2nd Feb 2018
For her exceptional work in the field of climate community resilience, Godavari Dange of SSP received the Rama Govinda National Award 2018 on January 28. Godavari is a pioneer in the field of climate resilient agriculture, which promotes SSP's one-acre model of farming. She is the Secretary of Sakhi Federation in Maharashtra, and also the Director of Vijaya Sakhi Women-led Farmer Producer Company Osmanabad, Maharashtra, India.
Godavari has been instrumental in disbursing funds worth more than Rs. 2.4 crores for food security, sustainable agriculture, water conservation, environment innovations and women-led enterprise towards building greater leadership of grassroots women.
Godavari's achievements bear greater significance in the light of her past, a life forged in hardship. Hailing from a small village in one of the most climate-threatened regions in Maharashtra, India, Godavari spent her childhood guided by social norms. She stopped her education after standard VII and never left the house unaccompanied. She was married at the age of 15, and by the time she was in her early 20s, Godavari had become a mother of two and a widow.
For a year, her intense grief left her with no strength to leave her bed, and no desire to keep living.
Godavari's recovery was slow, but once she made a come back to life, she was determined to be strong. Her journey began in 2000 when she joined an SSP self help group. She started to interact with other rural women and soon started to mobilize self help groups across the village and beyond. She gained insights into the financial, health, and agricultural challenges her community faced and was soon working towards their solutions. Within one year, Godavari founded the first women's federation to work on women's economic and leadership development. It currently has more than 5000 members.
After the severe drought in the Marathwada region in 2012-15, as a solution to combat the rampant crisis, Godavari mobilized more than 1000 women farmers to come together in collectives and grow vegetables and food crops to improve food security.
For a woman who can speak only her mother tongue fluently, Godavari has travelled to 16 countries for various global conferences and awards. In 2011, Godavari represented grassroots women’s networks in India at the UN-CSW in New York. She represented grassroots women leaders and farmers from SSP to receive the UNDP Equator Prize 2017 in New York in September. In 2012, Brazil, she showcased the critical role of grassroots women in sustainable development in Rio+20. Godavari was a panelist at the UNISDR, Geneva, 2013, to present the initiatives taken by rural women in times of drought.
Godavari participated in the third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan, 2015, and was the Global Ambassador to the UN in the IFAD and Huairou Commission on Rural Women in Sustainable Agriculture, a global initiative.
For over 2 decades, Godavari has been working in women's development. "Godavari and rural leaders like her inspire us every day to combat global challenges locally," says Prema Gopalan, Founder of SSP. "These ordinary women who lead change don't isolate themselves. Their strength is their collective."
"My association with SSP educated me, and transformed me from a grieving widow to an empowered leader," says Godavari. "It is your right to learn," she adds, "and it is your duty to teach others."
21st Sep 2017
29th Aug 2017
30th Jun 2017
27th Apr 2017
10th Mar 2017
SSP honored over 150 grassroots women leaders for their outstanding community initiatives on 8th March 2017 Women's Day and the week as part of our 1000 women strong gatherings ! Click here to read the news on these Sakhi Melavas http://aamhisakhi.sspindia.org
16th Nov 2016
SSP won the 2016 United Nations Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award (UNFCCC) for rural community leaders combating climate change in Morocco on November 16, 2016. Click here to read the booklet, profiling some of our exemplar Sakhis or women entrepreneurs who won it! download
23rd Sep 2016
The Economic Times 4th Annual Rural Strategy Summit was held on the 23rd of September in Mumbai. This is the most exclusive annual gathering of the leading stakeholders working across different industry sectors in the rural domain, coming together to discuss, deliberate and analyze the latest trends in the sector, in a disruptive an ever changing environment. Upmanyu Patil, Swayam Shikshan Prayog was a speaker at this event.
22nd Jul 2016
Swayam Shikshan Prayog has been selected as one of the key implementing partners under HSBC Skills For Life program. HSBC Skills for Life is a five-year INR 1 billion (£10 million) commitment by HSBC India that will support NGOs in India to provide employment and entrepreneurship-linked skills training for disadvantaged young people and focus on livelihood enhancement and financial education of women. SSP was selected as one of 16 partners to implement the program in Maharashtra from over 800 NGO's across across 28 states in India in July 2016. SSP will train over 350 adolescent girls in entrepreneurship and vocational skills in Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
5th Jul 2016
Ms. Prema Gopalan, a speaker on the panel Intern-linkages between Energy Transitions and Gender at the first India-Africa Women’s Forum to address how women's equal and active participation can be encouraged in various areas.
17th Jun 2016
Chennai played host to a panel discussion on ‘Crisis and Gender’, with experts in the field from across India interacting with the participants. The discussion followed the launch of the book ‘Women and Disasters in South Asia: Survival, Security and Development’.
7th Jun 2016
Learn about how SSP supported by Misereor Germany and Huairou Commission in partnership with thousands of women farmers mitigated the impact of drought in Maharashtra, India through this powerful photo essay by Atish Patel.
29th May 2016
Learn about the wPOWER program led by Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) supported by the US Department of State and USAID /India that's empowering rural women and helping to bring about a greener tomorrow.
6th May 2016
The Better India and TOI has featured our women leaders and highlighted SSP's efforts. Women in drought-hit Maharashtra prove they’re better farmers by bringing home the food and keeping suicides at bay.
3rd Nov 2015
The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation selected Ms. Prema Gopalan as one of the four finalists of the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2015.
16th Sep 2015
Osmanabad, Latur and Beed districts in Marathwada region of Maharashtra are facing the worst ever drought of the century. The Swayam Shikshan Prayog has empowered women as decision makers and changemakers in this situation.
9th Aug 2015
Prema Gopalan, Executive Director of SSP featured on Mint in an article- Empowering Rural Women to Provide Health Services where she speaks about the Arogya Sakhi Program of Swayam Shikshan Prayog which trains landless women to provide basic health services at affordable prices.
23rd Jul 2015
Swayam Shikshan Prayog was awarded the 6th mBillionth South Asia Award 2015 under the M-Health Category on July 23 2015, New Delhi, India. SSP received the award for its technology enabled project being implemented in partnership with Sofomo Embedded Solutions Pvt. Ltd for "Arogya Sakhi.
12th Jul 2015
ICIMOD invited Mr. Laxmikant Malvadkar as SSP representative to deliver flood preparedness training of trainers to Nepal organizations. The two days TOT and 3 days village meetings were conducted from 27th June to 5th July in TRIYUGA region at Gaighat of Nepal.
26th Jun 2015
The project aims to cover 150 women act as climate change leaders from Latur, Osmanabad and Nanded districts, Maharashtra and contribute with their community. The first round of Training held at Latur on 25-26th June, 2015 was participated by 17 women leaders.
25th Jun 2015
Ms. Prema Gopalan with the British High Commissioner and Hon Minister Maneka Gandhi at an event at Delhi to celebrate the launch of Young Women Social Entrepreneurship Development Program Phase II and the reception at his residence on June 25, 2015.
27th Jan 2014
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27th Jan 2014
Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) has won the Best Innovation: Social Entrepreneurship and Inclusive Business Models awarded by the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihoods Mission (MSRLM) at the Maharashtra Rural Livelihoods Innovation Forum (MRLIF) on 27th January, 2014. MSRLM through the MRLIF aims at partnering with organizations that go beyond income generation activities and employment programs to include capacity building, financial inclusion, social mobilization and marketing services which are important elements of livelihoods enhancement.
MRLIF is a forum which recognizes such innovations in areas of social and financial inclusion, livelihood and sub sectors, social entrepreneurship and inclusive business models. The award was presented to the Founder and Director of SSP, Ms. Prema Gopalan by eminent dignitary, Shri Jairam Ramesh, Honorable Minister for Rural Development. SSP was selected as the finalist amongst 38 finalists shortlisted from over 400 applications in Maharashtra. SSP shall partner with MSRLM to scale up its impact in Maharashtra by employing a co-creation model for the BoP that allows rural women entrepreneurs to directly collaborate with private corporations through our recently established Clean Energy Hub -an innovative platform designed to provide a one-stop-shop to the private sector for accessing the rural market and significantly improve clean energy access through the network of Sakhis.
Swayam Shikshan Prayog (SSP) has won the Best Innovation: Rural Energy Sector awarded by the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS) at the Bihar Innovation Forum (BIF) on 31st January, 2014. The Bihar Innovation Forum is an initiative of the Government of Bihar supported by the World Bank and implemented by the Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS) in collaboration with the State Innovation Council. SSP was one of the 67 finalists shortlisted from 2000 applications received on a Pan India basis. The award was presented to the Program Director of wPOWER project in SSP, Mr. Upmanyu Patil and the Team Leader of Entrepreneurship Training Program, Mr. Laxmikant Malvadkar by eminent dignitary, Shri.Nitish Kumar, Honorable Chief Minister, Bihar. The Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society shall partner with the winners to replicate and scale up their innovation in Bihar by facilitating access to Human Resources, Investments and Credit, Economic Capital and Last Mile Delivery Support. SSP seeks to partner with BRLPS and other private and public corporations in Bihar to employ a co-creation model for the BoP that allows rural women entrepreneurs to directly collaborate with private corporations through our recently established Clean Energy Hub -an innovative platform designed to provide a one-stop-shop to the private sector for accessing the rural market and significantly improve clean energy access through the network of Sakhis.
Kamal Kumbhar, a serial entrepreneur from SSP received `Women Transforming India Awards 2017' from Wing Commander Pooja Thakur at the Award Ceremony held on 29th August, 2017 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The award was launched by NITI Aayog, in partnership with United Nations in India and MyGov.
Prema Gopalan, Founder and Executive Director of Swayam Shikshan Prayog India has been awarded Women Change Makers Fellowship 2017 by the Womanity Foundation. The WCM Fellowship aims to identify, support and connect leading social entrepreneurs, who are addressing women’s access to education, healthcare as well as economic and political participation.
Kamal Kumbhar from Swayam Shikshan Prayog India is being felicitated by Government of Maharashtra at Maharashtra Sadan, New Delhi on August 29, 2017 @micnewdelhi
It is the only Indian organization to win the award, making the cut from more than 800 nominations across 120 countries.
The aim was to empower the women in a way that they are able to manage the available natural resources and achieve food and income security through agriculture.
SBN Maharashtra News channel broadcasted the news on Government of Maharashtra funded `Start Up Village Entrepreneurship Program’ (SVEP), under which 5000 women are being trained as entrepreneurs. Under the umbrella of National Rural Livelihood Mission, SSP is partnering with the Govt of Maharashtra to implement a scaled up program for small and marginal women farmers and creating women entrepreneurs across three districts in Maharashtra.
Godavari Dange and Nirmala, the grassroots community leaders from SSP with Ms. Vijaya Rahatkar, Head of Maharashtra Women’s Commission at the Western Region Consultation on “Securing Rights of Women Farmers: Developing a Road Map for Action” was held on 8-9 May 2017 at YMCA Pune.
Kamal Kumbhar a grassroots serial entrepreneur supported by Swayam Shikshan Prayog is Winner of the 2017 Woman Exemplar Award of CII Foundation in the Micro enterprise category... she has received the Award from Honorable President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee.
Dainik Jagran News on Workshop for Policy Makers and Practitioners on Strengthening Partnerships for Promoting Women’s Leadership in Climate Resilience in Bihar held at A N Sinha Institute, Patna on March 24, 2017
World Water Day celebrated at Latur on 22nd March, 2017
Sakhi Melava, Solapur 9th March, 2017 & Opening ceremony of Women Entrepreneurship and Leadership Resource Center.
On the occasion of International Women's Day on 8th March 2017, SSP felicitated grassroots women leaders in addressing development issues of rural communities in the Sakhi Melava organized by SSP at KVK, Latur.
In an era where the focus is highlighted on ambitious clean energy initiatives by big companies, Swayam Shikshan Prayog has been recognised by the un for its efforts in bringing the same initiative in smaller doses to rural areas.
Grassroots women leaders Naseem Shaikh and Dange Godavari from Swayam Shikshan Prayog India meets Member of Parliament Mr. Uwe Kekeritz during their visit from 17th to 24th October, 2016 in Germany. The Member of Parliament Mr. Kekeritz, Germany who had invited Misereor and SSP grassroots leaders for the parliamentarian breakfast has published a long version on the meeting on his website.