Manjari Foundation - Developing women's organizations at the grassroots.

When I used to see all the women of my SHG doing thumb impression instead of signature I used to feel miserable.


February 24, 2019

stories of change

“From Waste to Wealth”


Four months ago, Sakhi program reached out Narpat Ki Khedi, a small village with traditional, conservative, and male dominated society.

In most of the villages of Rajasthan, men of the community are engaged in agricultural and labor work while women stay at home and do household chores.

Lack of awareness and illiteracy are the significant hurdles of the village. Therefore it was challenging to convince women and their families to associate with, and form Self Help Groups.

Earlier Situation

Praveena’s story was also similar to the other women of the village. Praveena was a graduate and pursued Bachelors in Arts. She wanted to be a teacher but unfortunately married at the age of seventeen. Post marriage she was confined to home, and it was very challenging to step out of the house. She realized that her education was of no use. Her husband Durga Shankar is a farmer with 2.5 Bigha land and partially works as a wage labor. She has three children 2 girls and one boy. Her elder daughter studies in class tenth. Her son is 13 years old who studies in class 8th and the youngest one is 3 years old girl.

Turning Point

Praveena an educated woman with determination to win against all the odds came forward and became a member of Sawariya Self Help Group. She was among the few educated women of the village and the only literate member of SHG. She said, “jab main dekhti thi hamare yaha ki sabhi mahilaye hastakshar karne ki jagah angutha lagati hai to muje bahut dukh hota tha lekin samaj nahi aata k kya kare.”

The Positive Changes

She heard about the Self Help Group and the very first thing that attracted her was regular weekly meetings of one hour. She decided to provide primary education to all illiterate women of the community so that every woman can learn to do signature”.

She initiated discussions and conveyed her intentions. She requested all the members of the group to stay half an hour extra so that she can impart them primary education and enhance their knowledge.

Earlier it was tough as no one was interested in investing extra time and learning as well. But with the help of Sakhi and regular counseling, gradually women agreed to give extra time and started learning.

“She told us with pride & spark in her eyes that today six women of the group learned to sign and also inspired other women through this and joined her class to learn.”

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