Dr. Kalpana Sankar, CEO of Hand in Hand India, visited villages in Indore and Dhar Districts, Madhya Pradesh, to assess the work done and the need for further interventions. On 19 April 2012, she visited Ghosikheda Village, Mhow Block, Indore District and 20 April 2012, Kalaphata and Maafipura Villages, Dhar District.
Dr. Sankar interacted with the self-help group (SHG) members in these villages. The women expressed their gratitude for the loans made available to them through Hand in Hand India. They seemed to be motivated to save and engage themselves in income-generation activities. Though the majority took loans to set up or strengthen cattle-rearing enterprises, many expressed their interest to learn new skills. They were interested in engaging themselves with income-generation activities that does not take them away from their home; towards balancing their household and income-generation activities. Another area that the women felt the need for intervention was the provision of setting up of toilets at the individual household level. Water scarcity and lack of access to safe drinking water were other areas of concern for these villagers. They thanked the organisation for the medical camps conducted in these remote areas with little or no access to healthcare.
Following the visits, Dr. Sankar suggested certain immediate interventions that could help the villagers in Madhya Pradesh, namely,
» Provision of percolation ponds to reduce water scarcity
» Provision of toilets
» Provision of literacy training to illiterate women
» Provision of skill training to enhance income-generation opportunities
During the visit, Dr. Sankar also assessed the existing Self-Help Group & Microfinance, FMO, Child Labour Elimination through Education and Health Programmes of the organisation in these villages. While the Natural Resource Management team of the organisation would look into the possibility of providing the villages with small percolation ponds, proposals for skill-training and literacy-training for 1,000 SHG women are under way.