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Amrita SREE, Empowering Women for Self Reliance, Education & Employment

The Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004 not only destroyed thousands of lives and homes, it also made a serious impact upon the fishing industry. When the fishermen and their families explained the crisis to Amma, she immediately understood that alternate forms of livelihood were necessary. Amma felt that least one member of each family from the fishing community should become proficient in a trade not dependent on the sea. In order to help facilitate this, Amma launched the first community-based self-help-group (SHG) program. The program became known as Amrita SREE: Amrita Self-Reliance, Education & Employment Program. What began as a response to the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami has today spread throughout Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Currently there are more than 11,000 Amrita SREE SHGs with more than 130,000 women participating across India. In the Andaman Islands, we have established an additional 1,000 self-help groups.

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