I have met them often in the past years – the Vimuktha women. Strong women who have built self- help groups to empower themselves. They have worked hard, saved money together to be able to give some credits to each other. Some of the have opened small business units, small shops, chicken farms, clay work, tailor shops.
Today, we visit them just for staying together – no official tour with managers to explain what they do and how they have set up all these micro enterprises. One of the women runs a nice shop with buttons, decoration articles, bindis, small toys, cosmetics… it’s just a big pleasure to stay and discover all these things.
An elderly women demonstrates us on how to use these simple spinning tips. It looks so easy, but….
We have a lot of talks together while discovering more of these small ‘treasures’, while eating a watermelon with pepper and salt. Then we continue to talk, exchange ideas and life experiences. In the way women do all over the world.
A precious moment!
Some background information about the Vimukkha women:
Native Medicare Charitable Trust, an NGO based at Coimbatore undertook a project from 2004 –2007 with the support of Karl Kuebel Stiftung, Germany for the rehabilitation of child labourers among the migrants and slum dwellers in Coimbatore. The project undertook activities such as identication of child laboursers, conducting special schools, bridge course centres, vocational training centres for these child labours and mainstreamed them in regular government schools.
In order to make good the loss of income earned by the children, the parents of the migrant children , dropouts in the slum area have been provided with income generation assistances after forming self help groups,providing them skill, capacity and EDP Training. Thus the, vimuktha federation is emerged out of the KKS project after active participation of the self help groups, formed in may 2007 and Registered as a Trust in September 2007.
A revolving fund had been set up during the project which provided credit to the SHG members, the loans were repaid into the RF. The responsibility of managing the RF was handed over to the Federation at the close of the project in 2007. The Federation functions from a small office set up in the premises of NMCT, however they are independently managed by their own board of trustees.