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India mothers celebrate International Women’s Day

March 9, 2011

HYDERABAD, India — Mothers of CFCA sponsored children in Hyderabad reflected on the progress of women in India and their prospects for the future to mark the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on March 8.

International Women's Day in India
The CFCA mothers group in Hyderabad, India, lights a lamp on
March 8 in recognition of the 100th anniversary of International
Women's Day.

Hyderabad Coordinator Prakash Chevva encouraged the mothers to become leaders and play an active role in solving their problems, noting that women have attained leadership positions in India’s government. The president of India and the president of India’s ruling party are both women.

Agnes, the mother of a child who graduated from the CFCA sponsorship program and a member of a CFCA mothers group, advised the mothers to be united and to tackle their problems together.

CFCA mothers groups consist of 10-15 members who meet regularly to address common issues. The mothers contribute a small amount each month toward a group savings account. Portions of these savings are then made available to the mothers as low-interest loans with favorable terms. The loans are used to pay for college, medical emergencies or small business startups.

About 10,000 mothers of CFCA sponsored children are members of the groups in Hyderabad.

International Woman's Day in India
Rosy Kommareddy, coordinator of the
Hyderabad mothers group, honors Susai
Mary, 100, for her example to the rest of
the mothers.

Saroja, the mother of a sponsored child, talked about the benefits of taking loans from the CFCA mothers groups instead of from money lenders.

“These women had to undergo humiliation at the hands of these money lenders,” Saroja said. “With loans from mothers groups, it is their own money, the interest rate is lower and the borrowers are not harassed. The interest earned on the loan goes to the group’s account and is shared among the members every year.”

Anitha Beeredani, a CFCA social worker, said mothers groups promote the dignity of women and their families.

“CFCA can bridge the barriers of castes and religion, and helps people of all communities, especially the oppressed,” Beeredani said. “The CFCA mothers are much bolder, dedicated, confident and ready to develop entrepreneurial and leadership skills. Most of all they are able to lead a dignified life.”

At a meeting in a different neighborhood, mothers listened to lectures about women’s health, and on the history and significance of International Women’s Day.

Rosy Kommareddy, coordinator of the Hyderabad mothers group program, recognized Susai Mary, the great-grandmother of Abel, a child sponsored through CFCA. Mary celebrated her 100th birthday in February.

“Thank you for leading a successful life and being a good example for all the mothers,” Kommareddy told Mary.

Susai Mary and the other mothers then cut a cake in honor of 100 years of International Women’s Day.

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