Women Empowerment

Mahalir Thittam was launched in 1998 at Tirunelveli District by Tamilnadu Women Development Corporation. Its primary objective was to bring about socio-economic development and empowerment of marginalized women. NGOs like TSSS were invited to facilitate the process of implementation of the programme. TSSS is one of the leading partners of the programme. Groups promoted by TSSS have received state-level and district level awards for their best performances.

Mahalir Thittam has two important components. One is capacitating the office bearers, viz, the Animators and Representatives on group maintenance and record keeping. The other one is training the members of the SHGs on the purpose, objectives and knowledge of SHGs.

Major contributions of Mahalir Thittam:

  • Grading of Groups
  • Youth Skills Training
  • Entrepreneurship Development Programme
  • Direct Credit Linkage to Self Help Groups.
  • Revolving Fund to SHGs
  • Economic Assistance to SHGs
  • Formation of PLFs
  • Training to PLFs
  • Competitions for SHGs and PLFs
  • Manimegalai Awards
  • Marketing Exhibitions

Particulars of Area and Focus Groups Covered under MahalirThittam:

Total no of panchayats covered 145
Total no of villages covered 313
Total no of town panchayats covered 16
Total no of Unions covered 14
Total no of Groups formed 1164
Total no of members 17214


The goal of the project is that the Single women are empowered socially, economically, emotionally and exercise their rights to live with human dignity, self respect and self reliance.

Core Objectives:

To enhance level of self confidence and positive living of single women To make single women access technical education & legal aid To enhance the economic status of single women. To organize all the single women of the District and provide them a platform to meet, discuss and share their problems, feelings and emotions To ensure quality education to children of single women

Key Activities:

Identification of single women:

Base-line survey was carried out by the staff in the proposed target villages. 500 single women were covered under the study. Interview tool was evolved in group and the same was tested in 10 villages. Based on the experience, the questionnaire was reviewed and finalized before making the study. It took more than a month to collect the data. The data was compiled and consolidated.

Training to Programme for Staff of SUN RISE Programme:

The staff of TSSS was given training on the project components and facilitation skills. They also met every month to review their work and plan for the following month. The training was conducted at the training centre at Bharathi Nagar. Following were the details:

Date Programme No of participants
04.01.2013 Orientation Workshop on Project 25
04.02.2013 Participatory Planning and Monitoring 26
04.03.2013 Project Review, Training and Planning 25

Orientation workshop with single women: Single women identified through the base-line survey were given orientation training on the issues encountered by single women, resolving strategies and possible support to be extended to the women in distress. The training was organized at zonal level and the particulars of the training were as follows:

Date Zone No of participants
16.04.2013 Alangulam 50
24.04.2013 Palayamkottai 51
25.04.2013 Kovilpatty 45
26.04.2013 Sankarankoil 67
04.05.2013 Ambasamthram 62
5 275

The Zonal Officers and the programme manager of TSSS served as resource persons in the training programmes.

The core content of the workshops:

  • History of TSSS activities
  • Situation of single women in India and Tamilnadu
  • Challenges encountered by Single women
  • Welfare measures and rights of Single women
  • Project line items for the empowerment of single women
  • Results expected after the implementation of the project

The feedback of the participants was encouraging and it indicated that the project was unique and more beneficial to the vulnerable women.