Gender issues & Women's empowerment
Project name Samashakthi
Target Population Underprivileged Women
Location Kunigal taluka, Tumkur district, Karnataka, India
Funding (Project Status) NORAD, Royal Norwegian Embassy (2002 – 2007)
Description & Outcome This “Gender Equity and Women Empowerment” project facilitated women’s empowerment through building their economic independence. The key strategies of the project were the formation of: • Women ‘Sanghas’ • Self Help Groups (SHGs). The Sanghas facilitated the education of women on available opportunities, empowering them with raised confidence and self esteem. Other Sangha activities included periodic ‘shramadhana’ (community service) programs motivating the villagers to participate in activities leading to village cleanliness. The Sanghas also conducted community education programs especially reaching out to women and adolescents. Topics dealt with included promotion of girl-child education, health and hygiene awareness, education on ill effects of alcoholism, eradication of child labour and environment preservation. HIV/AIDS and sexual health awareness programs comprising condom education, demonstration and distribution, education on STDs, Reproductive Tract Infections and personal hygiene were also often conducted by the Women Sanghas at the Gram Panchayat and Taluka Panchayat’s meetings. The SHGs used an internal lending facility to disburse loans for income generating economic activities to more than 300 women members. These were used for starting small economic activities related to cattle rearing, grocery shops, petty shops, cloth shops, tailoring, auto-rickshaws, agriculture and saw mill operations. The project reached out to over 2145 women in 35 villages of Kunigal taluka and led to the formation of 50 SHGs. A creditable outcome was that all the 300 loans disbursed by the SHGs were repaid without a single default even on the interest instalments!

Project name Shakthi
Target Population Young people
Location Bangalore, Mysore, Raichur, Dharwad districts in Karnataka, India
Funding (Project Status) ‘Breakthrough’, New Delhi . (Ongoing project)
Description & Outcome This ongoing programme t provides advocacy on Gender Rights. It aims at building the Gender Rights perspective of young people. In 2006, CARDTS was identified as the Karnataka state partner by “Breakthrough” (New Delhi office). The strategy was to train the CARDTS team of Master Trainers, who would cascade their Gender Rights education module to build the capacity of young people. The implementation plan included an annual target of 15 - 25 trainings, for an optimal number of 25 participants. Post training each participant formulated an outreach action plan the outcome of which was reviewed after 6 months. In the period 2006-2008, CARDTS built the capacities of 300 youth Peer Educators, including young sex workers, identified for the UNICEF supported Young Peoples Initiatives. Since 2009 the recipients of this training are 3000 youth identified by the Link Workers of the KHPT supported rural intervention project “Sparsha” and the UNICEF led “Comprehensive District HIV Programme”.