The Madhya Pradesh District is one of the poorest regions in India with a high rate of child mortality, catastrophic medical care and very poor hygienic conditions. In this region hardly anyone can read and write; The Bhil and Bhilala women especially suffer from lack of access to basic education. Malnutrition, poor hygienic conditions during childbirth and infant care, make their living conditions drastically more difficult. A quarter of all female newborns do not survive more than their 15th birthday. Women have a low status in their families, they often do not attend schools and are usually not paid.
Knowledge Is Passed on to Children
The “Barli Development Institute for Rural Women” was founded in 1985 in central India, the megacity of Indore. Their primary purpose was to focus on the needs of the most underprivileged population strata. They believe continuing women’s education, ensures that the learned knowledge is passed on to the children and the wider family environment.
The Barli Development Institute follows the idea of the maxim “help for self-help” and the focus is on the needs of those affected. In a six-month free stay, the girls and women learn reading and writing, hygiene and healthcare, agricultural cultivation, and craft. Barli attaches particular importance to ensuring that the craft can find buyers in the local market. It turned out that batik and tailoring are not only a good source of income for individual women, but also for whole families in Madhya Pradesh.
New Principles Give Self-esteem
The teaching of principles such as equality between men and women helps girls and women to gain more self-confidence. Every year, the Barli Institute trains around 170 girls and women. At the end of the program, almost everyone can read, write, use the boiled drinking water and earn their own money. The people have great trust in the organization.
Renewable Energies in the Household
Firewood is a scarce commodity in the region. Lung and eye diseases occur since cooking is mostly done in the house. In order to help the environment and improve community health, the Barli Institute uses solar cookers. These appliances are also used in the households of former users supported by Barli.
Many of the former schoolgirls have been trained as trainers, and in this way they can redesign their lives. One of the biggest honors awarded to the institution is the “Global 500 Award” presented by the United Nations in 1992 and the listing as one of the 81 most successful basic training projects in UNESCO’s INNOV database.