Action Oriented Activities

Ashta No Kai’s action-oriented programme has been implemented since October 1998 in 10 villages of Shirur Taluka in Pune District of Maharashtra State, on the western coast of India. The target area drought prone villages and hamlets the project covers are located at distances of 45 to 70 kms from Pune with an approximate population of 15,000. The villages, in sharp contrast to the developed industrialized cities on their fringes, are agrarian, economically marginalized, and lack basic infrastructure, such as adequate and clean water supply, electricity, basic health care facilities, and transportable roads.

As in other parts of the country, the status of women in Shirur Taluka too is low. Poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, social traditions, superstitions and political pressures still continue to hamper women’s progress and improvement in the quality of their lives. A survey conducted by ANK in the project area villages in 1998 indicates that there is a high level of illiteracy among women as compared with men. Women suffer from a lack of opportunities due to village traditions and superstitions. In addition, most villages lack skill or vocational training facilities as well as job opportunities for them.

ANK is attempting to upgrade the living conditions of rural women by providing inputs in four major need based areas: Literacy, Health, Development and Economic Empowerment to make a better tomorrow for the women of these villages.