Events and community celebrations
Community celebrations are opportunities for groups to gather in large numbers and share festivities beyond just their families and friends. They foster a sense of belonging to a larger family; one that is mixed caste and class.
Locally elected panchayats are expected to arrange public meetings on four days which are: 1. May Day, 2. Independence Day, 3. Gandhi Jayanthi and 4. Republic Day. AVAG encourages SHGs to participate on all these days. Over the years, the women have started to play an active role in them.
Apart from this, SHGs observe important days relevant to them like International Women’s Day and Menstrual Hygiene Day. Conventionally, women participate in programs or events organised by men but in these celebrations women organise events and give performances.
Events and community celebrations women’s solidarity festival
A Festive Community Spirit
- Community celebrations create opportunities for our SHG members to share their talents and achievements with their own villages and those surrounding it.
- Group Members coordinate the programme, inviting local leaders to watch stage performances and participate in events. This helps villagers learn about SHG activities and creates a forum for them to offer suggestions for improvement.
- Every year, cluster level festivities ensue on International Women’s Day.
- AVAG hosts an Annual Bio-regional Women’s Solidarity Festival which is organised and funded by the Udhayam Federation Members. All the members of the Federation (5000+ women) congregate to share a day together. Stage cultural performances are displayed by different group members.
For a detailed account of the Bio-regional Women’s Solidarity Festival, 2016, click here.
To understand more about the cultural significance of this event in the Indian context, click here.
In addition to these events, in 2014-15 there were 117 Women’s Day celebrations at the SHG level. In total, 2,069 women participated with their SHGs. While some groups celebrated the day by giving sweets and stationery to the children in government schools, some opted to celebrate with members of the homes for the poor, aged, orphaned or physically challenged. A few SHGs wanted to host their own events, and arranged tours and trips for their members to enjoy.