Believing that children are future agents of change, Shri Bhuvneshwari Mahila Ashram (SBMA) works with the families and communities the children live in, towards adopting a holistic approach to realize overall progress and development. That also includes building and growing cooperatives which provide income to the parents. Women on Wings and SBMA started partnering in bringing some of these enterprises to the next level so more employment opportunities are being created.
Cooperatives turn enterprises
Of the 16 cooperatives, some have graduated to business enterprises. SBMA and Women on Wings will collaborate in growing three of these business enterprises, which at the start of the partnership are associated with 1,472 women farmers. Last June a team of Women on Wings worked with SBMA’s team on its business strategy and roadmap. The first enterprise to work with is Unnati Cooperative which currently works with 600 farmers, 50% of which are women. Its products are fresh fruits, vegetables and processed foods such as jam, chutney, pickle, juice etc. which are being sold under the brand name `Unnati’. Farms and therefore products are mainly organic. Unnati Cooperative plans to market its products to the city and for that Women on Wings will immediately support in building Unnati Cooperative’s social media, followed by support in branding & communications and improving its supply chain management.
Growing farmers’ cooperatives
SBMA is currently working in more than 2,400 villages in 7 districts of Uttarakhand state. Among the many programs it runs in which children are involved, SBMA also works on food security, agriculture-based livelihood promotion and gender empowerment. It is engaged with more than 10,000 farmers through 500+ farmer’s producer groups, 600+ micro finance groups and 16 cooperatives. SBMA helps in the development of the farmers’ skills and capacities.
Picture: Children’s Literacy Festival 2018 – event for children organized by SBMA and Plan India