With the support of CAPART (EZ) Bhubaneswar – the organization has been implementing a Project named “Community partnership project for sustainable women development” in Sidheswar area of Ganjam district. It is basically women empowerment project focusing on wholesome development of women emphasizing on enabling women to have access to command over their rights (including livelihood) and privileges.

In total it is a venture to empower 100 (in the intervention area) including adolescents girls both socially and financially to fight against poverty, hunger, dominance, exploitation and above all the power dynamics – that is based on following objectives:

The very venture is based on the organizations logic that only money cannot alleviate poverty. The reason of poverty is not economic backwardness but also Ignorance, Illiteracy, Gender discrimination, Child labour, Exploitation, Gender discrimination and social evils like Dowry, Early age, Trafficking of girls by marriage to unknown persons of distant areas like Ranchi, Jhansi, Mathura etc. Incidence of sexual abuse of girls, exploitation by money lenders, indifference of service providers (both Govt. and Non Govt.) coupled with ignorance, blind beliefs, superstitions in the name of religion and belief, gender discrimination with ultimate foul incidence of abject poverty and chronic food insecurity are some of the basic reasons that promoted GPSS to opt for this with focus on Women as the Change Agents in Ganjam district.

This intervention has the plus point of being based on participatory and people-centric approach that integrally dealt development of downtrodden by following activities:.

Development of Market study.
Involvement of community key stakeholders in Project planning/Implementation team.
Selection of Resource persons/Trainers.
Hire/Purchase of Machineries.
Collection of raw materials.
Advocacy meeting with PRIs, Govt. line departments, block & district administration.
Skill training for the 100 women beneficiaries.
1. Cutting, designing & Embroidering in 2 batch (Incld. 3 months up gradation training)
2. Leaf cup plate making training (Incld. 1 month up gradation training)
3. Mushroom cultivation (Incld. 1 month up gradation training)
4. BEE keeping training (Incld. 1 month up gradation training)
Matching grant/money to SHG/Beneficiaries divided in to 10 groups (10 in each group)
Linkages with NGO/CBO, Bank, DIC, NABARD, for support mobilizations.
Block level support group formation and strengthening/Networking with B. MSS, D.MSS.
Training/Workshop on legal rights & Schemes/ facilities available with Govt. for women including health and education.
Registration of self-help cooperative society and initiation of SHG federation.
Networking with marketing experts, ORMAS and other marketing agencies/ Farms.
Exhibitions in local Mela, Seminar & workshops.
Exposure trips to women group.
Mega women’s convention.
End line participatory evaluation, Project Re designing & report presentation to CAPART .

The intervention could ensure following results.

1. Promotion of People’s Participation - After selection of Beneficiaries in village meeting, they have actively participated in project planning and involved in activities at all levels starting from trade selection to SHG management training, income generation training and ownership created towards project sustainability.
2. Active role of Beneficiaries in Project Implementation - Formed an association of women beneficiaries namely “JAGRUTI” consisting of 11 members (8 from the group leaders among beneficiaries, one active ICDS worker, Sarapanch of Sidheswar Gram Panchayat and one staff of GPSS, working with them). Their active participation helped to guide, monitor & creative suggestions for effective implementation and project sustainability.
3. Potential develop to face odds and ensure remedial measures – High expectation from beneficiaries, Collection of beneficiaries’ contribution and develop market linkage and to face market competition etc. The organization through a consistent process could ensure remedies thro’ - more sensitization programmes, providing technical support continuously and involving the beneficiaries in other developmental activities as well as regular follow up and guidance till they own/well managed the project.
4. Beneficiaries been given Ownership of Assets - The entire assets meant for the project was meant for the beneficiaries. An initiation to unite all the beneficiaries is taken up by establishing a production unit completely guided/controlled by GPSS. All traditional products produced by the beneficiaries have undergone a value addition process by using the improved technology. The entire profit after sale is distributed to beneficiaries.
5. Involvement of Beneficiaries in Maintenance of Assets - Initially the maintenance expenses is met from the production. When the property/assets shall be handed over to each group (till the end of project period), a small amount will be charged to each according to the decision of the member (of JAGRUTI) and use of assets or quantity of production made by them for maintenance of assets.

Project has incidentally ensured some direct benefits that can be outlined as below:

Empowered the women and improved social equity.
Improved income level among supplier of raw materials, market persons & beneficiaries.
Availability of finished materials in local market increased .
The traditional practice is changed in to a model profession by gain of adequate knowledge and skill.
Beneficiary women could earn up to 10 to15 thousand rupees per annum besides their day to day works.
Interest generated among the farmers on agriculture by selling raw materials to SHGs.
Bargaining capacity of the beneficiary groups increased .
Gender discrimination minimized.