The Invisible Lifeline of Rural India

Rural Indian women exemplify strength as they tirelessly perform their household duties from dawn until dusk. Yet, their invaluable contributions often go unnoticed. Beyond their domestic responsibilities, many also work on the family’s small farms playing a crucial role in sustaining the agricultural backbone of rural India. Despite being the mainstay of the agrarian economy, women remain largely invisible, serving as the lifeline of rural community life. 

Since 2001, the creation of PRASAD Chikitsa’s Self-Help Groups (SHGs) have allowed women to unite and become empowered to learn new skills and become leaders within their communities. When individuals from a common pool come together to form an SHG, they each agree to contribute a nominal sum of money every month to a common pool. SHGs are involved in a range of projects, including running small businesses, organizing village cleanups, and accomplishing environmental initiatives. Today, there are 249 SHGs, with more than 2,800 members among them. The success of these SHGs is inspiring more and more women to form their own groups. 

Ujjwala’s Story

Ujjwala Ulhas Bhoir, a strong woman of 41, lives in the quiet village of Gaygotha. When the COVID pandemic hit in 2020, her family faced tough times as both of her sons lost their jobs. With no one earning, money became scarce. But Ujjwala didn’t lose hope. She was part of a PRASAD Chikitsa Self-Help Group (SHG), which helped women like her start businesses to support their families. PRASAD Chikitsa knew families like Ujjwala’s needed help. So, they gave flour mills to women in the group to start small businesses.

Ujjwala Ulhas Bhoir at her flour mill from PRASAD Chikitsa

When Ujjwala heard about this, she signed up to receive a flour mill of her own. Now, instead of traveling far to grind flour, villagers could get it from Ujjwala. Her business took off and with time, her earnings grew to $36 a month, bringing stability to her family. Ujjwala expressed her gratitude, saying, “Thanks to PRASAD Chikitsa, today I can contribute to the financial needs of my family.”

Join us in celebrating Women’s History Month by supporting women like Ujjwala to thrive. Your donation will make a significant impact. Together, let’s empower more women and create positive change in these rural communities. Donate today to support our Self-Help Groups.

Warm Regards,
Dr. M. Cecilia Escarra
Executive Director