Emerging Initiatives

Renewable Energy

SSP is working with rural women’s collectives to improve community health by making efficient, eco-friendly products available in areas where they are least accessible. 

Through Sakhi Retail marginalized rural women are learning the entrepreneurial skills to retail and distribute essential products in their local markets.  Smokeless stoves, biomass fuel pellets, solar water heaters and lighting, water purifiers and low-energy refrigerators are among the sustainable products they retail.  The initiative, developed in partnership with Godrej, Honeywell, Hindustan Unilver, First Energy, D.Light, Tata Sky, and Villgro, among other companies, succeeds in:

• Reducing indoor air pollution

• Enhancing energy conservation

• Building community-wide environmental health

Awareness

• Increasing sakhi women’s family revenues

• Reduces family monthly spending on essential items  

Agriculture & Food Security

Environmental crises, crop depletion, and rising fertilizer, pesticide and food costs wreak havoc on rural people’s food intake and security. 

Working through SSP-mobilized Self Help Groups in Nanded, Osmanabad and Washim districts in Maharashtra state, more than 600 women spearheaded vegetable production activities in their communities.  Collectively purchasing seeds and fertilizers; tapping into seed banks, and learning organic farming methods, the rural women’s collectives succeeded in meeting the nutritional needs of 6,000 rural people, aas well as increasing their average individual incomes by 30%.

In addition, these grassroots initiatives succeeded in

• increasing women’s technical agricultural knowledge, particularly with chemical-free techniques

• implementing seasonal and alternate crop cultivation

• creating new rural markets for organic vegetables

• building grassroots women’s business know-how and access to markets

• diversifying women’s means of livelihood, thus reducing their economic vulnerability

• honing rural women’s ability to advocate on local issues and increasing their communal influence

SSP plans to scale up vegetable production initiatives to reach 10,000 grassroots women between 2010-2012.