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					4.2.1 Increased Participation in Other Groups/ Increased Social Capital

The programme has enabled women to widen their social networks. This is substantiated by
the higher participation in social networks by the women who are members of DPIP SHGs
compared to those who are not. The social networks thus configured have remained the same
during the period under considerations.       Simultaneously, there has been a considerable
improvement in the level of trust expressed by women in government officials, members of
different castes and outsiders during the period under consideration. This indicates that the
women have improved trust in the agents of social change, which is the fundamental
prerequisite for bringing social change.

The increased participation has had an impact on public institutions, both formal (such as
education, sanitation, infrastructure and financial services) and informal (such as practices like
child marriages, child labour and untouchability). Further, this section tried to understand
whether the increased participation of women has given women increased power to bring
changes at the community level. Thus, it covers both the provision of quality of public services
by local government and changes in the socially undesirable practices.

Women as agent of Change within the Community:
Here, an attempt is made to see whether this increased participation has had an impact on
public institutions-both formal (such as education and health) and informal (such as practices
regarding child labour, education of girl child, untouchability). It also seeks to understand
whether the increased empowerment and participation of women documented has given
women increased power to bring about change at the community level. It will consider both
the provision of quality public services by local government, and changes in socially
undesirable practices.

In order to test the hypothesis that there has been an improvement in education and health
services in those areas where VOs have taken an active role in addressing these issues, the
following regression is run:
                               J
   ∆ Service i = βD Di + Σ βJ Χji + ε i
                               j =1
 (i) Where D is a dummy which takes the value of 1 if the VO undertook action on this issue,
     χ and is a vector of variables which might affect the provision of services to that village:
     socioeconomic characteristics in 2003, distance to district headquarters etc. A significant
     coefficient on D provides a test of whether action taken by VOs has a significant impact.
     Finally, to test the hypothesis that there has been a reduction in socially undesirable

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         practices in those areas where village organizations have taken an active role in
         addressing these issues, the following regression is run:
                                          J

      ∆ Practice i = βD Di + Σ βJ Χji + ε i
                                         j =1

 Where D is a dummy which takes the value of 1 if the VO undertook action on this issue, and
 χ is a vector of variables which might affect changing attitudes with regard the that practice
 regardless of VO action: socioeconomic characteristics in 2003, heterogeneity of village in
 2003 etc. A significant coefficient on D provides a test of whether action taken by VOs has a
 significant impact.

 Table 4.4: Impact of VOs Collective Actions on Public Services: Regression Results
      Variables                                                           Public Services
                              Quality of              Quality of           Quality of     Quality Financial       Quality of
                            Drinking Water            Education          Internal Roads      Services            Legal Services
Action Taken by                   0.1498918**             0.1194512           0.0068704            0.2424931         -0.1556929
Community                                   (2.04)              (1.35)               (0.11)             (1.83)             (-0.39)
Poor                                  -0.081088             -0.12426       -0.1043021**           -0.314661*         -0.1269204
                                           (-1.44)             (-1.70)              (-2.24)            (-3.39)             (-0.92)
SHG Members                            0.032555           0.0882812          -0.0134015          -0.0267876          -0.2826664
                                            (0.61)              (1.31)              (-0.32)            (-0.32)             (-1.87)
Total Population                     .0002423*            -.0000185               .000029       -.0005968**             -.000584
                                            (2.82)             (-0.14)               (0.31)            (-2.40)             (-0.81)
% of Net area Sown                     .0009428          -.003791**             .0003005           -.0016208           .0059749
                                            (0.70)             (-2.54)               (0.30)            (-0.88)              (1.28)
Total Gross Area                      -.0000102           -.0000117            -.0000374         .0000381**            .0000183
                                           (-1.49)             (-1.19)              (-6.01)             (2.57)              (0.51)
% of Irrigated Land                    .0000835           -.0015407             .0003879            .0020512           .0010061
                                            (0.09)             (-1.13)               (0.44)             (0.80)              (0.37)
% of SC/ST                           .0023632*            -.0014817               .000783          -.0016792           .0025666
                                            (2.63)             (-1.31)               (1.04)            (-1.04)              (0.68)
Fare Head Quarter                       -.000089          -.0000501                 .00008         -.0002743          -.0034922
                                           (-0.05)             (-0.03)               (0.08)            (-0.16)             (-0.80)
Total SHGs                             .0041565           -.0010298          .0084883**            -.0028307          -.0011028
                                            (0.93)             (-0.21)               (2.44)            (-0.42)             (-0.06)
Constant                             0.0402375               .877192            .1926534            .7283109           .5431137
                                            (0.32)              (5.51)               (1.67)             (3.01)              (1.50)
 Note: ** 5% level of significance *1% level significance
 With respect to public services, the quality of drinking water has improved wherever action was taken by
 the VOs.




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Table 4.5: Impact of VO’s Collective Actions on Social Issues: Regression Results
    Variables                                                               Social Issues
                          Child Marriages          Child Labour         Untouchability          Religious           Disability
                                                                                              Discrimination
Action Taken by                    .3087453*            .3322889                .1367863                .245895          .4200631
Community                                (2.67)              (4.87)                  (1.26)                (0.81)             (1.97)
SHG Members                          .0052385           .0030889                .0945717              .0548759             .187103
                                         (0.05)              (0.05)                  (1.12)                (0.17)             (1.11)
Total Population                     .0010152          -.0001596                 -.000117             .0006969           .0009547
                                         (1.88)             (-1.00)                 (-0.64)                (0.75)             (1.45)
% of Net area                       -.0000386          .0045659*               -.0017111             -.0155988          -.0021749
Sown                                    (-2.24)              (2.76)                 (-0.61)               (-1.60)            (-0.48)
Total Gross Area                  .0078719**           -.0000355                 6.42e-06             .0000647           .0000387
                                         (1.58)             (-3.68)                  (0.45)                (1.15)             (1.27)
% of Irrigated                       .0083764            -.005181              -.0022902               -.018174          .0009695
Land                                     (3.53)             (-0.25)                 (-0.89)               (-1.63)             (0.13)
% of SC/ST                          -.345741*           .0000915               -.0008018              .0169982          -.0008878
                                        (-1.47)              (0.07)                 (-0.28)                (1.06)            (-0.20)
Fare Head                           -.0020202            -.001291              -.0021896                .013437         -.0083018
Quarter                                 (-0.60)             (-0.87)                 (-0.82)                (0.95)            (-1.90)
Total SHGs                          -.0048118           .0025378             .0118993**              -.0110685           .0276496
                                        (-0.41)              (0.49)                  (2.18)               (-0.33)             (1.63)
Constant                            -.3312989           .4261298                .2693228             -.4056431           1.169185
                                        (-1.11)              (2.51)                  (1.34)               (-0.37)             (2.54)

Note: ** 5% level of significance *1% level significance

With regard to the social issues, the collective actions of VO’s have contributed in reduction of
evil practices like child marriages, child labour and untouchability.

4.2.2 Increased Knowledge about Political Participation
The percentage of women who accessed information on village assemblies of Grama
panchayats is higher for the participants (62%) compared to those who are not (55%), during
the period under consideration. This supports the assumption that the programme makes a
significant contribution to raising awareness among women. Among the districts, the increase
is higher in Anantapur (67%) and Adilabad (59%) and whereas it has remained the same in
Srikakulam during the period FUS-I and FUS-II. The same is the case with the poorest of the
poor (57%) and the poor (60%). Thus, it is evident from table 4.1that the women of the
participant households acquired increased knowledge over their counter parts (non-
participants) on various grass root level political institutions.

4.2.3 Increased Participation in Local Politics

Participation of women in local politics to ensure proper governance of local political
structures is very essential because local governance has linkages with poverty reduction and
growth. Women’s participation in governance requires political capability, which refers to the
capacity to represent oneself or others, access information, form associations, and participate in


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