Expanding Group Thinking
Ten women struggled with their men and families in 1996 to form a group with a very small contribution of Rs 2 per month to improve upon their economic condition and get rid of moneylender. These women saw too many ups and downs during the period till date, several times the group was on the verge of breaking, but a few women emerged every time to bring the matters back on rails. As a result it is a strong women self help group.
This is the story from Junakheda village in Raipuria Gram Panchayat of Petlawad development block in Jhabua district. The village has 46 families, all Bhil tribals. The soil fertility is low, agricultural land is full of stones and people migrate to other places to eke out their living. Under these circumstances the decision of women to form Women Development Committee was a really courageous one. Today the group has in its account more than Rs 1.50 lakh and the members use the funds for funding needs related to education, agriculture, seeds, fertilisers, foodgrains, illness, etc.
The group organised a special meeting on June 23, 2006, but this meeting was different from others as a few members raised the concern over irregularity in paying loan installments as their husbands were putting an obstacle in this. The group decided that henceforth they would hold meetings with husbands too.
Chairperson of the group said since large sums of money were being tackled, some literate boy or girl from the village should be imparted training so even in the absence of the organisation’s worker financial transaction could be done and accounts be kept. Thus, thinking for the future of the group and taking decision accordingly was a clear expansion of the group’s thinking.
While on one hand the women worked towards improving its economic condition, on the other hand it made efforts for improving its social condition. Today the group has become successful in stopping unnecessary expenses on liquor, daapa and rakhi. It has also succeeded in maximising impact of developmental efforts.