Sakhi Sangini (‘female friends together’)
A movement of underprivileged urban women’s empowerment through attaining and exercising right to govern rights
To better understand this changing situation, KMVS did a study in the areas primarily being urbanized to assess how to begin working with urban women. A summary of outcomes were as follows:
- Lack of basic amenities and information
- Encroachment of land for building houses
- Congested colonies without proper drainage system causing serious health hazards
- No identity proof (ration cards, birth certificates etc.) resulting in fewer rights as citizens, and
- Admitting children in schools
- Limited livelihood options for women migrating from rural areas.
- Women are victimized and sexually harassed by employers causing insecurity
- Poor families are spending more than what they are earning since towns and cities are comparatively more expensive than villages
- The women do not have a voice and are not organized
Considering these issues, in 2008 KMVS devoted to work with urban poor women of Kutch– particularly in the central city of Bhuj. KMVS collaborated with Hunnarshala Foundation, Sahjeevan, Setu, and A.C.T. as partners of the Homes in the City program. As work in the urban slums began, the team learned of additional issues emerging in the city.
Organizing and enabling urban poor women to achieve social, economical, and political empowerment, and be the catalyst for change in their own areas.