Vasavya Mahila Mandali in Action (Programmes at a glance)
Balasahyoga Programme VMM is lead partner to Family Health International (FHI), Care India and Clinton Foundation as consortium for Balasahyoga programme, implementing in two districts; West Godavari and Viziangaram of Andhra Pradesh with three partners to improve the quality of life of children and families living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
A pioneer and a successful attempt of Rai Satyavathi and her family members Satyavathi is 27 years old and resides in Tagellamuddi village of the West Godavari district. She came to know her HIV status in 2003 and has an 18 years daughter Kumari and 16 years son Siva Babu. She got married to Chinnabaih, who was working as loading, and unloading unit as Mestri, a mentor. After the marriage, all of a sudden her husband fell severe sickness and visited so many clinics for cure; finally he detected and tested as HIV Positive and died. After that, Satyavathi motivated with Balasahyoga (BSY) counselor for testing and was also tested and revealed as HIV positive. Satyavathi got the right information about HIV/AIDS from the BSY-Out reach team members, interacted with her regularly during their home visits. But the approach of the community towards her husband was appalling. Satyavathi said: “Due to the stigma and discrimination faced by her husband by the community, he was forced to leave his home forever and fell sick and died with HIV.
This incident had upset Satyavathi and she even tried to commit suicide. At that moment she got a option to meet the Family case Manager (FCM) representing from DLC- Balasahyoga Project, VMM partner. Later she got a micro enterprise support from DLC and started her tailoring unit and her elder daughter who studied intermediate got job as a Community Volunteer in Balasahyoga Project at DLC. Even though she was in a miserable stage of her life, she still had a lot of energy and potential to make her life successful if only she was given an opportunity. Her hidden potential turned into reality when she was chosen as a participant and was provided with entrepreneurship training by the Balasahyoga Project. This training aims to enable ‘low income families’ to raise their income opportunities by starting their own micro enterprises.
She started a Tailoring unit with INR 5000 and her daughter and son supported her. They marketed stitched clothes produced by her mother. Initially they distributed their products in local areas. Now the demand for these stitched clothes has increased due to the success of the product. “I cannot compare my condition then and now. I used to strive hard to buy one glass of milk for my son; now the situation is very different” she recalls.
Recently her husband expired. But she has the self-assurance and hope to go ahead and have a successful life, even after the death of her husband. She has no debts in her loan repayments and her son studied 9th class and dropped out and supporting her mother and shouldering her responsibilities by starting a Noodles mobile hotel in their village and supporting his mother.
Apart from all these things BSY-Out reach staff tested their children and found non-reactive and they facilitated for a linkage to government social secutiry benefits like National Family Benefit Scheme (NFBS) a onetime payment of INR 5,000 as a widow, Pension of monthly INR 200 for widow and Anthodaya card for below poverty line families to get 25 kilos of rice. She is enrolled in women self help group (SHG) as a member and inculcated savings habit in her to empower economically and socially to lead her life happily, healthy and securely.