Formation of women's groups was viewed as an entry strategy into new villages and also as a mechanism for encouraging families to send their non-school going children to the residential camps. In 2006 women's meetings were organised in different villages wherein a number of issues affecting women's lives were discussed and the need to form a collective emerged. Gradually, due to the efforts of the team members women started participating in project activities.
Over time, some of the women's groups have come together for resolving village level problems related to water and electric supply; they have also taken action against cases of violence against women. 'Successful' women's groups had strong leaders who were able to address both community problems and those of individual members. Many women emerged as leaders.
One of the positive outcomes of the adolescent project was the emergence of youth forums in the project area. The idea of social change as enunciated in the project proposal was made possible by these small organizations working at the rural level. The formation of IMDAAD, a collective of the youth forums and its active performance, may be seen as the result of work done in the past few years. IMDAAD implies support and cooperation. The youth groups worked as catalysts for positive action and motivating participants at the rural level. As of March 2015 a total of 683 adolescents (600 boys and 83 girls) of 47 villages across 3 clusters of project area had become members of the youth forums.
Mobilising the youth through IMDAAD provided a platform for the youth to engage in practical action and use the knowledge and capacities gained through program inputs. It also provided solidarity and mutual support among the adolescents. The leadership trainings provided additional capacity building to create a cadre of youth leaders for social change. The program focussed on building individual capacities and collectives of socially aware individuals. These forums also helped make most of the youthful energy that would otherwise get dissipated into negative behaviour patterns.
Ajmer Adult Education Association
Kanta Marwah Bhawan,
Vidyut Marg, Shastri Nagar Extention, AJMER 305006