The Kudumbashree Story

Women Empowerment

Ashraya - Package of Care Services

The package of care services that Ashraya offers addresses a wide range of needs typical of destitute persons and families. It takes care of almost anything that would be required for their rehabilitation; it is also flexible to accommodate specific needs. The package of services takes care of survival needs, sustenance needs, and development needs of the destitute families. 

Food: Provision for ensuring food to all destitute families

  • Food grains under Annapoorna Programme to all destitute persons above 65 years of age.
  • Destitute families facing extreme poverty without any source of income or pension are covered under Antyodaya Anna Yojana Programme, with local body directly paying the ration shops handling public distribution system (PDS).
  • Members of destitute families are covered under Food for Work Programme such as SGRY to ensure wage employment and supply of food grains.
  • In the case of the physically or mentally challenged, chronically ill from incurable diseases, and very old people with nobody at home able enough to cook food, cooked food was to be served through anganwadies under the responsibility of NHGs and ADS.

Health Care: Ensuring health care and free medicines to all destitute persons

  • Efforts by local governments for providing special care to destitute persons suffering from tuberculosis, leprosy, cancer, AIDS, cardiac, kidney, or neuro diseases with the support of the primary or community health centres. Medical camps and services of specialists from government medical colleges, district, or general hospitals were to be used. Speciality hospitals in the area were to be persuaded for providing free service to destitute persons.
  • Supply of free medicines to the needy destitute persons.
  • Initiatives for utilising Chief Minister’s or Prime Minister’s Distress Relief Fund for the treatment of destitute persons; also encouraged was tie up with philanthropists and charitable organisations.
  • Voluntary health workers’ corps at local body level to render assistance to destitute families.

Assistance to Physically and Mentally-Challenged

  • Three percent allocation for the disabled under Indira Awaz Yojana, Sampoorna Grameen Rozgar Yojana (SGRY) etc to be spent on priority basis for the disabled from Ashraya families.
  • Skill development programmes through the involvement of agencies such as Kerala State Handicapped Persons’ Welfare Corporation, Kerala Federation of the Blind etc.
  • Local governments to use their plan grants under general sector to promote employment oriented projects for the disabled in destitute families.
  • Steps for financial assistance for employment oriented projects for the disabled from Central/State Social Welfare Advisory Boards.


  • Priority to eligible persons from destitute families in distribution of old age and other pensions.

House Sites

  • Local governments to accord priority in providing land for house sites to landless destitute families; local governments, District and Block Panchayats permitted to buy land for destitute families.
  • Concessions available to SC/ST families made available to destitute households irrespective of their communities.


  • Priority in constructing houses for the destitute families that are lacking in proper housing.
  • House construction through Neighbourhood Groups or Voluntary Agencies.

Drinking Water

  • Provision of public stand posts at the nearest possible spot.
  • Preference to areas with large number destitute families in new water supply schemes.
  • Construction of open draw wells.


  • Efforts in enrollment of children from destitute families and re-admission of drop outs.
  • Provision of study materials, uniform, umbrella, footwear, school bags etc., to children of destitute families through sponsorship by individuals or voluntary agencies.
  • Special coaching to ensure educational improvement of children of destitute families through formation of Voluntary Support Groups at the local body level.

Social Inclusion

  • Community Development Societies to initiate enrollment of members of destitute families in Neighbourhood Groups.
  • Execution, supervision, and monitoring of projects under rehabilitation of destitute families by Neighbourhood Groups.
  • Awareness creation on the state of destitute families among general public through CDS.
  • Counselling for family members.
  • Training programmes for building up physical and mental efficiency of destitute persons with professional advice from psychologists and experts.

A close look at the government orders and guidelines relating to Ashraya reveals the story of how Kudumbashree Mission adapted to situations, addressed new challenges, and resolved problems in implementation.