Sabala is a NGO based in Bijapur, India and has a primary focus on the empowerment of women. Since its inception in 1986, Sabala Organization has been creating initiatives and supporting the surrounding community. Sabala intends to empower marginalized women and children, including the tribal Lambani, through enabling financial freedom, political voice, social acceptance, and educational opportunities. Since more than three decades Sabala is positively impacting the social sector. So far it has reached out to over 27.000 people through various activities, focusing on the empowerment of women, and other economically and socially disadvantaged groups of society.
In 1986, Mallamma Yalawar founded the Sabala Organization. She gathered a team whose passions aliened with the empowerment of women. The Sabala team strives to further their cause through all stages of life by educating and providing opportunities. Along with the empowerment of women, Sabala also aims to revive the traditional banjara art forms. Through their initiatives that include Sabala Handicrafts, Chaitanya MahilaSahakari Bank, Geetanjali Model School, Sabala Heritage Home and numerous self -help groups, Sabala has been able to make progress towards improved lives and sustainable development.
The social enterprise, Sabala Handicrafts was created to provide economic opportunities to the Lambanies (Banjaras) and all other marginalized women. Sabala Handicrafts is organized as a linked enterprise and is run through their craft center. The women become artisans through training in the art of embroidery, weaving and or sewing. Although the Craft Center is the head of the operations, much of the work is done villages of the locals as the Sabala Handicraft team transports materials and finish goods throughout the area. This allows the artisans to tend to their households and children while maintaining employment. Sabala Handicrafts is certified member of the World Fair Trade Organization as they abide by the Fair Trade agreements. This social enterprise has resulted in financial independence for the women involved and has led to an improvement in the quality of life through the ability to afford education for their children, purchase and improve houses, and save money for the future.
The Sabala organization has set up numerous self-help groups for women in the region. They function on a weekly meeting schedule and allow women to take loans, pool money and combat social issues. The social issues they discuss and combat include land entitlement, woman’s rights, child labor, domestic violence, and child marriage. To combat the issue of children falling behind in their education, Sabala has established night classes and schools. These programs aim to catch drop outs up to normal school standards and enroll them back into the school system. At this time six out of ten children who have taken night classes have been reentered into the school system.
Geetanjali Model School
Geetanjali Model School was founded in 1998 adding to the vision of Sabala Handicrafts for the empowering force of education. Since then Geetanjali Model School has been striving to produce knowledgeable and sensible individuals to the society. Since 1998 more than 4000 students have graduated from Geetanjali Model School.
Chaitanya Mahila Sahakari Bank
Chaitanya Mahila Sahakari bank is a bank of women, by women for women. Any woman who has reached the age of 18 can become a member. The bank is licensed by the Reserve Bank of India and has about 8500 women shareholders. The bank was established to provide financial facilities to women who otherwise would not have access and has resulted the ability for women obtain financial freedom. The bank has established four branches in addition to the head office in Bijapur. The 50.000 customers contribute to a turnover of 320 cores, the Share Capital makes 2.3 cores.
Sabala Heritage Home
Sabala has taken up the initiative of Sabala Heritage Home in the ancient city of Bijapur to deliver a unique experience of a fine blend between the Banjara and North-Karnataka Tradition. The city is known for the legacy of the Mughal Architecture, which increasingly attracts visitors. Sabala Heritage Home provides a rich and authentic cultural experience in a clean and comfortable environment. It is situated in the outskirts of the city in a quiet area with nice views over the peaceful countryside. If the guests want to learn about Banjara Art and the role of Sabala Organization they can participate in various activities.