Rural Empowerment and Community Health (REACH)

Apart from health and education the trust is also devoted in the social and economic progress of the people in the region. Healthcare was now touching the poorest in the region but socially they were still lagging behind, because of which delivery of health-care was not complete. Community participation was poor. This thought gave birth to “REACH”, the Rural Empowerment and Community Health programme. It was inaugurated by Dr. (Ms) Kshama Mhetre, the National Director of Chinmay organization for Rural Development. Working of REACH is unique. It establishes several groups in community to target different sections, creating a medium to discuss the problems of similar people thereby giving rise to indigenous solutions. The various groups are Mahila Mandals, Self help groups and Yuva groups. The project is implemented in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts. In a nutshell the objective is to improve Woman’s social and economic status. Mahila mandals help them to acquire new skills which make them independent. REACH project has helped us generate health awareness in the community and has made people concerned about their own health. The aim is to implement community based projects through community participation. To empower women & make them capable, it is necessary for them to be at least partially financially independent in some way. Similarly a need was felt for getting the women together for them to share joys & sorrows, exchange ideas etc. Rural Empowerment And Community Health (REACH) program began in 2007 with this objective. Spreading awareness about health, hygiene and literacy along with learning activities which can generate income are the aims behind the formation of self-help-groups under the program. Today, 466 of such groups are in operation. Common farming is one of the successful activities of the group and all of them were overjoyed with the fruits of their labour. In addition, these women have learnt to prepare simple local delicacies, stitching clothes, manufacturing envelopes, bags from paper, manufacturing purses, simple jewellery etc. It has given them a source of income and hence made them financially capable to an extent. They have also learnt the activities of the self-help-groups such as coming together for a meeting every month, paying contribution and keeping records of the same, taking loan from the group in case of urgent need, regular payment of interest etc.