From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Kudumbashree Scheme
Mains level : Women empowerment initiatives
Central Idea: President Droupadi Murmu inaugurated the silver jubilee celebrations of Kudumbashree.
What is Kudumbashree?
- Kudumbashree is a poverty eradication and women empowerment program implemented by the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) in Kerala, India.
- The program was established in 1997 based on recommendations from a task force appointed by the state government.
- It was created in the context of devolving powers to the Panchayat Raj Institutions (PRIs) and the People’s Plan Campaign in Kerala.
- Membership in Kudumbashree is open to all adult women, with one membership allowed per family.
- In 2011, the Centre recognized Kudumbashree as the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLM) under the National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM).
- Kudumbashree operates through a three-tier structure:
- Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs),
- Area Development Societies (ADS), and
- Community Development Societies (CDS).
- The community network was gradually expanded to cover the entire state between 2000 and 2002.
Evolution and Contributions of Kudumbashree
- Kudumbashree has transformed significantly over the past 25 years.
- During the Kerala flood, Kudumbashree donated a substantial amount to the Chief Minister’s relief fund, surpassing contributions from tech giants and foundations.
- The organization was initially conceptualized as an all-women poverty alleviation program.
- Despite being flood victims themselves, Kudumbashree members showed resilience and contributed generously to help others.
Role during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Kudumbashree played a crucial role in responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- They manufactured and distributed masks and sanitisers.
- The organization set up COVID treatment centres and worked as the nodal agency for COVID management in several local bodies.
- ‘Janakeeya Hotels’ provided affordable meals to those in need, including those in home quarantine.
Empowerment and Social Impact
- Kudumbashree has empowered women and facilitated grassroots planning for employment generation, poverty alleviation, and women’s empowerment.
- It mobilized women for community activities and increased their participation in local bodies.
- Kudumbashree’s initiatives include micro-enterprises, agricultural projects, rural development, and compassion programs.
- The organization has made significant strides in empowering Dalit and tribal women.
Challenges and Future Directions
- Critics highlight the need for Kudumbashree to evolve gender perspectives and alternative development models.
- Despite criticism, Kudumbashree’s contribution to poverty reduction is unparalleled.
- The organization aims to address gender-based crimes and eliminate social evils.
- Mental and cultural empowerment are deemed crucial for overcoming the ‘gender paradox’ in Kerala.
- Kudumbashree success in reducing poverty is widely recognized.
- Continued efforts are needed to combat gender-based crimes and challenges.
- Kudumbashree aims to be a force for positive societal change and women’s empowerment.
Get an IAS/IPS ranker as your personal mentor for UPSC 2024 | Schedule your FREE session and get the Prelims prep Toolkit!