By
Sunny Jose G
Sponsored by ICSSR, New Delhi

The study examined whether women’s participation in paid work enhances their well-being through a primary survey carried out among 300 women each in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. Specifically, the study examined the influence of women’s participation in paid work on autonomy, measured by participation in household decision -making and freedom from spousal violence. Additionally, the study tried to assess whether the varying conditions underlying women’s decision to take up paid work and the varying nature of employment exert varying influence on aspects of well-being mentioned above. The analysis, though suggestive in nature, brings out a number of important findings which have implications for policy. Currently married women engaged in paid regular work seem to have much higher levels of autonomy, indicated by participation in making all four decisions considered for the analysis, in both Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan. These findings underline a couple of aspects that have implications for policy. Aside the positive influence on autonomy, women’s participation in paid work is likely to bring certain other qualitative changes, including respect within the family. Viewed against the above findings, public policies, like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, which promote women’s participation in paid work, assume added significance. However, to realise the full beneficial effects of paid work on women’s well-being, certain aspects become almost a prerequisite. Notable among them include some amount of education and eradication of poverty. In the combined presence of poverty and illiteracy, the influence of paid work on aspects of well-being would be much limited. Thus, social policies aiming at improving the educational attainment and food security of the poor households have the potential to contribute towards the enhancement of women’s well-being as well.

By
Kanchan Mathur, Shobhita Rajagopal and RS Sharma
Sponsored by Government of Rajasthan

This project provided a gender policy and a gendered strategic action plan (GSAP) for the MPOWER project of the government of Rajasthan. The gender policy was developed in keeping with MPOWER’s organisational framework to ensure a gender sensitive approach towards the beneficiaries and institutions established (SHG/MGNDC’s) in MPOWER at the grassroots and district levels. The policy provided a broad guideline for ensuring that the programme is implemented in a gender sensitive manner. The main findings emerging from the gender analysis are that while the project has succeeded in forming women’s SHG, Gender mainstreaming strategies have not become an integral part of the Mpower project. At the level of the project structure the lack of women functionaries at the various levels has impacted project outcomes and this has resulted in lack of gender sensitivity in project implementation. It is also evident that only a few functionaries have undergone gender training and so far gender training has been seen as a one-time activity and not a continuous process. At the community level the project has mainly focused on savings and inter-loaning activities. The gender anlaysis of the Mpower project clearly shows that empowerment of poor, rural women cannot be restricted to merely improving their economic abilities.

By
Mohanakumar S and Surjit Singh
Sponsored by NABARD, Mumbai

The study is based on a field survey of members of SHGs who have availed credit from MFIs and major MFIs in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Important objectives of the study were to review the concept of governance in organizations involved in providing/ facilitating financial services to the poor and; review the experience and learning of enhancing/ facilitating governance structures and systems with specific tools. Major focus of the study was the way in which the issue of governance was addressed by MFIs. Governance in this context was defined as how the goal, vision and mission of the MFIs are translated into practice. Broadly, the study observed that the MFIs function as individual entities and seldom the vision and mission are reviewed. MFIs are run as any other profit oriented individual enterprises and the MFIs employ nefarious ways to extract the maximum from their clients, who are mostly the economically marginalized sections in the society.

By
Gagan B Sahu
Sponsored by NABARD, Mumbai

The study attempted to assess and analyse the status and reasons of default-from members to SHG and from SHG to ban k, in respect to bank loans to Swarnajayanti Gram Swarozgar Yojana (SGSY) and non-SGSY SHGs; study the mechanisms and modalities dealing by Bank/ SHPIs and group for 100 per cent repayment; suggest measures to address the issue of loan defaults at Banks/ Sell Help Promoting Institutions (SHPIs) and SHGs levels. It was undertaken in Madhya Pradesh and Orissa and in total covered 200 SHGs (100 SHGs from each state and covering 57 villages from Orissa and 61 villages from Madhya Pradesh). Out of 200 sample SHGs, 46 of them were linked under SBLP of NABARD, 66 groups were linked under SGSY scheme, and the remaining 88 SHGs were linked under bank linkage programme (SBLP), NABARD and SGSY scheme). On an average, the rate repayment through own income was only 25.3 per cent. Importantly, the rate of repayment was found higher in group lending with joint liability (42.1%) against individual lending model (27.8%). It is observed that out of 152 groups who were linked under SGSY programs, 79.6 percent of them found defaulter. On the other hand, out ol48 SHGs linked under SBLP, 60.4 percent groups found defaulter. This shows that the rate of defaulter was more among SHGs linked through SGSY schemes rather than groups linked under SBLP. Significantly, in the first loan-cycle through SBLP and SGSY schemes, 7.3 percent and 34.7 percent groups became defaulter respectively. When the scheme of finance was shifted from SBLP to SGSY, 46 percent groups became defaulter. This indicates that when the groups get bigger loan or activity based loan from bank, especially through SGSY scheme, most of them opt for not to repay the loan and become defaulter.

By
Jyotsana Rajvanshi and Poonam Sharma
Sponsored by Ministry of Women and Child, Government of India

The Institute is the nodal Institute of Childline Project of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India. The Institute is involved in coordinating activities of the project in Jaipur implemented by various partner NGOs. Under the project quarterly progress reports are submitted to the Ministry on activities undertaken during the year. Format for documentation is prepared for feedback of open house and outreach. During the period April 2011 to March 2012, childline Jaipur conducted a total of 24 open houses at different locations. Childline Jaipur rescued 309 innocent children through a massive raid and resale operation by childline Jaipur along with police, Child Welfare Committee and labour department from Sanjay Nagar kacchi basti, bhatta basti, Hasanpura, Galta Gate and Ramganj working in zari (embroidery) units. Children were found working in small dingy rooms, with no light or ventilation. These small rooms were homes as well as workplaces for children trafficked from West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand. Childline Jaipur also organized National Initiative for Child Protection (NICP) workshop on child rights, JJ Act and ICPS with functionaries of police and railways. In the workshop functionaries of police department ensured to provide hand holding support in future by making every police station child friendly and by sticking 1098 posters there.

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