February 10, 2010

A FAMILY OF ONE'S OWN: Support the Association of Empowered Single Women in India! A little help goes a long way...

Welcome to my blog which is a grass-roots effort to support the many single women in rural northwest India (and their children) who have been economically and socially marginalized by virtue of their single status (widowed, divorced, abandoned, abused). Please join me in supporting single women who are organizing a new social movement to craft lives of dignity and justice.

In April, 2008 over 2700 single women, ages 20 to 90+, came together for a 3-day march to the state capital in Himachal Pradesh to demand of the legislature long term lease rights to government land, as well as other benefits (health care, public sector jobs, ration cards, pensions), all of which were previously denied to them. The march, the first of its kind in that area, was a tremendous success, granting several of their demands and enabling them to put aside their stigmatized identities and experience the power of being a part of a collective struggle.

However, long term leases to government-owned land, which are regularly offered for a variety of business projects, were denied.

The Association of Empowered Single Women (ENSS) has become the base support organization for this movement to provide land for poor single women. The current goal of ENSS is the purchase of land in rural Himachal Pradesh to support 10 women to live communally and farm. On a 2-acre unit, one older and one younger woman, each with experience as subsistence farmers, would create an economically viable family unit (including the children of the younger woman). The land would be worked for subsistence agriculture, with a portion of the produce sold at market to provide additional essentials. The women would be supported by ENSS professionals to ensure their integration into the broader community.

With evidence of a successful demonstration project, ENSS can then pressure the government into expanding this program of using available government land to create a viable future for India's disenfranchised single women. More information: http:/www.sutra/org.in/enss.htm

Please be a part of this exciting, ground-breaking (literally) project to enable these women to have a life of dignity and identity by making a tax-deductible donation.
Your tax-deductible donation is payable to:
UU Holdeen India Program
with “SUTRA /ENSS land purchase project“on the memo line.

Mail to:
Kathy Sreedhar, Director
UU Holdeen India Program
1100 G Street, NW
Suite 800
Washington, DC 20005

The UU Holdeen India Program is one of the main granting organizations supporting SUTRA and ENSS.

For more information on the UU Holdeen India Fund, please visit:

The Unitarian Universalist Association is a 501(c)(3) organization, exempt from federal income tax. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent of the law. No tangible benefit, goods or services will be provided by the UUA or the UU Holdeen India Fund in consideration for your contribution.

The federal tax identification number is 04-2103733.

Further information on this blog includes the outline of who these women are and their demands from the government , the non-profits that support them, my personal reasons for involvement. I am also available for further information at plberry850@comcast.net.


  1. wow. just wow. I know donations help but is there anything else? How can I get involved?

  2. Thank you for visiting my blog today. If you don't mind, I'd like to post on your organization and direct readers to it. I have a post series called Making a Difference that informs readers about how to make a difference on issues pertaining to women and children.

  3. Wow, what an amazing idea. Great blog!

    Lovely to meet/follow you blog, pop over to bigwords if you get a chance x

  4. Love the idea of your blog! So awesome that you are getting the word out about these women!


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