The social development focuses on the social well-being through interventions, awareness generations and establishing linkages with grass root artisans. These include literacy programme, health care and financial inclusion. These services are not only confined to the artisans but to their family and fellow villagers as well.
Alternative Education Program (AEP)
Basic education is a fundamental human right. Our Alternative Education Program provides a basic education to marginalized populations across our artisans’ villages. The topics range from classifying numerical denominations to calculations, from writing to submitting a bank’s application form. We do not limit the program benefits to just artisans, but rather make it available for everyone in the villages through community mobilization.
“Santosh made her children proud!”
The societal stigma against women kept Santosh excluded from education since childhood. Santosh, a weaver from Maanpura village in Rajasthan, never attended formal schooling. When the opportunity arose to learn to read and write, she spared no chance.
“It will take a lifetime for me to study and learn English I thought. I always imagined that the people in cities do it well because they have different brains than people like me in a village. The first three days, I cried to myself because I could not say the words “hardware” and “software” but I repeated them and other words I had to learn hundreds of times while I weaved the rugs and eventually, I succeeded. I’m still far away from learning English, but I can at least communicate better in my own language, which has made me confident and my family, especially my children, proud.”
Health is a constant and continual worry for our artisans, particularly when they have limited resources to pay for their and their family’s health issues. JRF extends its services to support the health of the underprivileged rural population through free health centers for general checkups and prescriptions. In 2017, 2,096 people received benefits from the health centers.
Along with the health centers, JRF has introduced eye examination centers which have benefitted over 1,000 people. In collaboration with partner hospitals, many patients have had their cataracts treated.
107 such beneficiaries were given financial support for treatment by JRF. To date, JRF has successfully identified and helped 84 cataract patients in collaboration with partner hospitals.
Focusing on RMNCH issues, maternity & childcare has been assisted by JRF in these communities. In 2017, 473 pregnant women and children ( 6-12 years of age ) were provided with multivitamins and vitamin A supplements that help to reduce MMR. Deworming pills were also made available to those who needed them.
Financial Inclusion & financial literacy
The government of India and various state governments have been running various welfare programs but due to poor literacy and awareness in rural areas, benefits of these programs often never reach those who are in need resulting in lack of treatment and financial wastage at all levels of government. While working with the people in the rural areas, JRF makes certain that its stakeholders are aware of their rights provided by the government and tracks those in need to make certain that they receive the necessary treatment.
JRF has taught their artisans how to set up a bank account and deposit their money in the bank. The goal is to teach all of the artisans, accountability thereby making their lives more organized resulting in happier and healthier families. The number of women learning these skills grows yearly. When a bank account is established, the account is linked to their national identity cards (Aadhar Card). By being linked, these stakeholders receive additional government entitlements. In 2017, 4,500 artisans participated in this program.