The entire Perambalur district is a dry, inland area and classified as one of the most backward districts. Educational and skill levels were low. Most were landless labourers. In Thenur and surrounding villages, except for farming related works, there were very little other choices of employment. No woman was engaged in another profession. In addition, women were paid half of what the men force. The type of employment available was also decided by the caste structure. A good number of people migrated to near by towns for low skill work force.
We did 2 things simultaneously – train young people from the community on a variety of fields to become the Payir team and in the process achieving its goals – community health animators, teachers, alternate construction techniques, stabilized mud block making, organic farming, cooperative cattle farm. Secondly, by training people in few new enterprises like sequencing, BPO, uniform stitching, bag making, food products and so on.
The next important push towards sustainability was using as much of local material so that cash flows improved local economy.
We focused on facilitating opportunities to the deprived section of the population and in the process be as domain experts and team leads. Also, focus was on young mothers so as to increase the choices and opportunities for their children.
- Bootstrapped 10 rural enterprises, providing direct employment to 120 people and indirect employment to 500 people
- Income levels of families have significantly improved, leading to better lifestyles
- Local economy improved and migration has reduced
- Women are more confident and empowered; Wage gap has reduced