Mahalir Thittam - Project exclusively for women

By NT Bureau Published on Jul 07, 2018 05:11 PM IST

Chennai: On the busy Valluvar Kottam High Road in the city lies a building that has been silently championing the cause of woman empowerment.

For the uninitiated, the Annai Teresa Women’s Complex located here, serves as the head office for the Tamilnadu Corporation for Development of Women (TNCDW), that runs the project ‘Mahalir Thittam’.

According to a senior official who wished to maintain anonymity, “This project is based on self-help groups (SHG) of women and is implemented by joining hands with community development organisations and NGOs. Under this, we train women in various skills which vary with every district in the State.”

“It was in the year 1989, that the self-help group approach was started as a small venture at Dharmapuri as International Funding for Agricultural development (IFAD). Later the scheme was extended to Salem and South Arcot districts in the year 1991-1992 and further extended to Madurai and Ramanathapuram in the year 1992-93,” the official added.

Following the success of the IFAD project, Mahalir Thittam project was launched with State government funding from 1997-98.

“The scheme has now grown into a mammoth movement covering all districts of the State targeting poor families and marginalised sections of the society. TNCDW which has been spearheading the SHG movement has brought out qualitative change in the lives of women through its definitive interventions over the last two decades. The programme is implemented in partnership with NGOs and community based organisations , which are affiliated with TNCDW after due process,” he stated.