The distinct feature of poverty in India is that the boats of the poorest are nailed to the sea bed. When the tide rises, they sink. Often treated as dispensable commodities by those in power, they are helpless and unaware of even their basic rights.
This is where initiatives like RGMVP come in.
The Community Institutions of the Poor not only provide an interface or channel between the poorest of the poor and development initiatives, but also provides them with an opportunity to come out of poverty by helping them help themselves. Having said that, it is important to note that there is yet to exist a proper delivery mechanism, in terms of the Government and its agencies being able to implement schemes and programmes. Thus, there exists a wide gap between government initiatives and their actual implementation and delivery on ground.
We are not only helping them release themselves from the clutches of poverty and subordinated social status, but also helping them help themselves to unleash their true potential- through their own initiative.
Women from within the three federations further volunteer to get trained on SHG formation (they help raise awareness amongst non-SHG members on the usefulness and importance of institutions of the poor, mobilise them and help them set up their own SHGs), issues of health, hygiene and nutrition (including maternal health, personal hygiene, menstrual health, latrine system and sanitation, child care, etc.), bank linkages (help women from SHGs set up their accounts and access loans, etc. and help them out with the procedure), etc.
The process is effective because the trainings capacitate these women to convince other women like them about the benefits of organizing the poor, as well as spread awareness and information on best practises, like the ones mentioned above.
We, thus, need to work towards helping the poor organize themselves. Over the last 10 years, we have reached out to over 350,000 households, forming over 30,000 SHGs in some of the most backward areas of Uttar Pradesh. We’re now striving to reach out to more and more poor women and help them overcome poverty and unleash their true potential!