While migrants struggle to access a secure and dignified livelihood in cities, the families they leave behind - the women, the elderly and the children - also lead vulnerable lives. Women from migrant households bear triple burden of caring for children and elderly, managing the household chores and keeping household finances afloat. The families of migrants are known to lose access to government schemes both for lack of information and their inability to assert their entitlements suitably.
Aajeevika Bureau has initiated the Family Empowerment Programme (FEP) to build capacities and leadership among women of migrant households by organizing them into solidarity groups (Ujala Samooh). These groups are led by a cadre of women volunteers (Ujala Kiran) who are trained and skilled in organising women and reaching them relevant information and services.
FEP helps in linking women's groups to community institutions, Panchayati raj bodies and block/district level entitlements from the government. The focus of the programme is on (a) enabling employment guarantee through linkages with MGNREGS, (b) creating better food security by improving PDS delivery, and (c) improving access to institutional health care and health benefits such as RSBY, JSY and more.
The program seeks to build local capacities in ways that puts women at the forefront of demand-making on the public system. It also strives to make our local institutions become more sensitive to the unique demands of rural women confronted with male absence.