Janani’ literally meaning ‘Mother’ is a federation of 25 Self- Help Groups in Balikuda Block in the district of Jagatsinghpur in Orissa. This organization is an autonomous body that was formed by Unnayan after the area was wrecked by the Super Cyclone in 1999. Today, Janani and its members are an entity independent from Unnayan. We continue to play an advisory role to them and assist in their capacity building.

There are over 500 women who are members of Janani. 350 among them are Golden Grass (link to section 3) Artisans. 100 women are also involved with livestock rearing. 55 women are involved in small enterprises.

Janani is the nodal agency in Balikuda block under the Orissa State Disaster Mitigation Authority’s (OSDMA) Community Based Disaster Preparedness.

Self- Help Groups
SHGs are the primary institutions with whom Unnayan works. The SHGs which were pioneered by Unnayan in its operational area in Rasgobindpur and Balikuda Blocks in Mayurbhanj and Jagatsinghpur districts respectively have opened up avenues for women to step out of their homes into the public domain. Indeed, partly learning from indigenous savings and credit systems, the SHG system is becoming increasingly mainstreamed, with agencies like the Mission Shakti, ITDA and DRDA now involving selected SHGs in our operational area in their specific programmes and linking them to banks.

Poor women are now taking the responsibility of managing their individual savings and borrowing through groups in which they are active participants and decision makers. These SHGs have helped women to gain increased access to and control over the economic resources of their families. Some groups who are maturing have started involving themselves in wider social issues in the villages. The SHGs play a bigger role besides financial intermediation. These are the institutions based on the concept of “peer learning” as against learning that is externally controlled. This is a powerful process that enables growth and progress in the community. Members learn from each other in a group and groups learn from other groups, which then lead to collective progress. The cohesion that SHGs foster enables them to address issues such as health, education, forest depletion, and alcoholism. These SHGs are emerging as a forum for effective interface for the poor women to deal constructively with the external world, village society, the panchayat, the banks and the government. The SHG is also emerging as a forum for solidarity and empowerment of women, providing them the space and voice to negotiate and participate as equals both within the family and in society in general.

Through our consistent efforts, the SHGs in our operational area have come out as potential motivators in their respective villages/ communities. Leaders were selected by the group and attended a series of different trainings and other orientation programmes. The Peer-motivators have received recognition from their community.

Participation of SHG members in Gram Sabha and Palli Sabha meetings has increased. The Government and other agencies have also recognized these groups. Government agencies are consulting them before implementing programmes or schemes. The community in Tupura village has mobilized support from District Rural Development Agency for digging of a pond by passing resolution in the Palli Sabha.

Through the involvement in this programme the women have gained a better status in their community. Hence, the male members of the community have come forward to support them in this process.

Village Development Committees
The village Development committee is a body that consists of members from various bodies in the village that is responsible for the overall development of the village. This body usually consists of representatives from the Self- Help Group, representatives fromt eh forest protection committee, the village education committee, farmer’s clubs, the Parent’s teacher’s Association of the village school and the representatives from the Rogi Kalyan Samiti (Health Committee). Very often, important officials from the area are called upon to attend meetings and help this body plan for the development of their village.

Forest Protection Committees
Forest Protection Committees or FPCs are village- level collectives of people who are protectors of the forests in and around their villages. This body ensures that members of the community do not misuse the forest. More importantly, they protect the forests from illegal felling by large traders and forest fires.

The forests in these areas had depleted to the extent that the forest area had become totally barren leaving only the roots of the trees. The community was dependent on it for their livelilhoods to a substantial extent a few years back. However, with the forest conservation measures, these depleted forests have now started regenerating. Though it doesn’t provide any other forest produce, the regenerated forests are capable of providing leaves by which the tribals have regained their traditional occupation of collecting Sal leaves.

Farmers’ Club
We believe that for any intervention to be sustainable there has to be a body at the primary level that is involved with the planning, visioning and the management of the activity. (link to 1.1)

Subarnarekha Suraksha Sena
Subarnarekha Suraksha Sena is a civilian corps consisting of individuals, institutions, organizations who are directly or indirectly affected by river ‘Subarnareknarekha’ and have taken a vow to protect themselves and the people in the river basin from severe flood that comes almost every year. It works on issues concerning preparedness, relief and rehabilitation during flood and going to take up advocacy activities on term strategy for flood control, which is a major cause of poverty in the area of north Balasore. It certainly has a development approach for the people of the area for whom the river plays a vital role in their life but with an activist overtone. The reason behind activism is to bring a halt to the step-motherly attitude of the government of the land towards the issue and development approach forms the part of the people’s responsibility to work towards a sustainable solution by involving in the appropriate platform that has been availed to them.

Children’s Club
The Children’s Club is an informal body where the children of a village come together to better their reading skills, their awareness; it is a forum for them to express themselves creatively and act as agents of change in their community.




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Contact Us

Coordinating Office
HIG- 185, Kanan Vihar Phase - 1
PO Patia, Bhubaneswar – 751031
Orissa, India
Ph - +91-674-274-1112, 274-1198
Fax- 0674- 2743033 (attn: Unnayan

Field Office -
Unnayan,At- Tambakhuri, Po. Rajghat, District. Mayurbhanj, Orissa, PIN: 756030.
Ph: +91-6781-237841