Sakhi Sangini

Sakhi Sangini (‘female friends together’)
A movement of underprivileged urban women’s empowerment through attaining and exercising right to govern rights 
I.  Background:

For over 22 years Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan (KMVS), a Kutch based women’s organization and  a partner of the  Homes in the City program, has  been organizing and mobilizing rural women of Kutch into local collectives capable of independently working towards developing women’s ability and confidence to address issues of their concern. KMVS supports women to develop their self-image, self-esteem, and access human, educational and financial resources through its collective strength. KMVS has observed that the socio economic situation in Kutch post earthquake is changing rapidly due to the increasing urbanization resulted as part of industrial development, and there are new challenges faced by women in urban areas.
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. 
II. Mission:
Organizing and enabling urban poor women to achieve social, economical, and political empowerment, and be the catalyst for change in their own areas.