Rural Women Empowerment Programs

Women in rural areas have to do with more than poverty. They also have to deal with their voices silenced, rights denied and opportunities curtailed.  Shamayita Math seeks out a solution to this state by creating groups of women in villages bonded by a common way of earning their livelihood. Being in a group gives them the collective strength of the group to change their destiny.

The Math has identified several channels for rural women to upgrade their skills and earn their livelihood.

During the year 2011-12 - Shamayita Math assisted 64 SHGs across 36 villages - linking them to livelihood development activities:

a)      Mushroom Cultivation: 88 families

b)      Goat rearing: 111 families

c)       Puffed rice making: 14 families

d)      Vermicompost: 39 families

The range of activities undertaken as a part of the above program included:

Mushroom cultivation:

·         Nurturing SHGs and individual production units for scientific management of production unit.

·         Establishing Spawn Production Unit in the premises of Shamayita Math for regular supply of spawn.

·         Development of activity cluster (functioning as producer’s groups) having SHGs as members of the cluster.

·         Establishing collection centre.

·         Identifying village entrepreneurs for marketing and management of collection centre.

·         Developing business strategy for the production cluster.

Animal Husbandry (Goat rearing):

·         Regular Vaccination and De-worming of goats. Total 878 goat were treated from 111 families.

·         Promotion of low cost goat shed for the animal.

·         Training on goat rearing practices and basic treatment to the leaders of SHGs involved in goat rearing.

Puffed rice making (Muri):

·         2 SHGs comprising with 14 families covered under this income generation activity

·         Establishment of 2 Low cost domestic puffed rice making machine (from IIT Kharagpur) in two SHGs.

·         Providing training and exposure to the beneficiaries.

·         Handholding support for production, packaging and marketing through regular meetings.


·         39 families from 5 SHGs were involved in production of vermicompost and marketing of vermicompost.

·         Compost is sold to the farmers involved in organic farming from Gangajalghati block, Bankura II block resulting in enhancement of income at family level. 

In additon - The Math trains Village women in the following areas and provides employment-

For Self Employment – the Math develops the Village SHG (Self Help Group) as the Microcredit institution. This helps in making the entire process of lending – from identifying potential borrowers, their credit appraisal, making stage wise disbursements, verification of progress and collection of repayments – more robust and manageable.

The success of this model has encouraged many menfolk to join hands with the women in some of these enterprises.

This model has enabled different types of rural enterprises like –

Making and selling Belmala (A type of garland)

Brick repairing

Woolen cloths

Puffed rice business

Cow rearing

Paddy business

Goat rearing

Cloth business

Stationary shop

Leaf plate making


Grocery shop



Retail shop

Vegetable business

Decorator business


House repairing

Furniture making



Self Help Group Discussion

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Members documenting accountsmicrocredit pics 004

Another SHG meetingDSCN0308

Here are some images of Women Entrepreneurship in rural villages:

Women preparing Belmala

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Woman selling puffed rice

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Woman rearing Goats:

Babita Gorai