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BIJLI SAKHI, PASHU SAKHI, AAJEEVIKA SAKHI - THE STORY OF CHANGE IN THE LIVES OF UTTAR PRADESH'S RURAL WOMEN

by Juhi Tripathi

Date & Time: Apr 14, 2022 10:00 AM

Read Time: 2 minute


Rural women in Uttar Pradesh have more job choices than just producing pickles and papads. They now collect and deposit electricity bills from houses, run eateries, manufacture incense sticks, and sew sanitary pads. The Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission is training these women from self-help groups.
Rajrani is collecting power bills by visiting every home in the village, allowing locals to avoid standing in large lines for hours to pay their bills. He now has a new identity as a result of his efforts. 'Vidyut Sakhi,' as he is lovingly known, is his nickname. Rajrani, who has been suffering from polio since the age of seven, is grateful to be alive today at the age of 38.
"Now the locals do not have to stand in long lines for hours," Rajrani said. I go to the electrical department and deposit their bills, for which I am paid." "Earlier, I used to solely do only, chulha chowka," she she said while smiling. Whatever I make now goes toward providing a good education for my children. Aside from that, I'll have to look for financial help from my husband ."

Getting commission of Rs 12 in each bill

Rajrani, a resident of Narera Gram Panchayat in Uttar Pradesh's Lucknow area, is paid Rs 12 each bill. She can make up to Rs 10,000 each month through this. Rajrani remarked, "I'd like to tell Divyang women like myself that they should never be offended by what others say. Their lives, like me, can change."

Training for rural women

In conjunction with the Transform Rural India Foundation, a grassroots organisation, the Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission (UPSRLM) under the Ministry of Rural Development empowers self-help group women in villages by providing them with job options of their choice. In Lucknow, at least 75,000 families are being benefited by joining 7,000 self-help groups in 494 gram panchayats of the district.

Vidyut Sakhi: a huge cadre of rural women

In Lucknow's Gram Panchayats, 196 women work as Vidyut Sakhis, similar to Rajrani. Women are being taught to prepare multigrain flour, dry ration for children and women at Anganwadi centres, papad, pickles, candles, solar lights, and incense sticks in order to expand their employment options. More or less all these are used in homes.
The focus has been on strengthening 284 Cluster Level Forums (CLFs) of women in 78 blocks of 39 districts of Uttar Pradesh including Lucknow, Unnao, Kannauj, Lakhimpur Kheri, Barabanki.

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