Mahila Vikas Samooh” – Woman Development Group – in Bawana, New Delhi

“Mahila Vikas Samooh” is one of our woman producer group and based in Bawana, a census town in North West district of Delhi.

The colony has been developed by Slum and JJ Department of MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) in 2004. Most of the inhabitants in the area are migrants from Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, and Orissa and used to live in urban slum areas of Delhi, like Darya ganj, Pitam pura and Yamuna Pusta. Due to the government polices the slums were demolished and regarding to a relocation of the people, 18 yards of land were given to each slum dweller in the out skirt of the city.

The density of the population is largely dominated by economically marginalized Muslims. Earlier the male folk were mainly involved in factory labour, rickshaw pulling, fruit & vegetable selling or construction labour activities. Most of the woman worked for contractors within the craft and textile industry. Nevertheless when they were sent away from the city, the life became more challenging, as consequently many people lost their jobs. The circumstances of living can be seen as very difficult.

In response to the condition of the people, Tara Projects initiated a livelihood generation programme, a tailoring center for the young women in the community and a free tuition centre for the unprivileged children there.

“Mahila Vikas Samooh” was formed in 2008 as a “Woman Development Group”. According to the meaning of the word the woman are working collectively to earn their livelihood through making artificial jewellery. Over time the organization provided further training in designing to improve the skills of the artisans and therefore the quality of the products. Initially the group was started with seven women. Nowadays it has been reached to nineteen women, which working jointly in the direction of economic empowerment.

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Today the women of the group are more aware and economically better off than before. They are earning more than 6000/- in a month and be provided with a medical insurance. In addition the formed a Self Help Group (SHG) and are continuously able to save INR 200/- per person every month.

Ms. Rukhsana says “We are happy and more confident today. Fair Trade has helped us to become empowered and independent. We are able to support our families”.