The article written by Eshwer Kale and Marcella D’Souza was published in the compendium ‘Water Conservation and Saving in Agriculture: Initiatives, Achievements and Challenges in Maharashtra’ by Water Resources Department (WRD) Government of Maharashtra.
Gender is a mainstay of WOTR’s work. A cross-cutting priority, Gender concerns are embedded in each and every activity. We firmly believe that while GENDER is often perceived as the favoring of women’s rights and responsibilities, it goes beyond women. Men and women, because of their gender, face different situations that oblige them to acquire different capacities and knowledge while also recognizing that they have different needs and interests. An approach that considers only the situation of women, thus, will not bring about the desired transformation.
Since Gender equality can only be achieved when men and women are equally empowered, WOTR gives emphasis to level the playing field. It does this by building up women’s social capital and management capabilities and facilitating their empowerment by organizing them into solidarity groups (SHGs). The intervention also extends to building women’s capacity to address their and their children’s concerns through health services and providing personal care advisories, and literacy, numeracy and personality development training. It also actively engages men in creating avenues for effective representation in the decision-making bodies of the village. Additionally, sister institutions of WOTR help them acquire livelihood and life skills, by providing them with financial and business development support to start and successfully manage micro-enterprises, creating avenues of access to micro-insurance, providing efficient green cooking and home lighting systems, and provisioning drinking water and sanitation that more specifically address women’s concerns.
WOTR initiates and implements various development activities that not only enhance their economic status but also reduces drudgery and burden. The Samyukta Mahila Samiti (SMS) gives them a space and voice at the village level. Financial support is provided for livelihood and income generation activities through VDCs under a separate revolving fund.
WOTR promotes womens’ livelihoods in collaboration with Godrej and Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.
Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR) is a globally recognized organisation dedicated to transforming the lives of millions across India in participatory watershed development and eco-systems restoration, adaptive sustainable agriculture, integrated and efficient water management and climate change adaptation, with a special emphasis on vulnerable communities, farmers and women. A key part of our work is women’s empowerment, of which one outstanding example is an undergoing Godrej and Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd funded project in Vadval in Khalapur block of Maharashtra’s Raigad district. Under this project, we have been promoting women’ livelihoods through sanitation, health and livelihood opportunities; as we firmly believe that empowering women is essential for sustainable development.
Since last two years, WOTR has undertaken a number of initiatives with a focus on local institutional support and capacity building, across age groups. We have conducted several health camps for children, which includes monitoring health and weight and distributed nutritional supplements. Besides this, an exposure visit to the Hermann Bacher Training Centre in Darewadi, Maharashtra for women of Vadval has been arranged. Bunds that were broken down have been repaired, resulting in a water storage capacity of 10 million litres of water. New water tanks with a capacity of 20,000 litres have also been built.
To enhance livelihood opportunities, self-help groups (SHGs) have been formed to assist the women to become entrepreneurs. Self Help Groups (SHGs) are now making and selling food, health and wellness and home cleaning products that are sold not only in the local markets but also in urban markets.
One of our flagship products, the handmade chemical free soaps has done extremely well and is gaining popularity due to high quality standards. These soaps have been displayed at several exhibitions and being supplied at a premium hotels.
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- What are we in for? – Rural dynamics in the context of Climate Change a look at Ahmednagar district
- Gender Dimensions of Climate Change Adaptation
- Participatory Net Planning : A Practitioners Handbook
- Little drops of water make a mighty ocean
- Boond Boond se Banata Sagar (Hindi)
- Thembe Thembe Tale Sache (Marathi)
- Rejuvenated landscape, rejuvenated lives
- Climate Change Adaptation In Rural India: A Green Infrastructure Approach
- Mandwa – The Metamorphosis of Life After Water Seeped Into its Soil
- Pimpale – A Magical Transformation
- Pangra (Marathi, VCD, Time: 18min)
- Chaluya Swawlambanachhya Vatevar
- Gavat Laxmi Aali
- Kadar Mulichi Anandi Sansarachi
- On the path of the Prosperity
- Rise of the New Dawn
- We Help Ourselves
- My Place Under The Sun
- Sowing Seeds Of Empowerment
- Kholvihir: A Green Transition
- Jambhore: Try again and you will succeed