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The Holy GrailIndia's Quest for Universal Elementary Education$
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R.V. Vaidyanatha Ayyar

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199463473

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199463473.001.0001

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Sā Vidyā Yā Vimuktaye

Sā Vidyā Yā Vimuktaye

(p.96) V Sā Vidyā Yā Vimuktaye*
The Holy Grail

R.V. Vaidyanatha Ayyar

Oxford University Press

After outlining the genesis of Mahila Samakhya, an exceptional programme for women’s empowerment initially funded by the Dutch and later by the British, this chapter offers a critique and compares it with other approaches for women’s empowerment. Efforts to eliminate the discrimination against women can be classified into three categories: legal, economic, and psychological. This chapter brings out the salience of Mahila Samakhya by comparing and contrasting these three strands. The psychological approach which is at the heart of the Mahila Samakhya proceeds from the belief that it is necessary to shape a new consciousness among the women so that they strive to change their destiny and thereby alter the social reality. The chapter outlines the modalities by which such conscientisation was promoted and describes its successes and limitations as well as its influence on programmes for universalizing elementary education.

Keywords:   Mahila Samakhya, Women’s Development Programme, Self-help Groups, Dutch Aid, British Aid, DFID

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