Two major initiatives taken by P.R.I.D.E. INDIA with regard to the empowerment of women are the formation of various Self-Help Groups (SHG’s) and the initiation of the Vipula Credit Co-operative Society.
Since the financial services of the formal banking system have traditionally remained inaccessible to a majority of the poorer sections of the rural population, especially women, an initiative was made by P.R.I.D.E. INDIA to initiate a women's cooperative on the principle of mutual help. However, its success was limited as the operational area was in selected pockets only due to limited resources. Against this background, to meet the credit needs of rural women from the operational areas, P.R.I.D.E. INDIA initiated the creation of Self-Help Groups.
The following are the core principles that apply to all P.R.I.D.E.'s micro-finance programs
- Serve the poorest clients, with a focus on women
- Promote solidarity and group guarantees
- Savings Mobilization
- Support capacity building/training
- Increase productive assets
- Ensure a child-focused perspective
- Promote culturally appropriate program approaches
- Plan for sustainability
As of today, P.R.I.D.E. has 840 SHG’s, and the Vipula Credit Co-operative has a total of 2683 members. 13824 women have availed of the benefits of programs for the empowerment of women. P.R.I.D.E. has also been running an integrated development program for adolescent girls to impart non-formal education and vocational training to them. One of the major objectives of the program is to familiarize adolescent girls with knowledge about diverse but interrelated areas such as governance, public services, sanitation, child care etc. that will make them confident and enable them to become economically and socially independent in life.
Save Our Sisters (SOS)
Save Our Sisters (SOS) is a joint initiative of PRIDE India and Save the Children India that works to prevent the trafficking of young girls and women for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation.
The Sahas Kendra Livelihood Programme for victims of trafficking is a way for these women to get their lives back on track through non-formal literacy, life skills education, and counselling.
The program also provides vocational training to provide employment and income generating opportunities to young school dropout girls. When the rehabilitation is complete, most women are repatriated to their hometowns.