Recognised as a highly innovative and effective scheme for destitute identification and rehabilitation, Ashraya has evolved as a benchmark for social development programmes in the State. The way it was formulated, the care with which its package of services was designed, and the diligence with which its implementation was taken up by the community organisation had been impressive.
The various orders, circulars, guidelines, and directions issued by the Government of Kerala and the Kudumbashree Mission are testimony to the proactiveness that led to the design of such a comprehensive scheme. However, from early on, leaving aside a few trail-blazers, many Grama Panchayats were lukewarm in their response to Ashraya. The State Government had to intervene and make it mandatory for the Grama Panchayats to include Ashraya projects in their Plans for many of them to come forward to take up Ashraya projects.
As Kudumbashree Mission is going ahead with the implementation of Ashraya as per the revised norms, the scheme is faced with challenges in terms of buy-in by the local governments, excessive burden of responsibilities falling on the community network, and the need to maintain high levels of diligence to prevent deviations from the core principles.