Kolhapur’s Female Rag Pickers Tackle Poverty

In July 2014, IDS approved a grant supporting AVANI’s efforts to empower the rag picking community in Kolhapur, Maharastra, for the next three years. The grant will enable AVANI, a new member of IDS’ charitable network, to help female rag pickers in Kolhapur tackle poverty head-on. Drawn to the historical city by a large brick-building industry, Kohlhapur has been a center of attraction for migrant workers, yet these laborers have the most minimal access to basic welfare services such as education, health care, housing, and voting. For the past three months, AVANI has targeted women rag pickers to counsel, educate, organize, and unite in regard to their rights and access to basic government services. The NGO’s goal is to provide not only short-term assistance but also sustainable future community development.

IDS 07-02Highlights of Recent Efforts

• 200+ women trained as leaders to apply for government funding to address health care, illiteracy, and community development • 150+ general health care check-ups and eye exams • 50+ cataract surgeries • Health and hygiene awareness camp addressing topics such as hand washing, food storage, and pregnancy and lactation

What’s Next?

Through the generous aid from IDS donors, AVANI will continue helping women among the rag picking community gain access to Kolhapur’s governmental welfare programs so that sustainable improvements are made and their quality of life improved.