Sthree Shakthi Kendram

Genesis of STHREE SHAKTHI KENDRAM

COSTFORD conducted a survey on the condition & position of women in Thrissur District.
The findings of the study were quite alarming.
We identified that the following are the areas which required our intervention.

- Lack of access to credit.
- Skill development and employment.
- Lack of awareness on existing schemes and policies for women .

The Sthree shakthi project was launched in the year 1998 in Thrissur District. The participating agencies being NABARD, District Panchayath, DRDA, Social Welfare Department, Lead Bank and voluntary agencies. COSTFORD was to Co-ordinate the activity of all the other agencies.

The objective of the Stree Shakthi project was poverty alleviation and empowerment of Women through the formation of Self Help Groups. Initial target was to organize at least one SHG in one ward. The target was exceeded with in one year. To implement this project Sthree Shakthi Kendram was formally inaugurated on the 2nd of November 2000, as a District level resource center for women.


Main objective of Stree Shakthi Kendram

Formation of SHGs
Information Dissemination
Skill Development & Skill up-gradation Programmes
Savings, Micro insurance, Thrift and Credit
Guidance for economic activities


Activities of Sthree Shakthi Kendram

Sthree Shakthi Self Helf Groups

2200 SHGs have so far registered as members of the kendram.

Services provided by the kendram to members of SHG’s

Training
Computer Education
Micro Insurance Scheme
Self Employment opportunities
Arrangements for Thrift and credit
Linking SHGs with bank credit
Skill Development
Dissemination of information
Marketing Assistance to SHGs through conduct of trade fairs/ exhibition
Counselling and Gender Resource Centre
Service Providing Centre Supported Kerala State Social Welfare Board

I Training

Following training programmes are conducted for the benefit of affiliated SHGs on a regular basis.

SHGs – organization and management
Micro enterprises – organization and management
Skill development programme
Product manufacturing training
Need based training programme
Periodical workshops, seminars, interface etc

II Stree Shakthi Information Technology Center

Services provided by the center to the public/ SHGs

Internet Browsing
E-Mail
DTP
LCD- projection
Fax
Photo Stat
Digital Printing
Computer Education

III Insurance Scheme

Following insurance scheme was introduced exclusively for women in Thrissur District in association of National Insurance Company

Sthree Shakthi Insurance Scheme – Main Features

Open for all women in the District between the age of 18 to 75 Years
Covers risk against accidental death, injury etc
Premium – Rs. 68 per person for 5 years
More than 10,000 women had joined the scheme

Micro Insurance Schemes

To provide social security to self group members and bring them under insurance cover along with savings component.


IV Self Employment opportunities

A Vanitha Canteen is run by the SHG members in the premises of Stree Shakthi Kendram. The canteen is managed by the Kendram. 12 SHG members are working in the canteen and earning an average income of Rs. 10, 000 per member/month.

Facilitates SHG members to take up production/ Marketing ventures to generate additional income.

V Stree Shakthi Thrift and credit wing

(Micro Finance)

Inaugurated on 28.03.2001
Providing consumption loans upto Rs 2000 per SHGs member to meet their emergency needs- repayment period one year
Loan upto Rs 10000 per SHGs for starting micro enterprises – repayment period two years
Loan for special occasions- SHGs are also provided short term loans ranging between 2000 to 20000 for undertaking income generation activities during festival seasons like Onam, Christmas , Ramzan etc

VI Linking SHGs with bank credit

Linking SHGs with bank credit - Stree Shakthi thrift and credit wing has so far disbursed about Rs 6 crores to 846 SHGs for income generation activities in association with SMGB, now Kerala Gramin Bank

Financial assistance for cooking gas connection to 1000 SHG Members. The project was implemented in association with Indian Oil corporation and South Malabar Gramin Bank.

SHGs are also graded for their eligibility for loans and recommended to other banks for credit as per the request from public sector and co-operative Banks.

Distribution of Cooking Gas Connection to 1000 SHGs Members in association with IOC and SMGB

Activities of Stree Shakthi Kendram for the last 3 Years

Training programme Conducted

SHGs – Organization and management Training given to 15 batches of 425 SHG Office bearers
Micro Enterprises Organization and Management Training given to 9 batches of 270 SHG Members

VI Skill development

Apart form providing product training, we propose to train women for skill development in Carpentry, Masonry, Plumbing, gas stove repairing and repair of home appliances etc


VIII Dessimination of Information

A magazine titled Stree Shakthi Vartha Pathrika is brought out periodically to give awareness to SHG members on various issues.


Skill Development Training

Conducted REDP (Rural Entrepreneur Development Programme)On Fashion Designing for 30 SHG members with the assistance of NABARD (45 days – duration)
Conducted MEDP (Micro Enterprises Development Programme )
On catering services to 30 SHG members
On fabric painting, cloth painting , glass painting , pottery painting with the assistance of NABARD 2 weeks duration(30 SHG members)
Conducted training programme to 22 SHG members on fashion designing with the assistance of Thrissur Corporation.

Training to Bank Officials

Conducted training programme to officials of State and District co-operative Banks and commercial banks of Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode. Malappuram, Kasargode, Kannur and Wayanad Districts on SHG – Bank linkage sensitization. The programme was done with the Financial assistance of NABARD. Sthree Shakthi Kendram/COSTFORD had been outsourced by NABARD to conduct the programme.About 500 Bank officials from the above Districts attended the programme


Product training conducted by the Kendram during the last 3 years

Manufacturing of Soap, detergent
Umbrella making
Paper bags
Candle making
Pappad
Vermi Compost

Training conducted to SHG members in association with Agriculture University, Mannuthy

Mushroom Cultivation
Medicinal Plants
Bush Jasmin (Kuttimulla)
Ornamental Plants and flower arrangement
Vermi Compost
Food Processing – Jam, Pickle, squash, Sauce etc
Home made Chocolate

Training given to SHG with the assistance of STED and Thrissur Corperation

Paper Bag, Cloth Bag
Catering Service
Mat weaving, Door mat out of waste cloth
Fashion designing
Ornament Making
Laying floor tiles

Seminars conducted during the last 8 Years

2004 – 2005
Awareness programme on food adulteration, quality, control etc with the assistance of food inspectors Thrissur
Computer literacy
International - Women’s Day - Right of women

2004 – 2005
One day seminar on legal right of women- in association with women’s commission Trivandram
Women and mental Health in association with Mental Hospital, Thrissur

2006 - 2007
Waste management and diseases in association with department of sanitation
Women and Health - in association with Medical College, Thrissur
Legal awareness and women - with special emphasis on Women’s Bill in Association with Niyama Sameeksha, Thrissur

2007- 2008
Women and Health - in association with Medical College, Thrissur

2008- 2009
Problems of teenage girls in association with Medical College, Thrissur
On women & Legal Awareness on International
Women’s day in association with Legal Services Society, Thrissur.
On women & depression –awareness about mental health and how to tackle Depression-to 600 women in 8 batches - in associationwith Mental Health Department of Medical College, Thrissur

2009- 2010

On March 8th International women’s Day in association with Legal Services Society

On women and Power –in the context of 33% reservation
On Women and Legal Rights
On Cyber Crime

Trade fairs / Exhibitions Conducted

Organized buyer seller meet, for the products manufactured by SHG members at COSTFORD premises, with assistance of NABARD during Onam Season

Sthree Shakthi Kendram made arrangements for SHG members to participate in the IRDP trade fair during Onam Season, hiring stalls. This was sponsored by NABARD

Facilitated the SHGs to take part in the various industrial and other exhibition conducted by District Industries Center, NABARD and other agencies.

Training given to two batches of 20 women for Gas stove repairing and other home appliances like Fan,mixie, iron box repairing etc.

Training given to housewives in basic computer courses internet, E-mail , Home accounting etc.

Training given to SHG group members in Banana Cultivation , Mushroom cultivation, Vegetable cultivation etc with the help of Kerala agricultural University.

Joint Liability Groups

New initiative by NABARD to empower women economically through farm and non farm activities. This scheme is to enable women to avail bank credit for a small group ( for members ranging from 4 to 10) for engaging in micro enterprises .

At present formation of JLGs, monitoring, training access to Bank Credit is one of the Major Activities of Sthree Shakthi Kendram

Objectives of JLGs

To hasten the flow of credit to agriculture and non-agri sector
To make credit available without any security
To reduce the risk involved in lending by the bank without security through peer pressure , financial discipline etc nurtured through group approach, joint liability and responsibility
To provide food security and sustainable development opportunities to the weaker sections
To rectify the weakness of the self help groups

Advantages of JLGs

Availability of credit to farmers who do it on group basis partnership and on lease lands etc.
Credit not linked to saving
Banks can do business at lesser cost
Simplified procedures for availing credit
Simplified procedures for availing credit
Barren lands are utilized by the JLG Members for cultivation
Income generation and increase in self esteem of the members

JLGs & Sthree Shakthi Kendram of COSTFORD

Sthree Shakthi Kendram, the women empowerment wing of COSTFORD has so far formed about 710 JLGs. We are linking them with various banks and made credit available to the tune of rupees Seven crore for engaging in various activities. New JLGs are being formed & We are trying to help them achieve self sufficiency through income generation and sustainable development.

Activities undertaken by JLG’S

* Paddy cultivation * Banana * Vegetables * Mushroom cultivation
* Goat rearing * Cattle rearing * Rabbit rearing * Pisci culture
* Furniture polishing * Catering * Fashion designing * Tailoring
* Quail * Copra Business * Rice business * Coconut extraction
* Food processing * Building Blocks manufacturing


Success Story of Sthree Shakthi Canteen an initiative of Sthree shakthi kendram

Shtree Shakthi Canteen was started in the year 2000 to cater to the needs of COSTFORD Staff. In the beginning only one person was there for cooking and gradually it was made open to the public and the number of members who run the canteen increased and now there are 13 members.

Initially the income was below Rs. 1000 per member but now it has risen to an average of Rs. 10,000 per member / month. This is due to the reputation for the canteen for supplying homely food at reasonable rate.

Our Challenges

Multiple credit and multiple membership among SHG/JLG Members
Coming up of communal groups
Specific problems of women who have taken up lease land for agriculture
Additional burden on women when income generation activities are taken up
The process of empowering women/ mobilizing women, skill development
Awareness campaigns on Health, Law, Social Security And Livelihood enhancement programmes still going on……

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