Kudumbashree is a program that was launched by the Government of Kerala in 1998 in the hopes of wiping out poverty from the State through concerted community action under the leadership of local self-governments.
Kudumbashree today is one of the largest women-empowerment projects in the country. Its mission is to encourage women to attend group discussions and improve their reading habits, debating skills and also to develop decision making qualities. Along with that it imparts Education to those women who were illiterate. In short the women have been shown the right path for a better tomorrow by this social movement. The program has nearly 4 million members and covers more than 50% of the households in Kerala. It is a cooperative run by the group of women with the help of government officials from the block level. It operates around three critical components, Micro Credit, Entrepreneurship and Empowerment. The Kudumbashree initiative has succeeded in addressing the basic needs of less-privileged women, which has helped them to live an independent & dignified life with a better future. With such an initiative, more than 90 percent of women in Kerala have gained self-confidence after being associated with Kudumbashree.
After receiving an introduction to the organization by a representative from Community development Society (CDS), pay a visit to 6-8 different working units. The program will then be split up into different groups that will work with a specific unit to learn more about their products and processes. There will then be a thought exchange and feedback session.
Working groups include:
- Packaging and sales unit of Ayurvedic Herbal water purifying powder
- Amrutham Podi (Powder) unit supplying nutrient mix for children around the villages (this is a government project entrusted to the women’s group)
- a vegetable and goat farm
- A catering unit
- A tailoring unit
- An unsuccessful mushroom Farm (the group will visit this unsuccessful venture to better understand some of the challenges faced)
- Modest dress is required. Participants should wear shoes that can be taken on and off easily when entering a home (non-negotiable!)
- While on the program, participants are discouraged from passing out money without the consultation of the guide. Participants should follow the guidance of the guide and translator at all times.