Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan KMVS

Linked with Parmaben Sava – India.

The KMVS has not its own website, but is mentionned on some others, like:

The Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan is an organisation of rural women from the arid border villages of Kutch district, Gujarat. KMVS has 4000 members out of which 1200 are traditional craftswomen, organised and operating as producer groups. Together they design, innovate, produce and market – as entrepreneur-artisans, not lowly paid piece rate workers. They function as self managed production units, accessing cred, raw materials and direct buyers. Together they strive to attain some control over their lives. Their aims are:
1. To form rural women’s organisations in Kutch, with emphasis on social, political, exploitation and inequality issues, so that they can become self-reliant;
2. To take up much activities that help develop skills through which they develop society.
Working Languages: Gujarati, English.
Craft: Embroidered garments, table sets. (full text).

KMVS thereby evolved into an organization with myriad activities designed for empowerment such as looking at handicrafts, credit and savings, health, education, natural resources management and capacity building of mahila sarpanches. In the process it has gone through several restructuring exercises with the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust (SDTT) playing a major role in the process of decentralization – helping the mahila mandals at the village levels to grow into taluka-level sangathans (federation of mahila mandals) that are now registered as independent bodies. SDTT bears the administrative costs and funds the staff of the sangathans that have established their own specific identity and capacity to work on issues of gender transformation. (full text).

KMVS was founded in 1989 with the overall aim of empowering women to increase their sustainable income. They support a variety of programmes which encourage village and tribal unity with particular emphasis on women becoming more involved in the social and political arenas. Their projects include setting up local radio stations which help in education for many illiterate villagers to ensuring water supply to drought prone areas and environmental management. Today there are over 4000 members, with at least 1200 being traditional artisans. (full text).

Thanks to their sustained efforts, these women have helped each other, their families and their communities extricate themselves from a vicious downward spiral of commercial exploitation by middlemen and traders, being forced to become daily or piece-work laborers — some even abandoning their traditional occupations. (full text).

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