Coming from a family of 7 members, Baluben was a daily wage earner engaged in labor work from which she had a very low level irregular income. Her daughters and her sons have been married and at present all her family members are staying separately. Being a member of the SHG, Santosh Mahila Mandal, she has been regularly saving in the group. Previously it was very difficult for her to meet the demands in her family. But now she can satisfy her needs through initiating her own small business. Her self help group members responded to her providing a loan amount of Rs. 6000 for starting a small business for selling firewood. At present her daily income is Rs.100. With this much in income, her savings amount has increased of which some she can spend on her family.
Darshanaben Mohan Khodiar is 19 years old and residing at Momai Nagar in Anjar. She lives together with her parents and her younger brother. Her father is vegetable vendor and earns around Rs 2.500/- per month. She studied until fifth standard but due to shortage of money she had to quit school. After meeting her, the Prayas team realized her need for vocational training. To try and help her, they found a place for her in a sewing machine class. The sewing class was started by Prayas to help young women like her build up capacities needed to be self-depend. Darshanaben is now on the right way, but she is still in need of more advanced trainings and on sight also a modern tailoring machine.
Memabhai Menadbhai Ahir is a 70 years old watchman who lived in the remote village Rampar of Anjar Taluka. He has lived alone half of his life. He has lost his eye vision and is suffering from ammonia after the 2001 earthquake, so he cannot perform his watchman duty any more. When the PRAYAS team met him in the village he told them about his daily struggle to survive and about his needs for medical as well as livelihood supports. The Prayas team decided to try and help Memabhai and provided him with Rs.100/- per month from their own pockets. We are doing whatever we can, even though we know the support is very small and cannot meet his burning needs of aid.
Ratan Ben Gopal Bhai Suther is a widow. She has three young children and lives in Rapar Khokra Village. In the 2001’s earthquake she lost her house and her hard earned sewing machine. With no bread earner or any other means of income, the future did not look bright. PRAYAS meet her and invited her to work in her village as a volunteer under the Human Rights Project. The work in the project rebuilt her self-confidence and gave her will to try and create a new life for her family. She joined a SHG and restarted her tailoring work with the help of a micro credit loan provided by the group. Within very short time she was able to repaid the loan.
Jethalal Ramji Jogi is multi-disabled. He studied until 4th standard but unable to get a job he is fully dependent upon his old parents. His 60 years old father is a broom maker and his mother works as a daily wager. Both the family and the local community felt that a small shop would be useful to reduce the responsibilities of his parents and make Jethalal more self depend. After an analysis of the matter, it was concluded by the PRAYAS staff that livelihood support could make a difference for the family. A cabin with goods worth in total Rs. 6904 was hence provided. Daily income from the cabin is now around Rs. 150. His old mother is happy that she needs no longer work outside the home, and they are both grateful that their son is now independent and able to take care of himself.
Khatijabai Idalbhai Nore is 60 years old and lives with her family in Khirirsra Mowar Vand of Anjar. She often borrowed money from villagers for her day-to-day needs because she was only able to earn around Rs.30-40 from her small jobs. Through a door-to-door survey by Old Age Care Support Team Prayas became aware of her situation and provided her a camel cart. To the great, but happily surprise of the Prayas team Khatijabai paid the 3000/- back only a month after the support. Her daily income increased till Rs. 150/- as she now cuts woods, which she sells in the market.
Nagalpar is an upper class Hindu community based in a remote village of Anjar. The women in the area made their living as daily workers on the farms. The problem in the area was the lack of unity among the neighbors in the village. Based on an evaluation of their needs PRAYAS organized a local community meeting on women empowerment. Two women took courage to come forward and formed two self-help groups, Laxmima and Hazipir, which ended up having a total of 18 members. The two groups decided to develop their local handicrafts known as Bharat Kaam to improve their economic situation. After realizing their interest and skills local government officials came out to help them providing employment generating training. Today all the members of the groups earns minimum Rs 700 pr month. With a contribution of Rs 50 pr month from each member in the groups they now have Rs 12.000 in saving. They are using the money to help others to overcome their poverty.
Prayas has worked to expand the Partnership for Sexual Health Project to address local problems in the slum areas that were not initially included in the HIV/AIDS intervention. This case study tells about the experience gained in a local village. Jondvas was one of villages seriously affected by the 2001 earthquake. Women in the village had in general always been very vulnerable due to local traditions and the earthquake made their situation even worse. Besides earthquake related issues concerning rehabilitation, denial of their rightful compensation, property rights for land and other topics the women faced problems like sexual harassment and chicane from near relatives. Issues that only a few organizations tried to address. Even though the problems were not directly related to the HIV/AIDS Program the attempt within this program to create enabling environments made it a natural step to make a combined effort to address the issues. The general idea behind the women SHGs is to inform the members about their rights and entitlements and teach them to assert those rights and to strengthen their capacities by linking them with various support systems available within and outside the community. This was not far from what the enabling environments tries to achieve.
Harizonvas is a slum area in Anjar with a population of around 2000 persons. Most of the inhabitants in the area belong to backward classes and minority communities. Daily labourers, auto rickshaws and truck drivers are the primary occupation of the locality. The children are not going to school and grow up without knowledge about health and good behaviour. Most of them have lot of misconceptions about sexual transferred diseases (STD). HIV/AIDS is unknown even among most of the adults. The Prayas team was sure that a lot of the people in the locality were high-risk persons for being infected with STDs, we knew it would be difficult to convince them about the need for protection against AIDS and other diseases. Our information campaigns were no success and easily people became hostile and told us to leave. It happened when a truck driver died of AIDS, that a young boy came to our office asking for information on AIDS and STDs. He was himself infected with a STD but received treatment at the local hospital and was cured. With his cooperation we started our programs by forming small groups of people infected by STDs.
Mohd Ilyas Soda is a 26 years old scrap collecting divorced young man who has an illicit relationship with his neighbour’s wife and is also a regular brothel visitor. His sister in-law died of AIDS. He is drug addicted and is due to this not able to take care of his family. Because of his aggressive behaviour, he has been to jail more than three times. One of our community-based volunteers invited him to meeting with the community leaders on AIDS and how to reduce the high-risk behaviours at his locality. That was the turning point in his life. With intensive counselling and strong willpower to change his life he was able to quit the drugs and start taking responsibility for his own and his families life. Now he helps us organizing AIDS awareness campaigns and to establish contact with STD/HIV infected peoples.
Sabhai ben is a widow who lives in her mother’s house together with her two daughters and her son in Mindiyana village. Before the earthquake she was living together with her husband in another location. In the quake her husband was killed and their house destroyed so she had to move back to her mother’s house. Her husband had kept the house in her name so the compensation legally belonged to her but her in-laws kept the compensation she was supposed to receive. With the efforts of PRAYAS she joined a human rights advocacy group and it was decided that a combined effort should be taken so justice could be redeemed. With help from the PRAYAS team she started a dialogue with her brother in-law. He told her that he would not give her the compensation for the destroyed house if she were remarried outside the family. The brother was unmarried and Sabhai ben did have any alternative proposal of marriage, so therefore they agreed upon to marriage each other. Sabhai ben got the money for a new house and could start to rebuild her life.