Empowering Rural Women---the SSP Way
7:00 PM on Thursday 10 May 2018
Three leaders from Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) of Pune to talk about how they have transformed 1,45,000 rural women in six states
SSP’s Prema Gopalan, Godavari Dange and Naseem Shaikh to speak
at 7pm on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at FCC Auditorium, AB-19 Mathura Road, New Delhi-110001.
You are cordially invited.
S Venkat Narayan
Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) empowers grassroots women’s collectives to move from “Margin to Mainstream”. Over the past two decades, SSP has built robust partnership eco-systems that enable women’s entrepreneurship and leadership in sustainable development. By choice, it is centred around low income, climate-threatened communities across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Assam and Odisha.
In the water scarce regions of Maharashtra, marginal farmers are the most affected by climate change. These farmers are in distress since farming has become unviable. This problem is further intensified as the key stakeholder of farming is left aside: the women. Globally, 80% of poor farmers are women, and they have always been considered as mere labourers on their own farms.
Prema Gopalan is Executive Director of SSP. Over two decades, she has built robust partnership eco-systems that have enabled 145,000 women entrepreneurs, farmers and leaders in sustainable development. Her leadership experience in seeding a women-centred market-based approach has gained wide recognition. She and SSP have received a large number of global and national awards for their work, including UNDP’s Equator Prize 2017.
Godavari Dange comes from a small village in one of the most climate-threatened regions in Maharashtra. She studied only till Class 7, was married at the age of 15. Her husband passed away in an accident when her children were very young. She restarted her journey first by participating in women’s self-help groups (SHGs), and was soon mobilizing other women in SHGs. Within one year, she founded the first women’s federation to work on women’s economic and leadership development. Presently, it has more than 5,000 members. She leads the community climate resilience fund that seeds innovations, and has disbursed more than INR 24 million for food security, sustainable agriculture, water conservation, environment innovations and women-led enterprise towards building greater leadership of grassroots women. Her motto is to act locally and lead globally. She has represented grassroots women in networks in India and 15 nations abroad.
Naseem Shaikh: Associate Director of Programmes at SSP, she has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Shivaji University, Kolhapur (Maharashtra). An expert with over two decades of experience in organizing rural grassroots women to build their economic, social and political competencies and move from the margin to the mainstream. After the massive earthquake 1993 in Maharashtra, she trained 500 rural women in as many villages to act as interlocutors between the Government and affected communities. After completion of the recovery effort, she persisted and redesigned grassroots women’s roles as leaders and planners in a large UNDP-supported project. In 2005, she came up with an innovative model Community Health Mutual Fund that allows women’s federations to own and manage people’s funds for health insurance. She is now an active global leader in the GROOTS International and Huairou Commission---the global network of grassroots women’s organizations of which SSP is an active member. Today, her movement of self-help groups includes over 100,000 women in rural India. Her expertise also includes project planning, business strategy, process design and operations management.
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