KAPADVANJ-AHMEDABAD, DECEMBER 15, 2012 : DRISTI Don Bosco has been working in Kapadvanj for the last six years for the empowerment of women. Ninety Self Help Groups have been formed in the area. This year DRISTI takes these self help groups to the second stage of its formation i.e. Clusters. Looking at the possibilities and the area we have been working in, we have formed eight clusters of these ninety groups.
The main objectives of these clusters are:
a. To strengthen the weak SHGs.
b. To monitor the SHGs of its clusters.
c. To help women to avail of bigger loans.
d. To help SHGs to start income generation activities.
Initially the idea was floated in the villages for last six months. At first the women couldn’t understand the importance of clusters but all the same they were ready to form the clusters. Thus, this year DRISTI made it one of their organizational objectives is to form eight clusters according to the area or the number of SHGs. The cluster is represented by two representatives from each cluster. The financial part is being seen by the SHGs. In order to be part of Cluster, membership fees of Rupees twenty have been collected. This money will be put in the name of the cluster.
Five cluster meetings were held in the month of November 2012. November 24, 2012 the Ratnagar cluster meeting was held. The Ratnagar cluster consists of eight SHGs, having sixteen members out of which fourteen members were present for the meeting. On November 26, 2012 the Chaptiya cluster met. There are seven SHGs with fourteen representatives in the cluster. On November 27, 2012 Bapuji na muvada consisting of seven SHGs with fourteen cluster members and seven other enthusiastic members were present for the meeting. On November 28, 2012 Gadiyara which consists of ten SHGs with twenty representative met and another fifteen women were present for the meeting. On November 29, 2012 Kasarij cluster consisting of five SHGs eight representatives gathered for the meeting.
These meetings in the villages had very positive impact on women as well as villagers themselves. They were enthused with new ideas in the SHGs. They were happy with SHGs being monitored by these clusters and have no problem with cluster intervention. The women were of the opinion that this will also unite the village and certain Income generation activities could be run by the clusters. Next we plan to have a common meeting at the DRISTI centre of all the Clusters.