The Mahila Shakti program is built off of both the Bharat Vaidya and microfinance activities, helping to empower women in rural villages to take charge of healthand social activities in the village. The program began in February 2010 and will run for two years. It has been implemented in 40 villages throughout the Tuljapur and Lohara blocks of the Osmanabad District in Maharashtra. Throughout Self-Help Groups, women are trained and encouraged to tackle issues of:
Pre and postnatal care for pregnant mothers
Women's Self-Help Groups (SHG)are encouraged to "adopt" pregnanet women and ensure that they receive proper prenatal care, including Iron-Folic Acid tablets, Calcium Tablets, TT Injections, nutrition counselling, etc. For deliveries, SHG members ensure that women deliver in a hospital and educate on proper antenatal care. Since February 2010, 630 women have been "adopted" through this program. Domestic violence
interventions for members of their local community
Women are well-equipped to recognized cases of domestic violence within their village, and even better suited to intervene and help resolve such cases. SHG members are trained in gender sensitivity and given available resources to help solve or refer domestic violence cases as necessary.
Participation and advocacy within a network of village institutions including the Gram Panchayat
Local governing bodies are often absent of women's voices, and thus women's issues within the village. The Mahila Shakti project aims to teach women about the local governance system and thereby encourage them to participate and advocate in such bodies. Since inception of the project, women have begun to use these forums to voice concerns about issues such as: alcoholism, domestic violence, sanitation, and women's rights.
Government Rationing Systems
Within the village, the Indian Government provides subsidized goods for families Below the Poverty Line. Several villages have found issues with this system at the village level, and the Mahila Shakti program aims to empower women to resolve these issues to the local or district level government.