Panapuram, India 2012-2014
In collaboration with Hand in Hand, a non-profit organisation, we have supported the Indian village Panapuram over a two year period. We have helped to take the village out of extreme poverty.
The program targeted women, teaching them how to read, count and money management through self-help groups. They get experience of saving, lending and repaying money through the provision of microloans. So far, a total of 158 microloans have been distributed (1 microloan is equivalent to 110 EUR, which can provide a cow, five goats or a pedal sewing machine). They have been offered additional studies in how to start their own businesses, such as: tailoring, saree manufacturing and cooking.
Investment for the future
A shining example of women’s entrepreneurship is the woman who bought a cow through a microloan. The cow produces six litres of milk a day on which the woman earns 12kr per day, while she also retains 0.5 cups of milk for her family.
Hand in Hand has set-up a training facility in Panapuram where 30 women will have 60 days to learn how to sew. Initially, old “tramp machines” are used, but these will gradually be replaced with powered machinery. Hand in Hand provides loan equipment, teachers and materials, while the village is responsible for the provision of electricity.
Schools & Kindergarten
A total of 240 children are living in the village. There are now three schools in the village and a kindergarten. Hand in Hand has also started an evening school for children who need extra support. The work has resulted in 17 children leaving child labour for school.
More results of the first year’s work
Of the village’s 3,600 residents, 510 have attended computer training.
It is planned that over 1,200 trees will be planted.
A well has been dug and a pump system installed to provide better access to clean water in the village.
A medical facility has been opened and 279 people have received medical treatment.
Training sessions in health, sanitation, waste disposal and food handling have been held.
In addition, the village has implemented a comprehensive veterinary program: a total of 1221 animals were examined by a veterinarian.
Results after two years of work in the village
Entrepreneurship Training for Women
The program was targeted towards women, to teach them how to read, count and manage economic issues through self-help groups. They get the chance to practice saving, borrowing and lending money. A total of 158 microloans have so far been distributed (1 microloan is equivalent to 110 EUR, which can provide a cow, five goats, or a pedal sewing machine). The women have also been offered additional courses in how to start their own businesses, such as: tailoring, sari manufacturing and cooking. The village has 24 women who have learned how to make chutney, using locally grown vegetables and turmeric, which they then sell on the market and thus provides an income.
Children and Education
We have established three kindergartens and three schools in the village. We have worked actively for the children to go to school instead of working. This has led to the village being designated as a “Child Friendly Panchayat”, a village that looks after the best interests of the children. It feels absolutely amazing that 17 children have gone from work to school! An evening school has been formed which caters for different skill levels so that all children can benefit. A 17-year-old boy has been admitted to medical school, a unique event for a village like this!
Medical staff have visited Panapuram on 5 occasions and 798 people have been treated, of which 105 children have received care from pediatricians. There have been 17 women cured of anaemia and 1215 people have been trained in hygiene and health. Additionally 25 toilets have been built, of which 12 of them are bio-gas toilets. Lavatories change lives, women in particular have benefitted as previously they would have had to deficate and urinate at night, in the dark, for privacy. Occupational pans were distributed and several kitchen gardens have been built. Even veterinarians have visited the area and tended 2,184 animals.
The entire village has been cleaned of waste on several occasions and 20 training sessions in environmental studies have been conducted. To provide shade for the playground and prevent soil erosion, 1210 trees have been planted. Partex has donated two water cleaning units to the school and deployed two water tanks holding 2000 litres each providing clean water to 135 households. We have also built a gate to keep the school children on the farm. Thanks to Hand in Hand the follow-up work after our two-year period will continue for another two years.
We have started a civic center and bought a computer and then focused on computer literacy: 647 people have participated, 24 people can now pay their bills over the internet, instead of carrying a lot of money on the bus trip to the bank.