After the presentation, the visitors, along with three Jandaksha staff members and one intern, drove to Badanga (बडंगा), a rural village about 22 kilometers west of Udaipur. Here, we met with over a dozen local labor leaders, most of whom are women. Jandaksha’s association with Badanga started over two-and-a-half years ago, when field organizers first developed a relationship with a nutrition worker in this predominantly tribal community. Over the years, JDT has provided identification cards to labourers, linked the village residents with applicable social security schemes, and informed them about the NGO’s support network.
The visitors heard stories about how Badanga’s residents have been helped by Jandaksha Trust. One woman, after being connected with JDT, was brought to an Udaipur hospital after she found a lump in her breast. Thankfully, the tumor was not cancerous, but she still received support from the organization. Jandaksha also educates patients from Badanga about healthy lifestyle choices after treatment. Care certainly does not end after surgery, so it is important for patients to avoid smoke and dust after receiving an operation or other treatment at the hospital.
When asked by one of the Australian visitors about Jandaksha’s biggest impact on the village, the woman labour leader praised the self-help group. By contributing 50-100 rupees per month into the community account, women are able to secure low interest rate loans if they want to start their own businesses. Additionally, the self-help group provides financial support to women who are planning weddings or facing medical emergencies. Instead of being forced to go to predatory lenders in the village who charge up to 10% interest, Badanga’s residents are able to secure loans at 1% interest.
With Jandaksha’s help, Badanga’s women have been empowered to create change for themselves and enjoy a better livelihood. For more information about Jandaksha Trust’s activities in Badanga and other villages, feel free to get in touch. Please consider contributing to support Project Sambal and communities around Udaipur.