Maa Laxmi is the name of a Self Help Groups (SHG) in Burupati. There is years of evidence that women are both economically and socially empowered though SHG activities. PRDATA and CARE India partner on the Pathways Program in the region, teaching and supporting sustainable agriculture through collective strengthening. Rakhima Pradhan expressed her interest in kitchen gardens to her Pathways Community Resource Person (CRP) Bisnupriya Pradhan. Together they bought the necessary seeds from Krishi Vigyan Kendra in G.Udayagiri, at the best price. The success of the Maa Laxmi SHG has inspired other groups to the same, providing food security and nutrition to families across the village.
Self Help Groups are composed of members in distress- the SHG serves as a social support system. Rakhima Pradhan of Maa Laxmi SHG, in Burupati is very poor. She has two daughters, Surekha and Sashirekha, and two sons, Suraj and Biraj. Her husband works in bonded labor in Kerala. Sometimes her husband sends them money to assist their survival. Her elder daughter studies in KIIT College, in Bhubaneswar by the help of a trust. Her family needs 50 rupees per day to buy vegetables from the nearby market. One day, when she did not have the money for the vegetables, the members of her SHG each donated 20 rupees. The group also provided a loan of 200 rupees to Ms Rakhima Pradhan for her household needs. This is but one example of the way Self Help Groups alleviate the strain of poverty on women, not to mention develop unity in the community.