Kudumbashree’s Remarkable ‘Thirike Schoolil’ Empowerment of 4.6 Million Women

By implementing the ‘Thirike Schoolil’ (Back to School) State Level Campaign, an unparalleled training program for women, Kerala’s Kudumbashree is rewriting the story of empowerment through a ground-breaking initiative. A stunning 4.6 million Kudumbashree women have resumed their educational roles due to this outstanding effort.

On October 1, 2023, the Thirike Schoolil campaign was formally launched at K.B. Menon Memorial Higher Secondary School in Thrithala, Palakkad, under the guidance of M.B. Rajesh, Minister of the Local Self-Government Department, Government of Kerala. Unexpectedly, the enthusiasm of these Kudumbashree women, who intend to continue their sessions until December 10, 2023, remained unaffected even by torrential downpours.

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This campaign’s foremost objectives are to strengthen Kudumbashree’s three-tier structure and provide Neighborhood Groups (NHG) women with the courage to start new businesses that are in sync with the times. About 4 lakh NHG members actively participated in this transformational campaign on the first day, bridging local geographic divides.

Between October 1 and December 10, 2023, NHG members enrolled in classes at schools located in their local Community Development Societies (CDSs) in cooperation with the General Education Department. In the state, more than 2000 schools have been set aside for this purpose. The campaign’s format is modelled around a typical school day, with sessions running from 9.30 AM to 4.30 PM and an assembly that includes a performance of Kudumbashree’s Mudra Geetham (Anthem).

The course covers a wide range of topics, such as Organizational Strength Experience Lessons, the crucial role of mathematics in the life of NHGs, the security of communal life, livelihood concepts and initiatives, and the digital era. More than 15,000 resource persons from all throughout the state are facilitating these classes. The 10-person resource team for each district is made up of the Kudumbashree Training team, Auxiliary Group members, Micro Enterprise Consultants, District Program Managers who are also tasked with organizational strengthening, Assistant District Mission Coordinators, and Gender team members. Resource persons are especially available at the Block and CDS levels.

The active participation of people’s representatives and the response from the women, along with combined collective and well-planned events, made the first day of the “Back to School” campaign stand out. This exceptional initiative by Kudumbashree reflects their unwavering dedication to empowering women through education and equipping them for a brighter tomorrow. It presents proof of Kerala women’s unshakable energy and will to seize chances and new knowledge, setting up an inspirational example for others.

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