Women Shaping Villages #NutritionSmartCommUNITY

Women Shaping Villages #NutritionSmartCommUNITY

Women Shaping Villages #NutritionSmartCommUNITY
Story by : Isha banerjee
Written on : 21st November, 2022

Women Taking Decisions: What to Grow, What to Eat!

Not just any women, but the driving forces behind WHH’s Nutrition Smart CommUNITY project running successfully across Aurangabad (Maharashtra). These women, with dedication and a mindset for change, have built leadership capability in themselves to have a say in important decisions directly related to farming: What to Grow, What to Eat! 

“Why are we not recognised as farmers? Why can’t we own our land? Which is why we never stood a chance to express what we wanted. This project has instilled confidence to think about our families’ health. Focus on diet diversification by contributing a part of land from our farming space to kitchen gardening. Now we put healthy food on our plate from our own garden.” 

From learning ways to make organic vermicompost to reserving a patch of land for organic farming, these women are spreading a movement in their own regions for a healthy future.  

Beyond expression what Sanjivini achieved for herself!

You might have to visit her to experience the change she has brought upon herself.   

She has become a model for everyone in her small village in Aurangabad. But her efforts are louder than words, and women across villages want to be like Sanjivini – a determined, entrepreneurial, financially independent woman motivated by social causes around her. But a few years back, she was not the one taking decisions about her life or family’s health. 

Living in a tin house, Sanjivini was encouraged by Welhungerhilfe India and SSP to initiate kitchen farming in her backyard and fulfil her family’s dietary diversification by growing nutritional vegetables like brinjal and gourds, and fruits like pomegranate and papaya. “I do not have to purchase the same from the market at higher prices. The money saved is invested in my business.” 

She came forward to be groomed as an entrepreneur starting a small-scale business to sell sanitary napkins, hygiene products to women and adolescent girls who could not openly purchase them because of stigma. Every month she expands her product sales ranging from organic pesticide spray to vermicompost bed. 

‘For some of us, this has been our first income’ 

A strong Self-Help Group empowers not just one, but all women in it.  

An epic story of decision making in unison, women of Nutrition Smart CommUNITY came together to save money and brought themselves a lentil (dal) grinder that is used by the Self-Help Group members. 

The benefits? Now they do not have to manually grind lentil, using the time and strength in producing more produce and its product. “Not just one but more women use this on need basis. We are saving a lot of money by not giving it in the market for grinding. And with it, we are now expanding our reach and income by packaging and selling it ourselves in the market with zero dependency. For some of us, this has become our first income source.”