1 block, 50 villages, 100 SHGs, 8 clusters, 2000 members and 60 lakh Rupees as savings: The Mahasangh (SHG federation) is indeed a force to reckon with. It has evolved into a powerful advocacy group in the block and is always at the forefront, taking up and resolving issues like inaccuracies in THR or the PDS supply.
Whether it is about counselling mothers to feed colostrum to their babies, explaining women the importance of ANC check-up, convincing mothers to bring their undernourished children to nutrition camps or performing skits on health and nutrition at the local Kisan Mela (Farmers Fair), the dynamic women of the Mahasangh are always ready and raring to go. The group has taken the lead to organize nutrition camps across the block and ensure supply of eggs to children in AWCs and schools.
Most significant outputs of Institutions
Increased participation of women in decision-making and utilization of resources by women for food security and nutrition
Several issues are taken up and resolved by CBOs and SHGs and VHSNCs by flagging it in gram sabha and at block and district levels such as – dysfunctional AWC, irregular PDS, non-issuance of BPL cards and non-issuance of MNREGA funds
930 SMC members received training and prepared School Development Plans (SDPs) following which separate toilets for girls and boys were constructed, kitchen gardens were developed, MDM quality has improved and hand washing has been ensured – in Sonaraythari Block of Jharkhand
75% attendance in AWCs and 83% attendance in schools – across all project villages
Nayi Roshni Federation’s meeting
The Fight Hunger First Initiative has worked on a mission to empower communities, especially women. Under the project, a plethora of systems, structures and Best Practices were created in the intervention areas. The project FHFI, however, did not create any new institutions and focused only on identifying, reviving and strengthening the existing ones that were either created by non-government organizations or under the government schemes such as the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM), Sarva Shiksa Abhiyan and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). At the heart of the institution-building efforts was the strengthening of the Self-Help Groups.
*Excerpts from the Flyer: Institution Building for Collectivization and Empowerment