Change Alliance partner, Samarthak Samiti (SS) provides forest honey producers with protective clothing, as well as identity cards which helps protect the team from harassment by forest officials while collecting honey in the wild. Adivasis continue to be denied access to forest areas and produce in spite of the Forest Rights Act, which protects access rights. SS also helps them organise into a collective to package, market and receive a fairer, well-earned price for their honey. ‘Employment is a big issue here, sometimes we migrate to big cities but even there we don’t find work’ says member Hansi Bai. As president of this SHG group she pays the honey collectors and organises the women in her group to process and package the honey, which is then sold at a higher price. Hansi Bai’s SHG also runs a loans scheme, which she has used to buy and rear livestock such as chickens. This year, Hansi Bai whose main income is through agriculture, earned twice as much as from farming alone thanks to her part in the honey processing and packaging, as well as rearing and selling of chickens.
Devla, Udaipur District, Rajasthan. Women from a Samarthak Samiti (SS) established SHG (Self Help Group) meet at the modest home of their president, Hansi Bai, 50.