Background: The rural coastal population of Njarakkal are dependent on fishing for their daily livelihood making them highly economically unstable. Both Kudumbashree and MGNREGA have been implemented in this area for the upliftment of this population especially women. Therefore, the objective of this study was to qualitatively analyze the impact of Kudumbashree and MGNREGA on the lives of women belonging to the rural coastal community of Njarakkal.
Methods: A qualitative study consisting of Focused group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted on women belonging to the fishing community who were active members of both the Kudumbashree and MGNREGA program.
Results: Participation in Kudumbashree and MGNREGA was found to have a positive impact on the lives of these coastal women. They experienced social, economic and political empowerment along with an improvement in their leadership skills and decision making capacity. Their participation in these groups not only led to empowerment in various domains of their lives but also had an impact on their health awareness, needs and utilization of healthcare services.
Conclusion: Both Kudumbashree and MGNREGA were found to very useful platforms for the empowerment of women and thereby aiding in the eradication of poverty. Irrespective of a few lacunae's in these programs, it has resulted in the creation of a cohort of empowered women who can be effectively used as future ambassadors for spreading health awareness in the community.