While South Asian women make up about 21% of the world's female population, 44% of the world's illiterate women are South Asian.
International Development Research Centre
Salma is 27 and lives in the Chandaka forest tribal area of Orissa, India. She lives with her elderly parents, her two brothers and her sister. Because her family couldn’t afford to send her, Salma had virtually no schooling and is illiterate. Salma’s mother suffers from TB and her father is an alcoholic so between them they are only able to get work very occasionally earning a meagre 4500 rupees, just £65, a year.
Just over a year ago, Jeevika Trust’s partner in Orissa, Jeevan Rekha Parishad, met the women in Salma’s village and helped them form several Self-Help Groups – Salma, along with the rest of the women, was taught how to keep bees and process honey.
Salma and her mother now have six hives and in their first harvest they got 7.5kgs of honey. With the help of Jeevan Rekha Parishad, Salma was able to sell all of her honey in the local market for almost £15. Salma told us: ‘I am so happy that I have been able to help my family. With this extra money, I want to buy more hives – I’ve already been able to help my mother get treatment for her TB; one of my brothers has gone back to school and we have been able to repair our home.’
Would you like to help women like Salma and her mother?