SHARE, Tamil Nadu. India

20pp A4 Photographic Evaluation.  20pp A5 Product Catalogue

The Self Help Association for Rural Education and Employment (SHARE) is based in Tamil Nadu, India, in the Vellore and Dindigul districts. Established in 1992, SHARE primarily aims to develop rural communities in the two districts by providing increased opportunities for both employment and education. Central to its work is the empowerment of rural women, which SHARE believes is necessary for full community development. SHARE’s programmes are wide reaching; income generation projects, “Self Help” women’s groups, skills training and school projects. These programmes will all be looked at in this evaluation in what we hope is both an intimate and informative way. 

In South India, women in rural communities have faced, and continue to face entrenched discrimination that prevents them from fully participating in society. In particular, women in these communities are often bound to the home, through marriage or family commitments and have no income of their own. This lack of income reduces independence, affects aspirations and leaves women reliant on family or a husband.  

In addition, there is widespread unemployment amongst the youth in India. According to OECD statistics in 2017, 30% of young Indians aged 15-29 are not in education, employment or training, and this figure is generally higher amongst women of that age. 

It is our understanding that the primary goal of SHARE’s programmes mentioned above, is to work towards the elimination of these problems. This is alongside other goals such as improving education, which together with the primary goals, represent total development. 

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We were based with SHARE for four weeks in February 2018, spending two weeks at its main site in the Vellore district and two weeks seeing the field work in Dindigul district. By immersing ourselves within the organisations work, we hoped to gain an understanding of SHARE’s work and the impact on its target population. In particular we wanted to focus on the stories of the people involved and to share these through interviews and photos. Because of this, we chose to conduct qualitative research, primarily interviews with recipients of SHARE programmes to focus on the people and not just statistics. In this document you will read interviews with handicraft women, members of self functioning “self help” groups and skilled tradespeople. In addition to this, we gathered information by talking to some of SHARE’s leading members, Dr K. Murugesan, founding member and advisor to the project, S.Sankari, executive committee member and Immaculate, a leading volunteer in Dindigul.
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