certificate in ANM (Auxiliary Nursing and Midwifery). Ever since she came to know that the Santhwanam project enrolls women who had NNM certificates and a science background, she joined the project. She attended the skill training course conducted by HAP and obtained a driving license as well. Now Marina is happy that she is able to earn an average income of Rs. 15000-Rs. 20,000 a month. After this she had never looked back to her past.
Chelambra CDS in Kondotti block of Malappuram District initiated 11 enterprises in health and hygiene sector. These units produces soaps, detergents, hand wash, dish wash and toilet cleaners under the brand name “Nattuvenma”. The products are having high market demand. The strategy adopted by the unit for marketing is direct marketing. The appreciable factor is that all the 11 units make use of one building and one mixing machine to achieve economies of scale. Almost 10560 kg of products are produced and sold per month by the units.
Famous Bakers, Bysonvalley
“Famous Bakery” is a well known Kudumbashree enterprise in food production secto. The unit is functioning in Bysonvalley CDS of Idukki district. There are thirty kudumbashree members working here. This project is a wonderful example for effective convergence -Bysonvalley Gramapanchayat has allotted Rs 80 Lakhs for construction of building and purchase of machinery from its plan fund and handed over the same to the Bysonvalley Kudumbashree CDS. Famous bakers started functioning from 2013 onwards with 10 trained employees and now there are 30 people engaged in the activity.In order enhance local production and purchase the project has been linked with agricultural sector especially Tapioca, bnanana and jack fruit to make chips . In this unit, bakery products are processed in very hygienic environment. Varieties of Breads, chips and carrot cake are identified as the fast moving products. The yearly turnover of the units is around 2.04,00,000.
Nature Bag unit (Panthalam)
Nature Bag unit is a Kudumbashree enterprise functioning in Panthalam Municipality, Pathanamthitta. The unit is significant in this modern society because of its eco friendly products. 5 entrepreneurs started the enterprise and they contributed much in the success of the project “Mission Green Sabarimala “ by manufacturing cloth bags . Paper bags, File folder, Jute bags and cloth bags are the major products manufactured by the unit. Prompt and timely fulfillment of orders makes the units special. The unit members thankfully remembers the support received from Panthalam CDS.
Sasikala has been a part of the Kudumbashree family for last 10 years serving as Secretary of her NHG,”Thalir” of Poojappura Corporation of Trivandrum District. From 2014 onwards she is a part of an innovative project, “Kudumbashree Travels”.
She was a housewife with lesser knowledge about outer world. After coming to Kudumabshree she was able to interact many people with the help of various CDS activities. She believes that Kudumbashree has empowered her to contribute to the relentless progress of women in various fields. She started working as a Lady Driver which helped her in earning adequate income for her family.
According to Sasikala “Kudumbashree Travels” is not only a livelihood activity. This occupation helped her in gaining acceptance and identity in the society. She love to serve children and pregnant ladies as they approach as passengers in her car. Many passengers especially elderly and sick people will become regular customers due to her love and care. She is not just a driver for them as she act as a care taker and even helps in completing the hospital formalities during their hospital visits. The parents trust her completely when they send their kids with her to school and tuitions. She recognize herself as a social worker and a proud entrepreneur.
Success Story of Ksheerasagaram-Idukki District
Thressiyamma Thomas (Arakulam Panchayath)
Thressiyamma started her venture with her NHG members along with Sini Mathew, Omana Benny, Mini Jose and Mini Mani. They named the group “AMRUTHA”. It was on 2011 they took a loan from CENTRAL BANK OF INDIA, Arakulam and started her venture. She took Rs 80000 for the project consists of 2 cows and shelter. She bought 2 cows and managed to build a shelter for them (owing some capital from her hand also). On those days she was suffering from severe financial crisis. But she had a strong mind that could make her success and was searching for an opportunity to build upon. Thus she took the opportunity given by Marykkutty David (CDS Chairperson of ARAKULAM Panchatyath) on the project of “ KSHEERASAGARAM”
THE BUILDING UP…
Her business didn’t had an flourishing initial stage. She was only getting 10 liter from her cows that could earn her an amount of Rs 180/day (10*18=180). She however managed her livelihood as well as her cattle’s. As quoted earlier, her strong mind and willingness to success was holding her on the path of success. But she never lagged on the repayment of the loan. Then her group got an idea that could change their story. The “NATURE FRESH” concept, of giving milk with in hours of milking the cow. Then she changed her existing business strategy with the concept of “NATURE FRESH”.
Ksheerasagaram project became a mass success for Thressiyamma, earning her an income of Rs 48/ltr. She added few more cattle to her enterprise, ultimately out coming an estimated 40 ltr/day. She became one of the most successful women with an enterprise with Kudumbashree on Ksheerasagaram Project.
Today she is having a well maintained household, happily living with her family, at one of the most beautiful locations in Idukki District.
Mrs. Susamma Baby, Idukki District
This is a true success story of an ordinary housewife, a member of Kudumbashree and a beneficiary of Ksheerasagaram Project reported by Sreelakshmi M Karuvallil, Samagra Block Co-Coordinator Kudumbashree Mission Idukki. The self description of Smt Susamma Baby , W/o Sri Babykutty, of Akshaya Kheerasagaram Group in Desabhimani NHG of Nedumkandam CDS.
I, Susamma Baby W/o Sri Babykutty, Muruppelparambil House, Kallar, Idukky District is proud to introduce myself.
There is a saying in Malayalam “From Kitchen to the Stage”. Almost means From Darkness to the Limelight. That, a kind of awakening. And I myself is an example. Hailing from a beautiful remote area of Chennappara, in Nedumkandam, Udumbanchola Taluk in Idukki District, the story of awakening of a poor farmer to the Best milk Producer woman of the state(Kerala State Gandhi Study center award 2015), the story of a mere housewife placed as the Director and Chairperson of the IMASHREE MILK PRODUCER COMPANY-IDUKKI, an introvert women who only thought about her little family, climbed the steps of success, and with pride I acknowledges my gratitude towards the Kudumbashree Movement, which enabled me to score, and that I am really indebted.
I became a member of the NHG, named DESABHIMANI under the Nedumkandam CDS, in 2001. Then I were not aware about the movement or what for I should be a part of this or what change it invokes in the rural population or to the poor families. But after a decade I realizes how Kudumbashree and the Mission Stands as a Light post amidst the darkness of poverty, enlightening millions from Loneliness to the touching feel of togetherness.
In 2012, when Ksheerasagaram project was started by the Kudumbashree, our NHG also promoted us to take part in the Project and thus we formed a group of 5 members and named it AKSHAYA. In the beginning we had only a plan for 2 cows and the shed. Then gradually our group made it as 5 cows for each member in the group. We acquired ample support and training in maintaining cows through various training camps and field visits conducted by the Kudumbashree Mission. That made us more confident and we took it as a challenge and widened our farm. I must thank APCOS also for helping us by collecting the milk we produced and they encouraged us to keep more number, and I increased the number of my cows to 8.
At that time my average income was Rs.3000 to 3500 per week from milk only. I tried for some milk products vis. Curd, Ghee etc and also cow dung and urine gave me extra Income. Production cost was comparatively low because we had enough fodder and also water available. And also proper medical support also was at hand. Insurance also made available. Thus my family income increased consistently and considerably. And this made us stand in our own foot. Happy thanks to Ksheerasagaram.Apart from my financial increase, the touch with Kudumbashree Mission envisaged me to earn and acquire a vast relationship and general knowledge. It give me confidence to take up offices in Imasree Milk Producer Company as they enhanced my visionary concepts and was able to visit many places namely Kolahalamedu, Nagapattanam, Gujarath etc. and these visits widened my ideas and also confidence.
To conclude, I can only thank from my inner heart to Kudumbashree Mission for molding a laywomen –good for nothing to an individual who can undertake any challenge in life, and I dedicate my success to my fellow sisters who can do much better if they wish.
Smt. Sheeja Binoy, Executive Member - Idukki, Unnathi Society of Kudumbashree IT Enterprises
I belong to Devikulam Taluk of Adimali Panchayat. I became the NHG member of Kudumbashree during 2000. In the same year, I participated in the three tier election conducted by Kudumbashree and was elected as ward member of Adimali Panchayat. During my tenure I was able to create 17 NHG groups in my ward.
During this period, Our District Mission Coordinator has put forward an opportunity of starting an IT unit in my ward, exclusively for women. He asked me to identify 10 women who have completed computer courses.
I took this opportunity and it was communicated across the Panchayat. I along with 9 women, with the support of District Mission Coordinator, received a bank loan of three Lakhs for starting IT unit. We named our unit “UNITECH KUDUMBASHREE IT UNIT”.
During initial stages, being women from rural area, and lack of business skills, it was difficult for us to identify business opportunities. But with the support and skill development trainings received from Kudumbashree , we gained the confidence we required.
It was during 2001, our business started picking up, out unit received the data entry works of Regional Transport Offices (RTO), Panchayat election voters list, Panchayat data entry works. We also started DTP works, Photostat, Scanning, printing etc.
In the first year each member of our group received Rs. 3000 per month and we were able to generate a turnover of Rs. 2 Lakhs. During 2010, this has increased to Rs. 7000, with a turnover of rupees 7 Lakhs.
During 2011, our unit strength was reduced to five, due to marriage and migration of members. Now our unit has five permanent members, three temporary staff. We have also deputed 8 members to various government departments for data entry works.
Now our unit work as Common Service Centre (CSC) to provide online government services, such as Passport , PAN card, utility bill payments etc. to public.
It was during 2011, Executive Director - Kudumbashree has introduced the new concept of forming consortium of IT units across the state. It was informed that this will help us in identifying new opportunities in IT sector and will help us to be independent rather than depending always on Kudumbashree.
After the formation of consortium “UNNATHI SOCIETY OF KUDUMBASHREE IT ENTERPRISES” and being a part of it, we are able to undertake big data entry assignments of government departments, Private and Public sector banks, IT companies etc.
After joining Unnathi, each member of our group receives Rs.15, 000 per month and turnover has increased to Rs. 12 Lakhs. I have built a new home and bought a new car with the income I received.
We were able to give Rs. 3, 00,000 as loan for a member for her marriage, also given Rs. 75,000 to a member for treatment. We are providing financial assistance to a poor student for completing his engineering course. We also provide carrier guidance, and computer training (MS office and Computer awareness programmes) to poor students at nominal rates.” Says Smt. Sheeja Binoy, Executive Member – Unnathi Consortium - Idukki.
Now we are exploring the new opportunities in IT sector, we use to update ourselves with the changes and improvements made in IT sector.
Success Story of Santhakumari
I am Santha Kumari. I heard Kudumbashree was starting a cashew processing unit as joint project of kudumbashree and three tier panchayath in the year of 2008-2009. Without thinking any other factors I have taken a decision with the help of Panchayat authorities to start a unit in my panchayath. Safalam cashew processing unit was thus started in Bedaduka Panchayat. We have started collecting cashew from local areas. We have got training on “cashew processing” from NRCC Puthur, Karnataka. All members of 12 units participated in that training.
I left my three year old baby with my mother and went for 7 days residential training at Puthur. First day I felt homesickness at training center later I involved and focused in the sessions. That training was my turning point in my life.
Kudumbashree has opened a way to women forward to the society from the boundaries of kitchen by this safalam cashew processing unit. I got a new experience and opportunity for mingling and interacting with society. I feel the society members like a family and that is an important factor in our success. We have a strong executive committee including representative from all units. We hold review meetings every month and discuss issues of the units and plan activities to be done in coming months. I can proudly say that I am the existing secretary of 80 women entrepreneurs including Safalam society. Now I know each and every places in Kasaragod district and I can go anywhere in this state alone without any fear. Now I can talk to at any higher authority persons about the unit and problems faced by the units. Without any doubt I can say it’s all because of Kudumbasree and vanitha safalam cashew unit. Of course the Safalam society has brought enormous changes in my life. Before joining to this unit financially I struggled a lot. But now I am happy that I can contribute a reasonable share to the family budget. It’s all because of this business venture.
Smt. Thresiyamma Joseph,Kannur Goat Farmers Producer Company, Naduvil Panchayat, Alakod, Kannur
An unemployed homemaker Smt. Thresiyamma Joseph resident of Naduvil Panchayat Alakod, who belongs to Karuna Kudumbashree, joined Aadu Gramam project (Goat Rearing project of Kudumbashree) during 2010. Inspired and motivated by the potential benefits of goat farming, she decided to choose this as her livelihood. According to her, “rearing of goats was relatively easier and woman friendly, and expenditure involved in goat rearing is less compared to cow or buffalo rearing”. She received four goats (3 female and one male) and a goat shed through Aadu Gramam project. Later she joined “Kannur Goat Farmers Producer Company” in 2015. Now she has thirty goats in her small farm and she has become a successful business woman. Apart from goat rearing, she is also running a breeding unit successfully. She is trained breeder of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Science University, Thrissur. Goat farming has helped her in meeting all her needs, especially; she is supported by her husband. Her joining in the “Kannur Goat Farmers Producer Company” has boosted her business as according to her “Now I’m able to get fair price for my goats as I started to sell the goats through the company avoiding middle men”. She makes more than Rs 1,50,000 per year through sale of goats and Goat Milk. She also provides goat manure for agriculture to the nearby farmers. She also has a field for growing fodder plants which reduces her expenses considerably. She keeps pure breed animals as breeding stock. After receiving technical guidance from vetenerains, she is now able to treat her goats herself. She also gives veterinary services and advices to other farmers. Smt. Thresiyamma Joseph has become a well recognized commercial goat farmer of Thaliparamba block. She has built a new house through the income from goat farming. She is now able to support her sons’ education, who are engineering students. Many farmers and trainees visit her farm to learn about her farming experiences. She is now content that she is able to manage her family smoothly with the income from goat farming.
Smt. Rekha Mohan, Sree Mahadeva Activity Group, Samagra Madhuram Honey Project,Kudumbashree District Mission, Pathanamthitta
The story tells the success of one of many women folk of Kerala. Kalanjoor Grama Panchayat is situated in the eastern part of Pathanamthitta district. Kudumbashree implemented the Samagra madhuram Project in the year of 2007-08. Mission implemented the project through 210 groups in the District. Kudumbashree mission provided frequent trainings to the beneficiaries in bee keeping because all are very new in the venture. Hence the entire group interestingly participated in the venture. But after few years some of the groups withdrawn from the venture. They are not ready to take any risk. In these circumstances it is better to hear the story of Smt. Rekha, Member of Sree Mahadeva activity group, Kalanjoor Gram Panchayat, a gradual change from home maker to entrepreneur.
Smt. Rekha Mohan was a home maker and had no other income except her husband’s income. She was an ordinary NHG member before joining the Samagra Project. She joined the project in 2008-09 and became an active member of the group.
During the early stages she struggled to get better income from the activity. After a series of training provided by the Mission she was able to produce good returns from the project. As a result of these she was able to contribute an additional income to her family. She became a master trainer of the project. She started to contribute to the educational needs of her children. After a few years she could start savings. She also contributed to their house building and bought 24 gram gold for her daughter’s marriage from the venture.
Her success story has been published by Karshakashree and Dooradarshan. As a result of this many people called her for good honey, bee keeping trainings etc. The Samagra madhuram project personally changed her a lot from the home maker to an entrepreneur.
Last year she was honored as the best farmer by the Panchayath. She produced 652 kg honey from 65 bee boxes during last financial year and earned Rs 1, 63,000/-. She collected the bee boxes of the other group members who failed to produce honey and repaid their loan amount with her effort. Now she is one of the best bee farmers in the District. She is very thankful to the Kudumbashree Mission for the support and co-operation extended to her.