Women Empowerment and Human Resource Development Center of India

Aims and Objectives

To work for and towards the Welfare of Women & Children in Kerala.
To conduct Social research and share the corresponding outputs, required for relevant planning.
To implement programmes and activities tailor-made for women who require “upliftment” in the spheres of Welfare and Empowerment.
To offer Consultancy services, concerning and surrounding various gender issues.
To organize training programmes, workshops, seminars and campaigns, in the field of the Maternal and Child Health Programme.
To establish, manage and run institutions or centers offering assistance and information regarding matters related to women’s issues.
To establish and run Research centers, Schools and other Educational Institutions, which tackle various gender biases and the very many Social Shackles which impair our Nation’s progress, right at the Grass Roots’ levels.
To establish Counseling Centers.
To aid in: the development of the competence levels of other agencies by aiding in their Overall Capacity Building by providing them with trained and skilled personnel, Personnel Management, and helping them out at organizational ventures and Resource Development.
Providing sector support, network, and facilitation of the reception and co-ordination of the activities of different Governmental, Non-Governmental/ International Agencies and Social Activists.
To conduct Monitoring and Evaluation of programmes and development M&E tools.
To collect, generate, document and disseminate information and knowledge via engaging in activities that involve progressive social interaction and exchange of information, in their various forms.
To network with International Organizations, with a view to strengthen the capacity of organization for carrying out Social-Upliftment programmes or Research Programmes in the fields of issues, related to Women & Children especially in terms of developmental perspectives.
To educate women to work and contribute towards the development of our Nation.
To free the women of our nation from their societal impediments, and make women aware of legal rights and legal statuses.
To “Educate” women to recognize and fight against injustice, exploitation and harassment of women everywhere.
To establish cooperative societies, banks and other thrift and credit societies, in order to accomplish our visions in the most practical and satisfactory manner.

Target Groups

WHI extends its services to the underprivileged groups like Tribal Community, Coastal Fishermen, Urban poor and Rural Community. Livelihood development, Reproductive health, Community based water supply and Water shed management are the major focal areas of intervention of the organisation.

Major Researches done by the organisation

Children in prostitution: In the cities of Trivandrum, Ernakulam & Calicut in the State of Kerala, India. Along with the reports presented a three Es model to the Government in order to restrict and prevent child prostitution and mitigate the related risks. The research was funded by Kerala state AIDS Control society.
Reproductive and child health status of women in Kerala: The research was conducted for Kraal state women’s Commission. Reproductive and child health status are meager and very much lagging behind in the pockets such as tribal, coastal, rural, slums and other hilly regions. Along with the report presented also recommended to the Kerala State Women’s Commission for adopting certain sustainable strategy to address the problems. Some of the areas that have received the best attention are those that health planners considered unaffordable or those that are deemed controversial or socially unacceptable. Adolescents deserve special mention both because of their large and growing numbers and because they are often sexually active and are therefore exposed to the risk of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions and STI’s.
Life and living conditions of tribal people of Wayanad: This is an effort to understand the life and living conditions of the tribal people of Wayanad in the context of continuing deprivations in the form of hunger, poverty, illiteracy, ill health, high dropout rate among school going children and weak empowerment of women. The study was conducted for human rights commission.
Functional efficiency of District Primary Education Program DPEP schools in Kerala: Functional efficiency of DPEP schools was evaluated based on the participation and involvement of learner, teacher, parent and community in the teaching learning process. The role of the management and the various DPEP structures like SPD, District Project Coordinators, BRC, CRC, DIET, SSG etc, were also evaluated for the study.
Sex tourism in the West cost of Kerala: This study highlighted the entrance of children in prostitution. The study concentrated mainly on Kovalam, Varkala, Quilon, Alleppy and Cochin. In, Kovalam boys are more involved than girls. It is also surprising to note that house boats are being utilized for this trade. In Kovalam, foreigners are the main clients. They live as paying guests and along with some families. This approach generally paved the way for sex trade.
Study on unwed mothers in Kerala: Problems of unwed mothers are linked with various socio-economic and cultural variables. In Kerala this problem is coupled with the ignorance and exploitation. Unwed mothers have special need for education, employment, health care especially reproductive and child health. Quite often they are neglected from the main stream of life. The percentage of abortion related hazards and death is high among teenage unwed mothers.
Problems of the children of divorced and separated parents: High-risk family is a matter of extreme concern and we have to share this concern. Among high-risk families, children of already separated parents, parents who contemplated seriously on divorce, parents who suppress their stress, strain and anxiety due to frequent domestic violence etc forms a group of high-risk children. Their physical, cognitive, emotional and social development is at stake.
Educational work for prevention of atrocities against women through targeted social work interventions: Focus is given to atrocities against women at home, workplace, academic institutions and community violence. The study was conducted for setting up the approach, method and strategy for prevention of atrocities against women.
Integrated programme for street children: - To conduct an enumeration of street children in 6 districts of Kerala.
Social work intervention for the women in difficult situation: Women, who are victims of some form of social, cultural or economic discrimination, denial of fundamental human rights, theoretically belong to all stratus of the civilized society. This includes widows, divorced or separated women and unwed mothers.
Children in Prostitution in the three cities of Kerala- follow up action: The main aim of the project is to promote sexual and reproductive health among underprivileged children. It is found that the children in prostitution are mainly from this underprivileged section. The problems of alcoholism, drug and substance abuse, gambling and almost all-antisocial activities are found to be more among the children in the underprivileged classes. Sexual abuse and misuse in childhood is found to be a major factor in most of the social problems such as prostitution, marital disharmony, phobias, certain psychiatric disorders, drug and substance abuse etc.
Male child abuse in the contexts of tourism industry in kerala: This study was funded by UNICEF. The study revealed that male child abuse visibly prevalent in kovalam, Vizhincham and other tourist centers. Most of the clients are foreigners and the mitigation of related health hazards needs greater attention.

Water supply and sanitation projects:

Extending basic amenities including safe drinking water and sanitation is an area of main concern to the organisation. The goal of the organisation in this regard is to increase the access of the rural population particularly the poor and socially disadvantaged groups, to drinking water supply and environmental sanitation services. Investments by the government in the past have traditionally focused on extending coverage to rural population without ensuring the quality of services. Today, Public rural water supply services clearly do not adequately serve the needs of the user communities. They are typically poorly designed and constructed, and often they are designed and positioned at sites without consideration to community needs or preferences. The planning of rural water supply schemes also takes places without due attention to resource availability or quality, and are rarely financially viable; resulting in a government dominated and target driven service that has become unsustainable institutionally, financially, and environmentally. The planning has been supply driven without a demand perspective, and the scheme operations have rarely satisfied the end users especially the marginalized sections who depend the street taps.
The Government of India has now recognized the need to improve functionality and sustainability of the sector and has taken some bold initiatives in launching significant sector reforms by ensuring community participation and community ownership. The GoI made a strategic shift from supply driven to demand driven approach. NGO participation in the sector also was a result of sector reformation. The community based water supply schemes implemented as part of the sector reforms basically differ from the traditional schemes in following aspects; a) adopting a demand driven approach and empowerment of villagers; b) focus on village level capacity building; c) maintain an integrated approach to water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion; d) partial capital cost investment by the user groups and 100% operation and maintenance by the users. As an expression of their commitment to participation and ownership in the scheme, the beneficiaries will contribute 15% and the Grama Panchayat 10% to the capital cost of the scheme.
Jalanidhi is a community based water supply scheme implemented by Kerala rural water supply and sanitation agency in the selected Panchayat. The project is aided by World Bank. WHI is functioning as the support organisation to Jalanidhi project in two Panchayats, one in Pothukal in Malappuram district and Kulathur, a costal Panchayat in Thiruvananthapuram district. Besides, the organisation has implemented a special project for providing safe drinking water to 16 tribal hamlets in pothukal panchayat.
Swajaldhara is a community based water supply scheme which is also funded by World Bank. Three comprehensive water supply schemes have been implemented by the organisation to provide drinking water to the scheduled caste colonies of Kulathur and Venganoor Panchayats in Thiruvananthapuram Districts.
Varsha is a rain water harvesting programme aided by Kerala Water Authority. The organisation implanted this programmes in venganoor, Kulathur ,Kuttichal and vithura Panchayats of Trivandrum district.
WHI has taken on a facilitating role in this participatory developmental model by assisting the community in planning, designing, constructing of water supply schemes and in their sustainable operations. The organisation is providing technical, financial, and institutional intermediation services to build the capacity of the beneficiary groups. WHI’s dedicated community
development wing and the engineering wing are working with the community by opening camp offices in these two Panchayats.
The project is implemented with the cooperation of the Grama Panchayat though the community based organisation of the needed population. Community participation in its all meanings is ensured in the planning, implementation and post implementation management of the schemes.

Micro credit Units: Sanitation

To address the environmental hygiene issues the organisation supported the construction of two pit sanitary latrines in the house holds coming below the poverty line in Pothukal panchayat of Malappuram District. Pothukal under the technical and community mobilisation support of WHI became the first total sanitation village in Kerala, having toilets in all the house holds. Total 1341 two pit latrines were constructed under the project and 1913 deep pit latrine were converted to sanitary latrines.

Tribal Development project:

The Tribal population in the back ward areas of Malappuram and Pathanamthitta Districts are assisted by the organisation by implementing innovative livelihood programmes, Reproductive and Child health programme and legal awareness and assistance programme. The WHI adopts and takes on a new Tribal Colony every year, and provides compulsory 100% education upto the age of 18. These units came into being with the sole purpose of uplifting women in the lower strata of society. Increasing demand from the women in difficult circumstances led to the initiation of WHI to formulate strategies for Microfinance. More than 20000 women in Trivandrum district alone avail the services of WHI. In one way or other they happened to be the objects of our research. Emphasizing a strong field base, WHI encourages group structures and motivating the social integration process through micro credit system among the women in difficult circumstances.
WHI prioritized the primary needs of women, like relief from poverty, hunger, starvation, indebtedness and also the imminent need to strengthen poor women’s productive roles. Women in turn expressed their need for low-cost and easy to access credit.
With this end in view, WHI conducted a baseline survey among the 20000 beneficiaries based on random sampling techniques. 1500 women were interviewed with the help of questionnaire-checklist. These women are widows, divorced and separated unwed, abandoned, single women and other deprived sections. They put forward their own suggestions for small trade lines. Hence WHI trained 10 field organizers to organize and train group leaders to disseminate strategies for conducting small trades and the efficient repayment technologies. WHI look forward to start with micro credit among 1500 women in the beginning then to extend among the remaining womenfolk. A full time coordinator, a finance manager and 10 field organizers are working in this unit at present.

Micro enterprises:

WHI with assistance of KRWSA has set up 20 Micro enterprises of the self help Groups formed by the organisation in pothukal Panchayat in Malappuram district.

Community Development centers:

The WHI has five community development centers which operate by conducting a major number of Community Empowerment Programmes through those centres. These community development centers are providing legal as well as psychological assistance to the women in difficult situations. Numerous Trained counselors are posted in these centers. In the Nilambur block of the Malappuram District of Kerala alone, a total of 5,880 women members are availing of all the services of our organization. These community development centers also conduct awareness programmes against gender discrimination, women and child trafficking, male child abuse, and gender bias by networking with other organizations.

Training programmes

WHI is also functioning as a training institute for capacitating the various stake holders of the programmes which are run by the organisation and also for the programmes implemented by the external agencies. The training institute also imparts skill development training to the women for supporting them to find out a sustainable income through starting micro enterprises.

RCH Project

The organization is functioning as a Field NGO for the implementation of Reproductive and Child Health programme of National Rural Health Mission. Seethathode, Gavi, Gurunadhanmannu and Seethathode which is the most backward tribal arc in Pathanamthitta District is the target area for the project intervention. The organization has stared a community Development center in 2008 at Seethathode for this purpose.

IGNOU Special study centre

Indira Gandhi National Open University sanctioned a special study center to the organization. The study center is functioning at Kulathur in Parassala block of Trivandrum district. The center is established with an objective of meeting the educational needs of the population in this backward area. Special focus is given to provide learning opportunities to the women in costal area who has to discontinue education after the marriage in teenage itself.

Watershed based Development program

WHI is implementing the watershed based development programme in Chithara Panchayat in Kollam District. The programme is implemented as a part of the western gat development programme. Need assessment though Participatory Rural Appraisal, programme planning, implementation Monitoring and evaluation is done by the implementing agency with participation of Panchayat and the community.

Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction

The Department of Disaster Management, Government of Kerala has selected the organization as the implementing agency for the livelihood restoration programme for the tsunami affected poor and the marginalized funded by Japan government through Asian Development Bank. The livelihood project “Production and marketing of low cost sanitary napkin” is planned to be implemented in Kulathur, Karode and Thirupuram Villages of Trivandrum district. Total financial outlay of the project is 35 Lakhs. The project will be officially launched on 1st March 2009.

Stress free and innovative school:

WHI has started an Innovative and Stress-free School, Sandeepani at Kanakakkunu Palace road. RKV Lane, Trivandrum-695033. Classes ranges from play school to VIII standard, and one classes more to be added every year. It is a research based child friendly – parent friendly – teacher friendly school where students are free from home work and heavy burden of home work.

Suraksha Migrants sexual health intervention project

Kerala State Aids Control Society, Govt of Kerala has selected WHI as their project partner to implement suraksha project for migrants

Low cost Sanitary Napkin products

Science & Technology division, Govt of India has selected WHI to implement the project for making low cost Sanitary Napkin from knit wear waste.

Placement Services

WHI received students for their placement services from national and international universities.
Fraukiya a research student from Netherlands stayed and worked with WHI in our Nilambur operational area at Malappuram District. Deena from Canada, a graduate student worked with WHI’s school project six months.
Last year Eight MSW students from Sankaracharya University placed in WHI for their placement services. They associated with Watershed project, Tribal project and livelihood support programmes of WHI