Generating livelihoods and improving public health through women social entrepreneurship in Small Water Enterprises

Project Title: Generating livelihoods and improving public health through women social entrepreneurship in Small Water Enterprises

Location – Telangana, India

Project Description -This research study, Generating Livelihoods and Improving Public Health through Women Social Entrepreneurship in Small Water Enterprises, examined changes in the lives of women SWEs, and provided evidence that supports policy recommendations for mainstreaming and advancing the role of women in the social water business. The purpose of the the project was to assess how women from Self Help Groups (SHGs) or social women entrepreneur can be mainstreamed to own and operate their safe water treatment plant for improving public health and increasing their livelihood.

Outcome – The project proved that rural women/SHG/semi-literate women can be skilled in technology and finance to manage micro-enterprises, generate income and improve their livelihoods. The SWE initiative has empowered SHG women as water entrepreneurs to change their livelihoods in a more significant manner than those in cottage industry, art craft production and agriculture labour, etc.

This has enhanced their social stature and they have decision powers in family decisions as well have demonstrated enhanced confidence. It also improved their access to economic resources and drudgery reduction with men assisting them in collecting water from SWEs on their bicycles/two wheelers.

This project provides evidence for policy recommendation to mainstream women in local safe water supply through SWEs and thus contribute towards the UN SDGs 2030 – Goal- 6.1 safe drinking water for all; Goal 5 gender equality and Goal 8 sustainable growth and indirectly contribute towards Goal 1 reduction of poverty.

The iJal stations have provided livelihood opportunity to the rural poor women and helped them improve their financial condition. Also, it has provided safe drinking water to the poor rural women who otherwise were travelling long distances to fetch water which was not potable. This study would inform the policies to expand SWEs and create the conditions to improve women participation, ultimately impacting local economies and an improved access to safe water.

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