If there is a will

I am Vani from Thalapadi Village, Mangalore Taluk, Dakshin Kannada District, Karnataka State, South India. I have studied up to 10th standard after which due to poverty in the family I was not able to continue the studies and married off and today I am a mother of one daughter. Our life was a struggle as we were dependant on the produce of our piece of land and the meager wages of my husband who used to work as a daily wage worker whenever work was available. During this period, I came across the field workers of Canara Organization for Development of People (CODP), Mangalore who were motivating the women and forming self help groups. I too joined the self help groups and started attending the meetings and trainings being conducted. When they came to know that I had passed 10th standard and could read and write, I was asked whether I would be interested to join them as a field worker and I immediately agreed and in 2005 I joined CODP as an outreach worker. During the last 9 years, I was fortunate to attend a lot of trainings being conducted by CODP and KROSS to capacitate the staff and gained a lot of information and knowledge. Some of the trainings I attended were – leadership, communication, Gender equality, Panchayat Raj (local self governance), Rights Based approach, Result based management etc. which helped me in gaining self confidence, courage, straightforwardness, ability to organize people, communication skills besides becoming fully aware of the various Govt. schemes floated for the upliftment of the poor people.

With this, I was able to motivate the most marginalized women of my village and surroundings and was successful in forming new self help groups. I am able to train women on various topics and organize them to avail Govt. schemes and fight for their rights. I meet Government Officials and non Government Organizations without any hesitation and get work done for the people. Various organizations invite me as a guest for their programmes and women come looking for me to share their problems and ask for suggestions. I am proud to say that I am recognized in the society and my advice sought on various needs of the people.

I am grateful to CODP & KROSS for all the support and encouragement I have received to reach to this stage. Thanks to one and all.