The central vision of the Kishori Express is the health improvement of adolescent girls (would-be mothers) through regular medical check-up, hemoglobin check-up, awareness creation and nutrition supplementation. It attempts to enhance female adolescent health by targeting anaemia-control through timely detection and rectification. This programme has been implemented to meet MDG – 3, 4 and 5 which aims to reduce maternal mortality rate (MMR) and infant mortality rate (IMR) and the occurrence of anaemia among adolescent girls. The stakeholders of the programme are National Rural Health Mission, Integrated Child Development Programme and Zilla Swasthya Samiti.
Aparajita, a mason training programme, is transforming rural India through village-based masonry training for vulnerable women. It is entailing holistic development in technical and life skills, resulting in the formation of a women’s cooperative poised to take on masonry contracts needed to improve the quality of life of rural communities. The project aims to empower women and change mindsets about women being skilled masons for social and economic change.
The aim of the Swawlamban project is to improve the livelihood of rural women by proper utilisation of available resources, up-gradation of existing skills and marketing support to sell the products. The objective is to identify, motivate, plan and implement income generation activities to ensure sustainable livelihood opportunity of the members involved in income generation activities. Activities such as livestock rearing, rural art and craft, food processing, candle making, bread factory, vermi composting, soft toys manufacture, paper plate making etc. are supported. Marketing linkage is also facilitated.
Vatsalaya is a unique project which aims to create awareness on health related issues among the community women to ensure safe motherhood through strengthening of the existing health services. The programme covers holistic health and sanitation issues and simultaneously mobilises community on their rights. It aims to reduce MMR and IMR including malnutrition through different ANC, PNC related awareness and services. Population stabilisation is also in its agenda. As a result, institutional delivery have significantly increased in the areas of the Comapny's operation, acceptance of contraceptive use has also increased. To ensure first-aid services in villages ‘Vatsalaya Kendra’ have been established, which are working as health resource centre for the village.
Odifab is a platform that showcases the diversified jute products manufactured by the rural women of the villages. The initiative is a way of pursuing profit alongside a social goal. Jute is a natural fibre- the golden fibre that is 100 % bio-degradable and abundantly available. It is also one of the cheapest and the strongest of all natural fibres. Apart from being a major textile element, it has also come to be the basic raw material for several non-traditional and value added products. Set-up almost two years ago, Odifab is now already a registered trademark and is undoubtedly one of the most sought-after livelihood options amongst young women residing in the nearby villages. A 10-member self-help group is engaged in the manufacture of various kinds of jute accessories. This initiative is also a part of the company's zero-polythene drive targeted at generating environmental consciousness amongst the community within as well as outside. The self-help group has been receiving a steady flow of orders for office and home accessories.
Agarbatti rolling activity in the rural areas has proved to be a micro-enterprise and a household activity. The rolling of agarbatti is done either manually, i.e. hand rolling or through pedal operated rolling machines. Further, the trade tie-up between ORMAS and ITC for organised marketing of Agarbatti since 2009 has strengthened this initiative. This project was launched under PPP mode with the support infrastructure support from JSPL, capacity building support from ORMAS and marketing support from ITC. Through this initiative, the employment opportunity for unskilled and semi-skilled rural women has increased and it has created a comfortable working condition which further enhanced their productivity.
Eco-Spa is an innovative initiative in the direction of sustainable livelihood and micro-enterprise promotion where women from local villages bring together locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs to produce high-quality herbal body care products for the urban and affluent market. The Eco-Spa rural women SHG initiative promotes wide spread socio-economic development, takes care of environment, emphasises responsible consumption, nurtures nature, promotes organic agriculture thus strengthening the traditional knowledge systems. Backyard herbal gardens are developed where women grow the aloe-vera, hibiscus, rose and basil to supply the raw materials. The group has a functional bank account in their name. The company provides market linkages with the urban market such as high-end designer stores, boutique hotels and brands dealing with organic products. All products at Eco-Spa are hand-crafted and involve minimal use of machines.
The need for low-cost good quality hygienic napkins propelled the setting up of Sshodashi, the sanitary napkin manufacture-cum-training unit. With technical inputs from the inventor and patent-owner who was awarded the National Award, this low cost sanitary napkins training cum production center was launched. The low cost sanitary napkin manufactured under the name of ‘Sshodashi’ brings in a sea-change in a young girls’ life and carries a long-lasting impact. The access to better menstrual hygiene brings along a sense of independence and convenience that has a direct correlation with young girls being able to complete school education and move on to colleges for higher studies. As a cascading effect, women attain motherhood at an age that is medically safe and healthy for her and the child to be born.
Though the peripheral villages have good vegetable growers, the possibilities of exploring food processing through the manufacture of pickles hadn’t taken a cogent form. The company noticed that several women self-help groups were keen on taking up food processing as an alternative means of livelihood and this gave birth to Chaiti. This food preservation unit has been functional over a year now. The fruits and vegetables used as ingredients in pickles, sauces, squashes and other canned products are grown by the village folk in their backyards and freshly picked before being processed. The women self-help groups engaged at Chaiti have received positive response while displaying and marketing their products at the state and district level exhibitions, haat and fairs. Chaiti is now a registered brand.
Based on the interest of villagers, the company decided to go for stitching-as one of the component for livelihood. This gave rise to setting up of Srujan- stitching & tailoring unit. The objective of this centre is to bring in positive outlook and promote income generation among the rural women of peripheral villages so that they can lead economically and socially productive life. The company identified the potential self-help groups and provided 6 months training to the participants. The initial financial assistance and hand-holding support was provided by JSPL in collaboration with Jan Shikshan Sansthan.
Akriti is a centre to produce hand made products by the women of adopted villages. The centre is established to involve multi-skilled women in meaningful activity from where a range of products could be produced and marketed. The centre also acts as a handmade products experimentation unit where with the technical support from the consultants, new products would be designed, manufactured and sold.