Rural Women by being the main actors in their own development will claim equal opportunities and social justice to lead a life with self-respect, identity, human dignity and an improved socio-economic status in a society free from Gender Discrimination and Violence.
While women form 50 percent of India’s population, they are disproportionately poor and are at a disadvantage when compared to men. Discrimination against them results in lack of control over their own lives in general, their health and their income. RDT has been working to empower women belonging to poor, marginalized rural communities since 1982-83.
- A total of 8122 self-help groups (SHGs) with a membership of 1,08,612 women are functioning in 1675 villages by the end of March 2015. Of them 7444 SHGs are running their ‘Mini-Banks’ with the help of their own monthly savings which they rotate as credit among themselves to meet their basic or emergency needs. The cumulative savings in Mini Banks run by SHGs of women by the end of March 2015 stands at Rs.19,74,91,651 i.e. an average cumulative saving of Rs.2000 per member approximately.
- Women in the SHGs have an access to Women Development Fund (WDF) which is a revolving fund run by the women with the aim of providing access to capital to start feasible income generating schemes to improve their socio-economic status. At present 7769 SHGs have access to this fund. During April 2014 to March 2015 a total of 8503 women took a loan of Rs. 10.39 Crores from WDF for various schemes such as rearing of milch cattle, rams, petty business and other enterprises and have already repaid over 40% of loan taken by them.
- A total of 8280 women who were trained in various vocational skills till March 2015 such as Tailoring, Incense Sticks, Book binding, Embroidery, Sanitary Napkins, Kalamkari, Chalk Piece Making and Power Looms are making use of their skills and are earning a daily income ranging from Rs.75 to Rs.125.
- Asset creation for rural women through the promotion of dairy animals is an important program in the drought affected area of Ananthapuram District since those families having buffaloes or cows can withstand intensity of drought situation than those who don’t possess animals. By end of March 2015, 8298 rural women owned 10250 Milch Cattle.
- Important program dealing on the issue of violence against women and girls was initiated in the year 2010 to raise awareness and to support women facing various types of maltreatment and harassment. The process of constituting Social Action Teams (SATs) comprised of 2 to 3 rural women and atleast 1 man has been completed 405 villages. A total of 1216 members representing SATs are being trained to identify women facing violence and extending necessary support to solve their problems with help of RDT.
- There are also six mobile counseling centres functioning at Kokkanti Cross of Tanakal Mandal, Uravakonda Mandal, B.K.Samudram Mandal, Gandlapenta Mandal, Dharmavaram Mandal and Kalyandurg Mandal. During the financial year 2014-15 a total of 1101 persons were given counselling during the reference period. The type of cases covered under counselling include women/adolescent girls being forced to migrate to towns/cities for trafficking , harassment/violence against women , health problems including Sexually Transmitted Diseases and other problems such as misunderstanding between husband & wife, dispute between women and family members etc.,