A group of women who are a part of Kudumbashree have cultivated a barren field near in the town of Anchal, located in the center of the Kollam district of Kerala, Mathrubhumi reported.
For the uninitiated, Kudumbashree is Kerala’s unique anti-poverty and gender justice movement. The term means ‘prosperity of the family’.
Launched by the government of Kerala close to two decades ago, the program aims to wipe out absolute poverty from the State through community action under the leadership of local governments. Today, Kudumbashree is one of the largest women-empowering projects in the world and was definitely a turning point for the women of Kerala.
The Anchal paddy field is an example of Kudumbashree’s efforts and success; it yielded a good harvest in the first cultivation itself and the cultivators reaped a 100% profit.
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This plot of land was used for paddy farming earlier, but was later stopped. Once the Kudumbashree women from two units called Bismillah and Poonkavanam, started to work on it, the plot began to flourish.
“We feel satisfied for converting the barren land into a beautiful paddy field rather than earning profit through the cultivation,” a Kudumbasree member told Mathrubhumi.
How does the Kudumbashree work? It consists of a three tier structure with Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) as primary level units, Area Development Societies (ADS) at the ward level, and Community Development Societies (CDS) at the local government level. One of the hallmarks of the movement, aside from poverty alleviation, is the importance it gives to democratic leadership.