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An act of social responsibility of Balasabha Members from Alappuzha Updated On 2018-11-27

The act of social responsibility of the Balasabha members from Bharanikavu Panchayath of Alappuzha district of Kerala is becoming a model for many. The Balasabha members also became part of the Chekutty doll making campaign and made Chekutty dolls, a handmade doll made from the garments at Chendamangalam handloom weavers that were soiled and destroyed during floods.

A block level creative campaign was organised for the Balsabha members at Bharanikav Panchayath Community Hall on 25 November 2018 and 65 Balasabha members attended the training. Shri Muhammed Haneef, a volunteer from Chekutty doll making team taught the members on how to make Chekutty dolls and arranged the raw materials as well. The Balasabha members altogether made a total of 168 Chekutty dolls. The Chekutty dolls made by the Balasabha members would be returned to the team, which would labelled, boxed the same and would be sent to the customers as per the orders received online.

Handloom weavers at Chendamangalam in the Ernakulam district lost their only source of livelihood when the unprecedented floods destroyed their weaving units and washed away all their stock and raw materials. Later, two social entrepreneurs in came up with the idea of making 'Chekutty', handmade dolls out of the soiled garments at Chendamangalam, which had gained much publicity among the public. Chekutty has later become a a symbol of hope to almost 600 weavers at Chendamangalam. All the proceeds from the sales of Chekutty will go to livelihood programs envisaged by the Karimpadam Handloom Weavers Cooperative Society Limited No.191 in Chendamangalam.

“A mascot of the emerging Keralam, being rebuilt through our solidarity, resilience and beauty of hearts despite some of the stains and scars that will remain in our lives. Chekkutty has scars.Chekkutty has stains. But Chekutty represents each one of us who survived the floods,” says the Chekutty website. By volunteering for Chekutty doll making campaign, the Balasabha members had also became a part of supporting the weavers.

Kudumbashree Mall inaugurated at Kozhikode Updated On 2018-11-26

The Mahila Mall, yet another feather in the cap of Kudumbashree Kozhikode Corporation CDS was launched. Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan, Chief Minister, Government of Kerala inaugurated the Mahila Mall on 24 November 2018. The Mahilla Mall, run entirely by women is a unique project in the country, which is started by ten women of Unity Group under Kudumbashree Mission in an area of over 36,000 sqft. Mahila Mall, located at Wayanad road near Mavoor Road Junction is claimed to be first of its kind venture in the country.

Apart from Kudumbashree workers and groups, women societies and private entrepreneurs will get a space in the mall. 85 percent of the shops are owned by Kudumbashree groups while 15 percent are owned by private women entrepreneurs and other women collectives. Mahila Mall has 6 floors and out of that the 4th floor is allocated for women related offices and agencies while the rooftop is an open air food court. The Mall is designed for the women and is run by the women. All the shops in the mall have been sold out. The Mahila Mall project is executed with the support of Kozhikode Kudumbashree District Mission and it will also help women entrepreneurs to showcase their output in handicraft, fashion designing travel, tourism etc.

Apart from Kudumbashree workers and groups, women societies and private entrepreneurs will get space in the mall. The Mahila Mall provides direct employment to 250 women and indirect employment to 500 women. The mall has 79 shops including health clubs, martial arts centres, spa, skill training centres, food courts, textile shops,etc. The Mahila Mall is an icon of women’s empowerment achieved by Kudumbashree Mission. It provides an opportunity to small entrepreneurs to promote their business with the concept of Micro Bazar inside the Mahila Mall, which is one of the main attractions of the Kudumbashree Mall. There are a total of 24 micro bazaars which will offer customers home-made items manufactured by Kudumbashree entrepreneurs. The timing of Mahila Mall on week days will be from 10 AM to 10 PM and on weekends, the closing time will be extended till 11 PM. 79 ventures in the mall will be directly run by Kudumbashree entrepreneurs. The mall has 2 lift and the area is under 24 hour CCTV surveillance and good parking facility also provided near to the premise.

Kozhikode Corporation CDS had already successfully completed many other projects.

Policy interventions in Agriculture sector of Kudumbashree Updated On 2018-11-24

To scale up the farm livelihood sector which engulfs more than three lakh rural women of Kerala some policy interventions were attempted by Kudumbashree Mission Agriculture viz., Agriculture technology fund, Value addition unit fund and organic farming additional incentive package. Agriculture inevitably, needs technology infusion to accelerate the production to feed the growing population. The technology deficit gap needs to be filled on a fast track basis to match productivity ratios with the rest of the country/world. New technologies are needed to push the yield frontiers further, utilize inputs more efficiently and diversify to more sustainable and higher value cropping systems.

Sixty thousand JLGs are currently engaged in farm livelihood activities of Kudumbashree and have been enjoying traditional method of agriculture. Encouraging the farmers, based on the micro environment that basically contain need, demand, feasibility and sustainability of the venture, support structures, convergence opportunities etc., to adopt latest agricultural technologies or innovative enterprises would be beneficial to enter into the next realm of farming activities. Agriculture technological fund was launched during 2018-19 which extends financial assistance for implementing latest agricultural technologies through the adoption of novel technologies including improved varieties, innovative ideas, innovative crop management system, superior post-harvest processing techniques and value addition units etc. The fund supports the interested JLGs in terms of capital subsidy of 40% of the project cost or Rs 2 lakh, whichever is lesser. Tricho card units. VAM units, hydroponics, aqua ponics. rain shelters, tissue culture labs etc are some of the initiatives already identified under this initiative.

Value addition fund extends financial support to interested groups for establishing units in various crops like coconut, banana, mango, jack fruit, pine apple, passion fruit etc as part of the value chain activity. The value addition units would be established by groups based on local availability of the produce and preference of the community. The subsidy scheme is loan linked. Each value addition unit can have a maximum of 40% or Rs 2 lakhs whichever is lesser to each as subsidy for establishment.

Kudumbashree has ventured into the realm of organic cultivation to promote organic farming and agricultural commodities with organic certification. The project launched during 2018-19 envisages bringing 10,000 Ha under organic farming in 201 clusters all across Kerala. This mission expects an involvement of around one lakh Kudumbashree women farmers through 20000 Joint Liability Groups. Realising the fact that there will be yield reduction in the initial years of organic practice and also that the bio inputs are costlier than the conventional inputs it was decided to support and encourage the farmers who venture into organic farming by providing them with 10% additional area incentive from the existing pattern. This incentive will be provided for the first three years of cultivation only and restricted to those who are registered under the organic programme of Kudumbashree Mission.

Kudumbashree Alappuzha District Mission observed Child Rights Day Updated On 2018-11-23

Kudumbashree Alappuzha District Mission in collaboration with 'Save The Children' NGO celebrated International Child Rights Day. A rally was organised to spread the message on protection of child rights carrying blue balloons to 'go blue' as per this years theme by UN. Rally ended in the Beach where a large canvas was arranged for a mass drawing campaign to spread the message of Child Rights Day. Various programmes were organised for Balasabha members, which was inaugurated by Smt. Daleema Jojo, District Panchayath Vice President and Famous Play Back singer.

An awareness class on Child Rights was extended to the children and Adv. Reghuvaran lead the class.Shri. Sippy Pallipuram, famous children's story writer interacted with the children. Shri..Sanjay and Smt. Geeta, representatives from Save the children, interacted with the children and sponsored 100 T-Shirts,caps and school bags filled with study materials for the participants in the programme and had also participated in the campaign.

'Save The Children' is a global non-profit organisation which was founded in the year 1919 and is India's leading independent child rights NGO, which run programmes in the remotest corners of India and urban areas to provide quality education and healthcare, protection from harm and abuse and life-saving aid during emergencies to children.

NULM's Employment through Skill Training and Placement touching lives of many Updated On 2018-11-22

The Employment through Skill Training and Placement of NULM is touching the lives of many people. The intervention of Kudumbashree Mission through NULM prospered the life of Smt. Deepa hailing from Parappanangadi with three children and her husband who is a coolie, living in a rented house. The ‘Sparsham’ campaign which focused on social mobilization paved the way towards a change in her life. The campaign was conducted by City Mission Management Unit functioning in the Parappanangadi Municipality and it made inclusive of many poor families who were not aware about the benefits of Kudumbashree Mission. Smt. Deepa being the Secretary, took initiative for forming a Neighbourhood Group (NHG). Simultaneously she took enrollment in 'Ayurveda Spa Therapy course' under Employment through Skill Training and Placement in NULM. Within three months, she successfully completed the course and registered the NHG in CDS office.

She got placement assistance outside Kerala where she couldn’t go as she has to look after three school going children. She was aware of Self Employment Program in NULM. At Parappanangadi the biggest challenge in starting an entrepreneurship is the delay or rejection of SEP (Self Employment Scheme) loans from bank. She was not ready to quit and by taking loan from her thrift and her mother’s thrift in NHG, she started her venture with a total project cost of Rs.41000. At present 19 members enrolled in yoga with a training fee of Rs 1000 per month. The rent of premises costs Rs.5000. Smt. Deepa is happy with her family even though potential risks like free yoga training classes are available in the area. Now she is a volunteer of Para Legal Authority also. As a secretary of her NHG, her wish is to generate income for her NHG member’s families through self-employment programs with herself as an example. She is thankful to NULM, moreover to Kudumbashree Mission for empowering her socially and economically.

67 Candidates gets placement in Job Mela held at Attappady Updated On 2018-11-21

67 Candidates got placement in the Job Mela organised aiming at the job progress of the tribals of Attappady, which was held at Agali. Ten famous companies became part of the Job Mela and they selected 67 candidates out of the 267 candidates who had participated. Eureka Forbes, M.M Motors, Bajaj, Mahindra etc were the companies which took part in the Job Mela. In the initial stage, the candidates would get monthly salary ranging from Rs 8000-Rs 15000 and salary hike would be given based on their further performance and talents. The Job Mela was conducted by Attappady Comprehensive Tribal Development and Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group Development Project, National Rural Livelihoods Mission, Attappady associating with Kudumbashree Palakkad District Mission.

Kudumbashree Pothichoru from Kollam of high demand among customers Updated On 2018-11-19

A group of Kudumbashree women from Kollam are providing fresh, aroma wafting homely meals packed in broiled banana leaves and are whipping up the nostalgia of many. It is the members of Sauhruda Kudumbashree of Pathanapuram CDS who started the 'Nila Pothichoru' unit and serves the mouth watering meal packets. The unit was started during April 2018. The Nila Pothichoru Unit function under the leadership of Mrs Shibi, who is the secretary of the unit.

Four women of Sauhrda Kudumbashree are working in this group. Two of them have two wheelers and one of them has an auto to disburse the meal packets. A vegetarian meals cost Rs 50 and meals with fish curry cost Rs 60. A Pothichoru consists of rice, chutney, aviyal, fish fry, thoran and egg fry. They are selling an average of 400 pothichoru on regular basis to nearby hospitals, bus stands, hotel, offices etc. Kudumbashree women's homemade food is of high demand among the customers.

Kudumbashree Malappuram District Mission launches 'Network' Short Film Updated On 2018-11-17

Gender sensitization focuses on the modification of behaviour by raising awareness of gender equality concerns. As part of Gender Self Learning Program, Kudumbashree Mission had launched Neetham campaign which focused Kudumbasree NHGs to think critically about the issues women are currently facing  and moulding them to create a child and women friendly local space. In connection with the campaign a short film named 'Network' was produced by Malappuram Kudumbasree Mission in association with Kudumbasree CDS of Perinthalmanna block. It is the first short film to be directed by Kudumbasree Mission as part of the campaign. 

The story and direction of the short film is done by Shri. Rakesh.K Nenmini, CDS accountant of  Perinthalmanna Municipality. The film tells about the atrocities faced by the women in the contemporary society. It also peeps into the moral blindness of the society that views the situation in a prejudiced mind. The script and dialogues were written by Shri. Soman Vakkathil, Shri. Abin Thomas had done the cinematography and editing.  Studio Plus, Edavannapara was the Studio and  Ms. Bindu Ajith, Ms.Unnimaya, Ms.Nayana are the actors who had enacted in the Short Film.

The film was launched by Shri. K.V.Pramod, Programme Officer, Kudumbasree Mission, in the presence of Smt. Hemalatha C.K, Kudumbashree Malappuram District Mission Coordinator, Shri. Sai Krishnan, Assistant District Mission Coordinator  and Shri. Rakesh.K Nenmini at Ritz Residency, Perinthalmanna.

Children's Day celebrated with fun and frolic in BUDS Special Schools Updated On 2018-11-16

Children's Day was celebrated with fun and frolic in almost all BUDS Special Schools across Kerala. Childrens Day is celebrated to pay tribute to the legendary freedom fighter and our First prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. BUDS Special Schools for mentally challenged, under the guidance of Kudumbashree Mision, always strives to emerge out with something new for its students and Children's Day being a day especially for them. This year, BUDS Schools in Kerala celebrated Children's Day with a host of fun filled activities. The children arrived at schools, dressed in colorful clothes and were full of excitement during the special activities conducted in the schools. Many of them dressed like Jawaharlal Nehru and were in great excitement during the whole day. Parents accompanied them to schools to see the performances of their ward. Informative speeches were given by the teachers to the parents and children gathered at BUDS institutions. The students were overwhelmed with the entire effort. They cheered their teachers on as they saw them on dancing and singing and joined them in singing and dancing. The BUDS institutions were indeed buzzing with excitement and joy.

BUDS Schools are free and open special schools for mentally challenged children of poor families, owned and managed by the Local Self Government Institutions under the support and guidance of Kudumbashree Mission and the community structure. Whereas, BUDS Rehabilitation Centres (BRCs) are day care centres for mentally challenged persons which are intended to fill a gap in the State’s existing system for providing care to the mentally challenged that caters only to persons up to 18 years of age. BRCs are meant for those who have already undergone special education through BUDS Schools or other centres. However, centres are also open to mentally challenged children who are unable to attend schools. BRCs are meant to train and support persons with special needs for equipping them with skills that make them employable. There are 114 BRCs and 88 BUDS Schools in Kerala which make a total of 202 BUDS institutions in Kerala.

212 Bala Libraries functioning all across Kerala with a collection of more than 30,000 books Updated On 2018-11-15

The formation of Bala Libraries under the leadership of Balasabha aiming at developing the inherent talents of children are progressing all across the state. 212 Bala Libraries have been formed across Kerala which have a collection of 31,177 books altogether. The Bala Libraries are functioning either in the house of a Balasabha member which is accessible to everyone, in rented rooms, Anganwadis, Krishi Bhavan, Jana Seva Kendras, Health Centres or any such public spaces. 

Even though it was directed to start a minimum of 3 Bala Libraries under a District Mission, many districts have started more than that. Maximum number of Bala Libraries are formed in Palakkad district. A total of 137 Bala Libraries are functioning there.16 Bala Libraries function in Malappuram, 13 in Ernakulam, 10 in Kozhikode, 5 in Kottayam, 4 in Wayanad and 3 Bala Libraries each function in Idukki and Kasaragode districts.    

Formation of Bala Libraries was one of the main activities of Balasabha. It aimed at improving the reading habit of children which would in turn improve the mental growth of the children. A registered Bala Library would have a minimum of 300 books. The books were collected through ' Pusthakayathra', a book collection drive organised by the Kudumbashree members, Balasabha members and ward members. The chairs, tables, shelves and almirahs for the Bala Library were found through sponsorship. Kudumbashree Mission would also extend financial assistance for setting up Bala Libraries. A committee comprising of 3 Balasabha members ( President, Vice president, Secretary), Ads representative, ward member, CDS Chairperson/ CDS member and  Balasabha Resource Persons would be in charge of the functioning of the Bala Library. A Kudumbashree member would act as a librarian for the Bala Library.  

Balasabha is a collective attempt to ensure the participation of children in the democratic space at the local Government level and in their community. Small Learning Groups for experimental and systematic learning, opportunities for understanding democratic process, participation in conserving environment, enabling children to unfold the intricacies of collectivization are the basic focal points of Balasabha. There are 32,878 Balsabhas in the state with 4,30,908 children as members.