The mission for abolishing poverty in Municipal Areas (MEPMA) is conducting awareness sessions for urban self-help groups (SHGs) on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mission director V. Vijay Lakshmi, who started the online sessions, said around 2.26 lakh SHG women were covered in the last four days. The online training sessions aim at teaching women the need for mental well-being, immunity boost-up, healthy eating habits, and yoga and meditation to be practiced. She said 18 lakh SHG women would be enclosed under the education drive.
The outburst of the coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown has caused great damage, especially the economically poorer sections who are facing an acute crisis. A surge in economic, social, and mental issues is reported with the rising number of positive cases.
Through these digital sessions, MEPMA is trying to notify these women not to lose heart and hope and chase the basic rules needed to navigate through this difficult phase.
Around 6,000 SHG women and their families from five districts are being sensitized in four sessions for each district in a day. A team of 30 resource persons has been roped in for the program.
IT’S QUITE HELPFUL
Ms. Vijaya Lakshmi said ”we are going through stressful times and these sessions would help these women stay mentally strong.”
Lakshmi Devi, a member of Leela Sundarayya SHG in Anantapur district also added ”I had many doubts regarding the pandemic. Many versions were doing the rounds relating to buying of vegetables and groceries and even doing the daily chores. But after taking part in this session, I know what to do and what not to”.
D, Bharathi of USHA SHG from Kurnool district said the sessions have furnished her with key aspects of the pandemic. She is now conscious of the right use of masks, hand hygiene, and the significance of physical exercises like yoga, meditation, or breathing techniques.
The SHGs are excellent entry points for organizing and bringing the poor together to take care of their development by themselves. However, there is a need for a more in-depth analysis of the SHGs in India to ascertain whether the increase in women’s access to credit has had similar negative impacts on increasing their susceptibility to violence within the family. In-depth, gender studies need to be conducted to ascertain whether there is an undercurrent of resentment among men as a result of the great importance being given to women in the formation of SHGs and their better access to credit.