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Women Empowerment

Empowering Women to Empower Families

Helping women earn a better living pays off for everybody – mothers provide better nutrition and healthcare and spend more on their children. On average, girls and women spend 90% of their earned income on their families. We’ve been providing vocational training since 1989. After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, we began focusing on training women in particular. This turned out to be a smart investment – research has shown that empowering women with vocational training and economic opportunity is one of the most effective means to reduce poverty throughout entire communities.

We’ve provided more than 130,000 economically vulnerable women throughout India with vocational training, start-up capital and marketing assistance, as well as access to microcredit loans from government-regulated banks and affordable insurance plans. The women use these assets to form self-help groups, share microsavings accounts and start their own home-based businesses. For many of the women, it is the first job they have ever had.


11,000+ Amrita SREE SHGs

130,000+ Women Participants

Tailoring: MAM established nine tailoring schools and distributed 2,000 sewing machines—one to every to every program participant.

Nursing: 450 women were provided free training in nursing assistance along with a stipend to study at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi.

Driving: 500 youths received free driving lessons and received driver’s licenses to facilitate employment as professional bus, truck and taxi drivers.

Education: Seven eligible women received full scholarships to attend Amrita University Mysore’s School of Education and earned Master’s degrees.

Handicrafts: 1,500 women trained in making coir (coconut fiber) and coir-based products and over 150 women trained in handloom weaving.

Electronic Repair: 200 youths trained in niche trades including mobile phone and TV/VCR repair; plumbing; fashion design and handmade bag production.

Self Help Groups across India
Members and 10 Lakh Beneficiaries
Vocational Training for Women
Sewing Machines Distributed

Empowerment through education and 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. In southern India, thousands upon thousands of fishing nets and boats were destroyed, putting fishermen out of work. Furthermore, India’s aquatic ecosystems were seriously disturbed. For the fishermen whose boats and nets were still working, this resulted in meager catches for months together.

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.

In providing vocational education, start-up capital, marketing assistance and access to micro-credit loans and microsavings accounts from government-regulated banks, M.A. Math is working to equip unemployed and economically vulnerable women with the skills and means to set up small-scale, cottage-industry businesses. Research has shown that empowering women with equal economic opportunity is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty throughout entire communities.

Self-help groups are based upon a formula established by the Reserve Bank of India identify each targeted community’s particular needs and existing skills and resources before launching a phase of vocational training. Courses are selected from proposals that emerge from the targeted communities and offered at reputed vocational institutions. Finally, self-help groups are formed according to geographic proximity, each consisting of approximately 20 women. (Men who are family members of the women in the group are also eligible to receive vocational training.)

While the self-help groups operate autonomously, M.A. Math nurtures them towards successful independence. In addition to providing vocational training, M.A. Math helps each group come up with a viable business plan and assists in packaging and marketing the group’s retail products. Some of the fields in which Amrita SREE has helped create SHGs include: tailoring, handicrafts, electronic-repair, account systems, beauty-parlor management, feminine-hygiene products production, paper products, ready-made garments, leather products, bakery items, hand-looming, coir-making, garment-making, communal farming, food processing, banana culture and rice-flour production.

Districts in Kerala where Amrita SHGs have been formed

DistrictNo. of SHGsTotal No. of Members
Alappuzha 5,746 80,260
Kollam 2,695 38,900
Ernakulam 347 16,720
Kozhikode 330 16,350
Thrissur 521 9,330
Thiruvananthapuram 465 7,880
Kasaragod 458 7,800
Kottayam 197 3,000
Pathanamthitta 176 2,970
Kannur 170 3,100
Idukki 163 2,820
Malapuram 55 750
Wayanad 40 600
Mahe 38 520

In all of Kerala



States of India in which most Amrita SHGs have been formed


No. of SHGs

Total No. of Members

Tamil Nadu
Andhra Pradesh
Other states




Total No. of Members including Family



Eminent personalities from all walks of life have lauded the efforts of Mata Amritanandamayi Math in building a better society through women empowerment, during...
March 21, 2019 ThrissurThe Thekkinkad Maidan was today transformed into a sea of women at the Amrita SREE district conclave organized here. Padmasree Kalamandalam Kshemavati...
28th March 2019 KottayamAmrita SREE community-based self-help programmes came into existence as an endeavor to provide alternate livelihood to the fishing community which had lost...
March 24, Sunday KozhikodeProminent writer P Valsala today opined that the life Amma can be considered as a model for each and every woman of...
On February 11, 2019, Her Excellency Ms. Dana Kursh, Consul General of Israel to South India (Bengaluru) inaugurated a new collaborative project at our Amritapuri campus. “Women in Sustaining the Environment” (WISE) is a research project between Amrita and Tel Aviv University, funded by the Consulate of Israel to South India (Bengaluru).
Around 15,000 women belonging to the various Amrita SREE groups in the district participated in the event. An amount of Rs 30,000 was given as the working capital for each group this year.
DELHI / January 18, 2019: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, ranked eighth best university among India’s top 10 universities in the NIRF 2018 Ranking, has set up...
On Friday, January 11 2019, 15,000 women gathered at the Amritapuri campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham to participate in a sustainable women-empowerment programme conducted...
  Bhavani Rao, director of AMMACHI Labs at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, has occupied the first UNESCO Chair on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment set up...
“A traditional sanitary napkin has the equivalent of four plastic bags in it. Over a women’s entire menstruating lifetime, she would have used and...