Women Empowerment

Examples of women’s empowerment programs designed by BCT:

  • Thrift groups
  • Adda leaf stitching
  • Nursery raising
  • Papad making
  • Screen printing
  • Dairying and animal husbandry
  • Tape weaving
  • Poultry keeping
  • Training of paravets, paramedics, and village animators
  • Elkoppaka toy making

Catalyst of Change

1980 was a landmark year. This was when BCT started working with the village women realising that they had the potential to become agents of change.
While there has been a noteworthy upsurge in studies of women in developing countries and attempts to organise development programmes aimed at women at the national level, there is no getting away from the depressing truth that government sponsored developmental activities have done little to benefit the mass of poor women, particularly in rural areas. A U.N. report observes, “while women represent half of the world’s adult population and a third of the official labour force, they toil for nearly two-thirds of all working hours, receive only a tenth of world income and own less than one percent of world property.”

Women are effective as tools of developmental change — this is now an established tenet, and non-governmental organisations all over the world have recognised it. However, in the seventies when BCT began working in the villages, women were considered irrelevant, their role confined to house-keeping and child bearing. In some villages like Marripalem, they were literally confined to their homes. As for the very poor, landless women, they were not worth considering at all.
Who would have thought that such women, barely able to eke out a living, could have money? It was with these women that BCT began its thrift programme.
(Excerpt from Smt. Asha Nori’s article “Bhagavatula Charitable Trust in Retrospect” in BCT’s 2003 Souvenir Book)