Savitribai Phule Mahila Mandal (SPMM) was initiated by conscientized women from Dukadegaon village who experienced acute poverty and social discrimination through out their life. With the first-hand experiences of the plights of the marginalized communities, especially the backward classes, the founder members of SPMM initiated a process of empowerment in its own village. As they were able to help some of the individuals from the village, they decided to broaden their work, hence registered the organization in the year 1988. SPMM is run by all women board members and made it a point that women’s issues be core at every activity and programme.

SPMM played a substantial and crucial role in disaster management in Latur earthquake 1993, plague in Beed district in 1994 and during the scarcity situation in 1995 in Marathwada region. SPMM organized and implemented major relief programmes in the Latur earthquake and the drought affected regions in Marathwada. The main thrust was to provide immediate relief and mobilizing government support to ensure that the benefits reach to needy population. When plague was detected in a few villages in Beed district, SPMM undertook a plague awareness drive, with a mobile unit giving information about the causes and treatment of plague.

SPMM took up caste based bonded labour, sugar cane cutter bonded labour and created awareness about these issues in Beed district thus helping to liberate the several bonded labourers. It paved path for SPMM to make the first move to unemployment issue and it organized and conducted several trainings on the Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) of the Maharashtra Government.

Profound interaction with people shed light on interplay of caste, gender and class role in violence against women. Along with caste based atrocities domestic violence, sexual violence-abuse and rehabilitation of such victims are major areas of work. In all these activities, the role of SPMM remained that of providing legal advice and support to the victims.

SPMM is also working for the ‘Quality and Equality in education’ for the rural children in Marathawada region of Maharashtra.

SPMM is providing a model for development and encouraging women and poor to take up alternative means of livelihoods through encouraging leadership. A careful nurturing of these women, by providing them with a sound information base, and by incapacitating them to take on different responsibilities, will further empower them and allow for the development of a fertile ground for the creation of women leaders, and ultimately, a gender balanced society.

In order to make the people independent SPMM very consciously and knowingly adopted a policy of encouraging people to help themselves, and not taking any decisions on their behalves. By giving the people the strength to merely question themselves regarding their situation, and by supporting them in their effort to struggle for their rights and demanding the respect accorded to a human being, SPMM has given a ray of hope for a better tomorrow.