Power – or the lack of it – lies at the heart of women’s inequality. Thus, forming SHGs or Self Help Groups was the means and not the end itself.  

Cycle banks gave women mobility but also confidence. Leading violence free lives is the right of every woman. For us at the ant, women’s empowerment means awakening the power within women and creating an eco-system where men are unafraid to share power with women.

Jagruti groups & Jagruti Federation

the ant’s first intervention in the community was forming women’s Self Help Groups (called Jagruti Groups), which carry out savings & credit and income generation activities. These groups have been further federated into Jagruti Federations, which work on ‘Stopping Violence Against Women and Girls’ and run chapters of the Jagruti Women’s Cycle Bank. These federations have grown so much that they are able to independently plan and execute women’s day celebrations which involve over 4000-5000 women and men from communities and other social campaigns.


                               No. of members in Jagruti Groups –         2800

                               No. of Jagruti Groups                     – 250

                                No. Of Jagruti Federations               – 12


The Future

  • Have a strong “He for She” programme where men and boys in our villages work for women and girl’s empowerment.
  • Build up effective women leaders who can take up leadership roles in their villages and societies.




Assembly elections were announced in Feb 2016 . Along with other civil society groups, we saw in it an opportunity to place before political parities our own manifesto – a woman’s manifesto. With International Women’s Day round the corner, the ant team along with our Jagruti groups hit the roads with the ‘Include Women’ campaign. We pushed the political parties – who were by then trying to hijack our strong women federation leaders to swing women’s votes in their favor – to adopt our manifesto. The campaign saw over 3000 women getting involved and created debate in village tea shops and also in homes!