Women Empowerment Programme - Tiruchirapalli

It is a comprehensive community development programme which gives more emphasis to the development of the children and women living in ten villages and slums. PDI has been working for the development of Urban Poor for more than a decade through its programme, namely, Urban Development Programme (UDP). The Urban Development Programme (UDP) was successful in its implementation in ten slums of Tiruchirapalli district by handing over the UDP to the Community Governing Council - A Community Based Organization promoted by PDI in 2006. PDI submitted a proposal for the project ‘Women Empowerment Programme’ to IMPLICADAS for replicating the activities in five slums of Tiruchirapalli City and in five villages of Thuvarankurichi. The villages, namely, Ammapannai, Atthupatti, Thulukampatti, Kallakampatty, and Thethur had been identified during July 2007. The activities have been initiated in the slums simultaneously, namely, Jailpettai, Sathya Nagar, V. M. Pettai, Chinnasamy Nagar, and Edamalaipatty Pudhur. The project was started in August 2008 and ended in December 2013. The Slum Development Councils and Village Development Councils were formed, capacitated, and linked with Community Governing Council. Again, From January 2014, PDI identified another five slums namely Andakondan, Kuppangulam, Samathuva Nagar, Chockalingapuram, Mudukkupatty. and identified another five Villages namely, Ammachathiram Pudhur, Karaipatty, Karumalai, Alampatty, and Adaikkampatty. It started replicating the activities and the programme is named as Women Empowerment Programme II.

The project team works with three thousand families and has supplementary educational programme in five slums and in five villages. The project has formed help groups and takes efforts to empower the women through skill training programmes and income generation programme. The Non-formal education programme assists the illiterate adults of the slum/rural population to learn basic skills of reading and Tamil. The project team motivates the illiterate adult women to learn the basic skills. The women are encouraged to learn during their free hours. The literacy classes are being facilitated by the animators during the afternoon when the learners are relatively free at home. The project identifies and trains Community Health Volunteers and gender volunteers. The Community Health Volunteers (CHV) serves as change-agents in the community. They work along with the animators and refer the people to the nearby health centres. The Community Health Volunteers help the project team to organise Health Awareness Campaigns and Health Camps. The Gender Volunteers have been given training to promote gender equality and refer the victims to the Women Support Centre. Every Year, a Summer Camp for the Marginalised Children is being organised with the support of local resources. Eighty five to one hundred children learn new skills and it is a three day residential programme.

The project takes efforts to promote Self Help Group [SHGs] to give women a prominent social and leading role to ensure positive changes in their community. It helps the women to have a regular habit of savings and as a result, there will be a decline in borrowing money from the private money lenders at high rates of interest. The entrepreneurs are motivated to avail loan for their working capital at any time they require it. The project assists and guides the groups to have access to banks for availing the credit.

Her Voice is a programme integrated with Women Empowerment Programme to sensitize the women and their socio political rights. It is programme aiming at Empowerment of Women in the Socio Political Sphere. During December 2012 to November 2013, it was implemented in ten slums including Chinnasamy Nagar, Sathya Nagar, V. M. Pettai, Edamalaipatty Pudhur, Kalpalaiyam, C. Block, Mahalakshmipuram, Kattur, Padhuvai Nagar, Kajapettai, Keela Krishnan. Koil Street, Ramamurthy Nagar, Anna nagar /Bells Ground, Koradanthoppu and Panju kidangu Street. Again, IMPLICADAS and Fondos have agreed to support this initiative from the period of one year from December 2015 to November 2016, and the present programme is being implemented in ten villages of Thuvarankurichi. The women are being sensitized on the importance of their role in Local Bodies. All the men, women and youths are being sensitized on Gender Issues. The Skill Training Programmes are organised in Thuvarankurichi and it is planned to support the women with new skills to start their own business under Income Generation Programme. The Gender Clubs for Youths have been formed in all the ten villages. A street play has been formed with local volunteers to sensitize the General Population on Gender Issues and need for promoting Gender Equality.