Fostering Economic Independence

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Key Facts
As on 31 March 2016

Fostering women's economic independence is the crucial primary entry point upon which RGMVP helps women begin to break out of traditional gender roles and move forward out of poverty and subjugation. Economic independence helps women to garner bargaining power in their households, thus granting them the ability to prioritise things such as toilets, children's school fees, sanitary pads for menstruation, and nutritious foods, which are often neglected when the man controls the family income. As women reach economic independence, their confidence grows, their families become more economically stable, and they challenge gender norms by participating in the financial sphere which was previously dominated by men.

Apart from the financial inclusion strategy and enhancing livelihoods through agriculture, RGMVP also facilitates the following livelihood activities:

Diary and Livestock Husbandry

Women are encouraged to use their SHG savings and bank loans to invest in cow and buffalo rearing. RGMVP then provides them with training on modern diary management practices to improve milk yield. Once milk procurement begins, women have the option of selling any milk they do not use in their households to Mother Dairy, which has set up 88 Bulk Milk Coolers in UP. SHG members also undertook activities such as goat and pig rearing and poultry farming.

Vocational Training

RGMVP, in partnership with Mavana Social Service Society of Usha International Ltd., runs Silai (sewing) Schools in villages. These schools choose women in the RGMVP network who have a drive to become entrepreneurs, and equip them with a sewing machine and training on sewing and sewing machine maintenance. They are given between INR 4,000 to 6,000 per month to teach sewing to at least 20 students throughout the year, fix other sewing machines, and for continuing their own stitching work.

Additionally, RGMVP runs a Vocational Training Centre and Common Facility Centre, which provides skill development programmes on a variety of handicrafts such as knitting, candle making, tailoring, and vegetable tending. These programmes are supported by the Government of India's Development Commissioner Handicrafts of the Ministry of Textiles.

RGMVP is currently in the process of launching an entrepreneurship programme for women who are seeking to expand their businesses and develop their skill sets as managers.