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Empowerment of rural women in Aapni Yojana Project (our scheme), Rajasthan
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Subject Area="Community participation." Objective="Women’s participation and students’ involvement in promotion of health."
Details for Reform Option "Empowerment of rural women in Aapni Yojana Project (our scheme), Rajasthan"

Background: An Integrated water supply, sanitation and health education programme was initiated in Churu and Hanumangarh districts of Rajasthan to improve the overall health situation of the people. The project was designed to cover 2.6 million people living in 1000 villages and 11 towns spread across 20000 sq. kms. The project was divided into two phases. The funding for the first phase was provided by the government of Germany through Kreditanstalt fuer Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German Development Cooperation Agency (75%) and the Government of Rajasthan (25%). The complementary measures included enlisting women’s participation in all community level decisions including health, water and sanitation, which was carried out by a consortium of 5 leading non-governmental organisations (NGOs) of Rajasthan and of which Indian Institute of Health Management Research (IIHMR) Jaipur was the nodal agency Action: The foremost task was to set-up institutional mechanisms necessary for the implementation of the project. At the village level, Water and Health Committees (WHCs) were formed consisting of at least one woman. The project recruited female field staff to garner women’s involvement by identifying women’s problems and leaders who could encourage other women to come forward. Initially, small group meetings of women were organised by the NGOs to discuss about the project and later large group meetings were organised to select women’s representatives to WHC. Water user groups were formed by listing a female member from each household for decision on the location of toilets and bathrooms to be constructed. Similarly, their opinion was sought on sites, for construction of public taps. Self help groups (SHGs) were formed and revolving funds was created to increase women’s earning capabilities. Health education programmes were organised with support from district health system. Health camps were also organised by involving medical officers from local government health facilities. Members of WHCs and SHGs helped in making arrangements for the health camps. Video shows were also organised on health issues. Adolescent girls were given education on personal hygiene, reproductive health, common female health problems and use of sanitary napkins. Mamta Kits (delivery kits) were distributed to dais (traditional birth attendant) and expectant mothers in 90 villages. A health survey was conducted to collate information for formulating the health education plan. Health rallies, cleaning campaigns and school competitions on health issues were organised. Health check-ups of students were organised and school sanitation committees formed to promote good personal hygiene practices. Every Monday, the committee reviewed students’ concerns of students health Results: The programme has been successful in garnering support of the women. Initially(1999), the participation of women in various activities of project was limited to 27-52 villages and by the end of 2004, women’s participation increased in all spheres of project implementation (in 321 villages women were involved in map making and in 333 villages for site selection). By the end of March 2006, 316 WHCs and 220 SHGs were formed ; the cummulative figure of SHGs money transaction has crossed INR 20 lakh; in 324 villages’ women voluntary labour were used for digging trenches in villages for water and construction of sanitation units; in 338 villages women participated in selecting the beneficiaries of sanitation units and sites for construction of the same. Women’s empowerment initiatives have benefited not only women but also the social fabric in rural areas of these districts - people have started accepting that women can attend meetings and many women have started going out on their own. Women are taking collective initiative to maintain the places where Aapni yojana hand pump points are located within a cluster (a village consists of clusters). Similarly, the SHGs have been able to enhance the status of rural women as men have started respecting them. Noticeable changes were also observed with regard to objects used during delivery as women have started giving up the habit of using sand bed, unclean clothes and old cutting objects.

Cost The project was unable to provide a clear account of the costs involved in women’s empowerment programme and in income generation activities. However, the cost of the CPU was INR 18.46 lakh. The medicines were provided by district health department. Funds were provided by local donors for organising advocacy programme including school competition.
Place Villages and towns located in Churu and Hanumangarh districts.
Time Frame 3 years to initiate. The project was approved in 1994 but implementation of the activities started in the middle of 1997.

Confidence: Women feel empowered. Knowledge: New hygienic practices are being followed by women. Organising various competitions facilitated knowledge enhancement of students concerning their health. Equity: The males empathize with women’s concern


Sustainable: The strategies used for empowering women needs to be continued by either involving an NGO or local government ensuring further improvement in life of rural women. Funding: Unavailability of funds to undertake advocacy programmes at local levels.


Involvement of NGOs in creating community participation.

Who needs to be consulted

State government. Panchayat Raj Members. Non-government organisations. Schools. Community. Programme Director, CPU, AAPNI YOJNA, Churu. Director KfW, New Delhi. Director, IIHMR, Jaipur.



The measures can be sustainable when local bodies continue with similar initiatives that empower village women.

Chances of Replication

The strategies used to involve in community level decision making will address equity issues in villages.


The first phase of the project ended in March 2006. The end term evaluation report reveals that the project has been quite successful.


Submitted By

Dr. Nandini Roy, HS-PROD Research Consultant, NIMS. September 2005. Last updated: July 2006

Status Active
Reference Files
Women 3.gif
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ayp_Drashok.ppt "Critical success factors in Aapni Yojana with special reference to community participation". A power point presentation.
Final_Presentation_drs.ppt End term evaluation of community participation unit. A power point presentation by Development and Research Services Pvt. Ltd.
women 2.gif Photo
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