Kerala: 46 Lakh Women of Kudumbashree Meet to Discuss Achievements over Past 25 Years
On January 26, around 46 lakh members of the 3.09 lakh neighbourhood groups (NHG) of the ‘Kudumbashree’ met to observe Republic Day and to prepare for the 25th anniversary of the organisation simultaneously.
The government of Kerala has announced May 17 as Kudumbashree Day to mark the 25th anniversary of the organisation. Kudumbashree was launched on May 17, 1998, under the left democratic front (LDF) regime led by E K Nayanar, as part of the Kerala State Poverty Eradication Mission.
Named ‘Chuvadu 2023’, the NHGs held a detailed introspection of the activities carried out so far and the organisation's impact on individuals, their families, and society.
The important point of discussion was vision building for the organisation – to be able to chart out a micro-level plan of action for the next five years. The ministers, people’s representatives, government officials, and officials from the Kudumbashree Mission took part in the meetings.
The organisation, which falls under the department of local self governments (LSG), plays a vital role in implementing several programmes charted out by the government and has won several national and international awards for its activities.
IMPACT ON SOCIETY AND WOMEN
To kick start the 25th-anniversary celebrations, the organisation decided to convene all the NHGs on January 26 for a mini celebration of the achievements so far. The events held across the state included cleaning the surroundings, laying new roads, and honouring senior members.
In a televised message to the members of Kudumbashree, M B Rajesh, the minister for LSG, lauded the achievements of the organisation. “During the last quarter century, the Kudumbashree has made revolutionary changes in society in general and for women in particular. There is a massive change in the lives of women after Kudumbashree,” he said.
The meetings (called Ayalkootam) of the NHGs discussed three important tiers of its structure: NHGs, Area Development Society (ADS) and Community Development Society (CDS).
Speaking to NewsClick, Nishad C P, the state programme manager of the Kudumbashree Mission said, “The meetings primarily focussed on the hygiene in their neighbourhood, the impact of the organisation on the members, their families and the plan for the next five years.”
He added that with their involvement in several activities including the projects announced by the state government, the members have strived forward in the social, economical and cultural arenas.
“Most of the NHGs prepared a welcome song on their own, incorporating the secular, democratic values and women’s rights as part of the event. The message from the minister and executive director streamed on the Youtube channel received 2.44 lakh views,” Nishad said. The contributions of the members of the organisation during the COVID-19 pandemic, pertaining to nutrition for children, entrepreneurship, feeding the hungry and celebration of festivals are well recognised.
FOCUS ON THE PLAN OF ACTION
The organisation has made remarkable achievements since its founding empowering women on multiple fronts. The organisation undertakes works in several sectors including local economic development, social development, women empowerment, and microfinance and implements schemes announced by the Union and state governments.
The Kudumbashree members are actively involved in the estimation of the population in extreme poverty, youth seeking employment, care for lactating and pregnant women, tribal development, and empowerment of children through Balasabhas.
“The meetings discussed the possible interventions on hygiene, education, business, eradication of extreme poverty and formation of new auxiliary groups. These discussions were based on the experiences during the past 25 years,” said Nishad.
The members are active in politics as well, with many elected women active in Kudumbashree.
The organisation has announced competitions for its members as part of the silver jubilee celebrations in the form of vlogs, recitations, and reels with a special focus on the activities and achievements of the Kudumbashree.
The 25th anniversary will culminate with an international conclave, showcasing the achievements of Kudumabshree on May 17, 2023.
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