Specifically designed for women from economically weaker sections of rural communities, ITC’s Women’s Empowerment Programme aims to provide them with sustainable economic livelihood opportunities through financial assistance as well as skills training. Women are motivated to form micro-credit self-help groups so that they can build up small savings, finance self-employment and micro-enterprises.
ITC is also working towards making agriculture more inclusive by enabling marginal women farmers to enhance their knowledge and skills in modern agricultural practices. Farmer field schools exclusively for women agriculturalists cover a wide range of best practices, such as improved seeds and balanced application of fertilisers, as well as techniques for scientific land use and water conservation. Assisted by ITC, women’s self-help groups have recently started farm mechanisation equipment hire centres and tree sapling nurseries. Acting collectively, women have also formed solid waste management groups that undertake door-to-door garbage collection, segregation of waste as well as making and selling organic manure. These small ventures have the potential to grow into successful and profitable independent enterprises in the future.
One of ITC’s interventions targets ultra-poor women with the objective of mainstreaming them socio-economically over a period of time. ITC assists these women with productive income generating assets, supported with intensive handholding, counseling, on-job assistance, training and local level facilitation with the objective of bringing them into the financial mainstream. Over 18,800 ultra poor women have benefitted till date.
Enabling women to earn independent incomes has a positive impact on their families and communities as it is spent largely on their children’s education, health and nutrition and is a powerful catalyst for gender development and supporting social inclusion.
ITC has helped create sustainable livelihoods for over 59,000 rural women either through micro-enterprises or assistance with loans to pursue income generating activities.