"OOTA AITA?" Challenges of livelihood Interventions in the Kanakanala Watershed.
A (not so serious) look at India Vs. Switzerland in 2003.
Preface : To Eat or not to Eat, "OOTA AITA?"
Introduction

 

MUNJAVU : Woman Power

Micro Credit, Micro Enterprise & Livelihoods Intervention

     
     
     

In various watershed projects Self-Help Groups and their savings- and thrift activities became an integral part. In SAMUHA the many groups could not be overlooked by a watershed team alone, so a separate Micro Credit unit evolved, MUNJAVU.

 

Definitions, Acronyms

SAMUHA: a development organisation working in the South Indian state of Karnataka. SAMUHA works with vulnerable people to improve their quality of live within defined periods of time (www.samuha.org)

MUNJAVU (lit. "dawn" in Kannada) was established in November 98 and is described below.

MUNJAVU Central Team: they now serve as a resource group to MMS, committed to the growth and sustainability of MMS through training, technical support, and promoting the formation of new SHG's, as well as overseeing book-keeping and auditing. At present, the MUNJAVU team consists of 33 members.

MUNJAVU organizers: MUNJAVU social workers, each one looking after 3-4 villages. Mostly women who come from other areas of Karnataka, since local women are difficult to recruit.

Village animators: Literate (mostly young) paid volunteers from the villages, who help organizing and managing SHG and who serve as a link between MUNJAVU and the villagers.

Self Help Groups (SHG) / Munjavu Thrift Groups (MTG): [subsequently referred to as SHG] are involved in savings and thrift activities through which they build and expand their financial resources. In each village, groups of 5-15 women form a MUNJAVU SHG. In 2002, the SHG's of Raichur and Koppal District were registered as two independent cooperatives under the State of Karnataka. The SHG's form the foundation of MUNJAVU's activities. Training opportunities and education sessions are provided through SHG's, who also serve as a medium for information dissemination to the whole village. Thus SHG women take on a central role in the village, improving women's status and involvement in community development.

Village MUNJAVU Committee (VMC): One representative of each SHG come together to form a Village MUNJAVU Committee, which discusses problems of SHG's, and helps in planning and implementing any MUNJAVU activities in the villages.

Representative General Body (RGB): These VMC's in turn elect one representative to comprise the RGB. Initially they met once per month to discuss the functioning of the SHG's in their respective villages; the process of forming a cooperative; and to receive training on a range of micro-economic development activities. Further, all activities of MUNJAVU staff were reviewed by the RGB. Once the MMS cooperatives was formed, the RGB began to meet only once every four months.

MUNJAVU Mahila Vividodesha Sauharda Sahakara Niyamita (MMVSSN): MUNJAVU formed women cooperatives, of which there are two, one in ISPWDK, Tavargera (Koppal District) and one in Deodurg (Raichur District). These cooperatives became the focal points for all economic and livelihoods activities of MUNJAVU. There are over Rs. 55 lakhs line of credit available between the two cooperatives. In short it is called MMS.

Working Group: consist of 4 women of RGB and VMC members. They oversee and monitor the different MUNJAVU/MMS activities. Currently there is one group for each of the six different livelihood interventions.

 

Aims and Objectives of MUNJAVU

The primary aim of MUNJAVU is stated as:

working towards women's empowerment through integrated development. Using thrift as a catalyst, a series of women-centred economic and livelihoods activities are implemented through women's self-help groups.

MUNJAVU's objectives are:

· to promote a habit of savings among women

· to develop women's management skills to meet their own and their families' financial and non-financial needs

· to improve economic conditions of the family

· to facilitate self reliance by generating funds through savings and using these funds to meet household consumption, production and asset creation needs

· to use thrift to promote self-confidence among members by increasing accessibility to economic / livelihoods opportunities such as bank resources/schemes, government programmes, and NGO's

· to develop qualities like unity, interest, equality, co-operation & leadership among members/women

· to pursue individual and group development among members/women

· to enhance women's/members skills of decision making through consensus

At present, MUNJAVU works with approximately 500 MUNJAVU SHG groups in 131 villages of across Raichur, Koppal and Uttar Kannada Districts of Karnataka. Annex 1 shows MUNJAVU and SHG statistics and figures.

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SAMUHA, #12/3, “Raghava Krupa”, Bull Temple “A” Cross Road, 6th Main, Chamarajpet, Bangalore-560 018.
Tel: 91-80-2660 6532,3. Fax: 91-80-2660 6528. E-mail: editor@samuha.org