India: Honoring grassroots women for building resilient communities - 20 years after the Latur earthquake

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Gandhiji dreamt of an India which was self –sufficient and sustainable, built from the grassroots

Taking this vision forward, Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) started working with the communities during the time of Latur earthquake 20 years ago in 1993. It was then SSP turned the disaster into an opportunity for bringing the communities from margin to mainstream through mobilising grassroots women communities at the centre of local development in decision making, building safe homes, enhancing economic and social competencies.

On 2nd October 2013, the Sakhi Ratna Awards event at Latur mobilized over 800 women who had traveled from their villages from various districts demonstrate their skills and capacities in collective action. The Award commemorates the spirit of ordinary women who have achieved extraordinary results in ensuring safe water and sanitation, doorstep health services; sustainable agriculture and promoted women as entrepreneurs as well educators.

For the women leaders it was their learning space to share and know the strength of their network that have impacted over 1,00,000 women and families across six districts of Latur, Osmanabad, Beed, Washim, Nanded and Solapur in Maharashtra. Women leaders from Tamilnadu Women Federation also participated in the event.