SKDRDP not only provides financial aid to the women but empowers them. With the loans, people are equipped with the abilities to make something for their future and to improve their standard of living. Also it bestows upon them the responsibility of them making their own decisions and controlling their fate. Empowering the poor and enabling them with the capabilities is what SKDRDP strives to do with its programs.
The 2 Parts of women empowerment programmes are
- Jnanavikasa- Flagship women empowerment programme.
- Gelathi - A counseling program.
The women in rural areas have little opportunity to express their talents, views and skills in any forum. They are tied up with their household duties, taking care of family. Jnanavikasa is a forum for women to develop their skills, express their talents and empower themselves in the company of the rural community. For this purpose a separate programme has been developed by SKDRDP. Ably guided by Smt. Hemavathi Heggade, trustee of SKDRDP, this programme has reached out to more than 5,000 villages bringing in 3,00,000 women. They undertake capacity building program, awareness programs once in a month for about two hours at a common centre.
This program mainly concentrates on 6 subjects like- health and hygiene, family harmony, nutrition, importance of education, utilization of government facilities and self-employment.
The women involve themselves in discussions related to the way of living and improving livelihood, creation of awareness in women and family, developing self –confidence, self-reliance and physical appearance, promotion of women empowerment, social mobilization process. They also visit various places like the court, police station, hospitals, successful women enterprises etc., to understand the world around them. They part take in many a cultural activities. They contribute to learning from each other. This successful programme has built the confidence of women.
Counseling is an effective means to help people out of distress and difficulties, to bring them back on track. SKDRDP has established a counseling center at Belthangady to help women who need support. The center called Gelathi offers the services of a sociologist, an advocate, a psychologist and a doctor, who provide counseling services to the women on demand. Initially the women in villages seek counseling from the village level worker, who acts as a point of reference. The services are given free of cost. If required the counseled is referred to hospitals for treatment. Legal aid is also given in times of need.
The role of a woman as bread earner, house keeper and social link within the family creates tremendous pressure on a young woman, especially when she comes to a new family through marriage. Additionally, she is not well equipped to accept this challenging role. She often has no formal coaching for performing the said roles either from her parents or from the schools. The stress felt by the women is expressed in the form of physical illness or behavioral changes. This will complicate matters at home, which could result in strained relations, perceived illness and disturbed mental status.