Buzz Women - enabling rural women to become climate champions in villages of rural Karnataka (partnering with Rainmatter Foundation since 2022)

Namaskara from Buzz Women!

What can be achieved when a woman recognizes her inner strength? We have seen the most brilliant stories of empowerment coming from the remotest corners of rural Karnataka.

Low-income rural women lack access to opportunities, skills and knowledge which pushes them into the poverty trap. They are made to believe they are helpless and are unaware of the power of the collective. Also, we believe and it’s proven these women will be affected the most by climate change.

Based out of Bengaluru, we reach these underserved women and make knowledge, skills and tools available at their doorsteps. Our buses have rolled into 10,000 villages in Karnataka to enable rural women to attend our training and have a chance to change their lives.

What changes do we achieve?

The program is built on the foundation of the 5 Cs - Cash, Care, Climate, Community, and Confidence. We wish to aid in combating poverty not only through training that deals with the economical aspect of poverty, but also the ecological, psychological, and sociological aspects. The program is divided into multiple training sessions that are contextual and meaningful.

Our interventions support rural women:

· Find solutions for their problems through self initaitive

· Plan their finances better and become financially secure

· Participate in financial decision making in their households

· Adopt and succeed in entrepreneurship

· Take measures to mitigate climate change at the local level

· Collectively solve personal and community problems and become community leaders

We believe, and have seen from our experience, that women take their learning to the families and encourage behavioral change. This belief in the power of women is one of the motivations behind Buzz Women’s intervention in the lives of rural and peri urban women.

Sharing one of our biggest secrets as a true grassroots organization:

When a Buzz trainer goes to a village, the women don’t see her as an outsider. They see her as one among them. Our trainers come from villages. They have experienced poverty and patriarchy firsthand. And they know what it means to be a village woman who aspires for a better life.

This lived experience of our 150 strong team on the ground is our secret. This is why our interventions are so rooted. And this is why our women embrace us as their own.

We have a strong volunteer network of 9000 rural women!

Yes, that’s what makes us such a strong grassroots organization.

Over the past eleven years, we created an engaging last mile connect and brought together a vibrant volunteer network of rural women. These volunteer women meet in groups of 10 once every month. These rural women reinforce the impact of our interventions and carry our change forward.

How do we create change? Drive along:

Watch how Suma is combating climate change in her own small ways


Highlights for the year 2022-23

Direct outreach/output

  • From April 2022 to March 2023 we enrolled 3978 Hasiru prerakis/Green motivators as climate action volunteers under Rainmatter-Buzz Green program
  • 2563 Green motivators completed 5 module of the Buzz Green curriculum (curriculum summary below)
  • Basket of needs household survey done for 4333 households in 172 villages of Kolar district
  • 107 Green motivators took initiative in their own villages and initiated the kitchen garden
Topics Why What How
Natural Wealth To set the context What are the natural resources around you? Activity
How has it changed from past to present? Interactive discussion
Climate change Reflect on daily lives What is climate change and how it is affecting you? Story telling video- Climate change awareness
Understand their thoughts on climate change Do you think climate change is real? Interactive discussion
How is it affecting you, your family and surroundings?
Understand the concepts of weather, season and climate and its changing dimension Weather, season and climate: Now and earlier. Activity
Water Understand relationships between water and life What is water? What is the role of water in our lives? Interactive discussion
Reflect on daily use of water Water and daily life Activity
How water is formed? Creating the water cycle Activity
Understand sources of water Interconnections between rainfall, surface water and groundwater. Importance of water for life and sustenance
Understand and acknowledge that water is an asset which belongs to the community and environment Who owns Groundwater? Game
Learning conservation measures and encourage adoption at home Save, Reuse and Recharge Activity
Understand importance of optimizing water usage and saving for future generations
Learn mapping and understand what they currently have Map water bodies and other water sources in the village Homework - when women go back to their homes after the day’s training
Land Understand and acknowledge that land is an important asset for life What is land? Role of land in our lives? Interactive discussion
Understand important land resources such as; soil, trees, forests Importance of trees, soil, forests etc. Activity
Understand and acknowledge that land is an asset which belongs to individuals, community and the environment’ How does it support our daily life and well being? Case study reading
Learning conservation measures and encourage adoption at home Land bunding, organic manure making and mulching and tree planting Activity
Learn mapping and understand what they currently have Map forests, Gomalas and other land resources in the village Homework - when women go back to their homes after the day’s training
Get access to and learn the traditional knowledge of their own community Traditional foods, its associated health benefits, knowledge about native seeds and plants and livestock Homework - Interaction with elders of the village
Pollution & Consumption Understand about pollution : land, water and air Dried up/polluted water bodies, polluted land and environment Activity
Create awareness on interconnections of consumption and pollution Household consumption and pollution Activity
Solutioning To facilitate women to create tangible solutions towards reducing pollution, and protecting water and land from climate change Action to be taken at home in 1 week, 1 month and 1 year Activity
Record Indigenous knowledge Activity
Green Village Spreading knowledge with others Delve into their network Interactive discussion
Learn to restore/safeguard, natural resource commons in the village Importance of natural resource commons for the village. Steps to restore and safeguard it Activity

This rural woman has inspired 110 other women to start kitchen gardens in their houses

Getting inspired and implementing change in one’s life is itself a big thing. But imagine inspiring 110 women to start kitchen gardens in their homes - that’s what Shylaja did!

Shylaja never ventured out to get herself a job or involved herself with community initiates until the Buzz Self Shakti training. But that training was a spark that made Shylaja an unstoppable force. She then attended the Spoorthi training, went on to become a Buzz Anchor woman. She also took the Buzz Green training in February 2022 and became a Buzz Green Motivator.

With this exposure, Shylaja got to know about a job opportunity at the village Panchayat as a Master Bookkeeper (MBK). This job requires her to visit villages under the Panchayat and spread awareness about various schemes and loans that the villagers can avail. This job automatically connected her to rural women.

Having created a kitchen garden in her own house and seeing the benefits, Shylaja started sharing her learning with these women. Whenever she gets a day off from her Panchayat job, second Saturdays or Sundays, Shylaja goes to the villages and creates awareness about creating kitchen gardens. Taking inspiration from her, 110 houses now have kitchen gardens! All this during her free time in the last one year and she is all inspired to continue doing this!

And it’s not just kitchen gardens, she talks to them about not wasting water, avoiding use of plastic and saving money. Her enthusiastic involvement with the villages caught the Panchayat officials in awe, too. They conferred her with the Best MBK award.

Shylaja has brilliantly made use of the knowledge she got from the Buzz training and the opportunity that her job at the Panchayat opened up to create a unique impact.


We drive down to distances where opportunities don’t reach, where women don’t get a fair chance at knowledge. Just last year alone, our buses in India covered 234000 kilometers!

Each one of these kilometers means an opportunity for change was offered to women of the remotest villages. Let the wheels roll on!


Great @Uthara - please roll the wheels in North India - UP, Bihar - side as well! :slight_smile:

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When you invite 200 rural women entrepreneurs and more than 250 women turn up, you know you have struck the right chords!

In partnership with ​​Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), we are offering entrepreneurship training for 200 women of Arasikere, Hassan District.
This programme will enable rural women to pursue sustainable income generation through non-farm/agri entrepreneurship initiatives.

We had a vibrant inaugural event, the highlight being trailblazing speeches by Sujatha and Shailja, two women who have undergone our entrepreneurship training. They passionately shared their experiences, how they’ve personally changed since Buzz’s intervention and what initiatives they’ve taken to make change in their respective villages. More exciting was seeing this motivate the other women from the audience to confidently take the mike and share their experiences too.

The event was graced by Mr. Satyaki Rastogi (General Manager and Regional Head, SIDBI), Uthara Narayanan (Co-founder and Chief Changemaker at Buzz Women), Mr. Ulagiyan B (Deputy General Manager, SIDBI) and Gayatri Devi (General Bank Manager Canara Bank, Hassan).

This is the first time SIDBI is engaging in such an initiative in Karnataka. We at Buzz believe that we can together strengthen rural communities through empowered entrepreneurship.


The best thing about being a grassroots activist is the love I experience when I go to the field.

Hugs and laughs are always good,
Sometimes it’s home cooked food
fruits fresh from the tree,
flowers plucked just for me
tears of joy plentitude,
And I say a prayer of gratitude
For I have been chosen to serve,
the women, for all that they deserve.

Savitha told the audience during the Buzz Vyapar-SIDBI(Small Industries Development Bank of India) Hassan entrepreneurs programme inauguration, how her mother in law stopped her from joining any SHG (self help group) for years. When the Buzz financial capacity building training happened in her village last year, her friends in her village nominated her to be the community anchor woman (Gelathi) from her village since she never gets an opportunity to go out or attend meetings since she is not part of any SHG. Since she became a Gelathi in her village, she is confident, articulate, happy and now wants to start her own business.

Savitha leaped onto the stage after the inauguration event and said she wants a picture hugging me. What joy!


Superb . Bahut acha kaam . Like your organised way of working . All the best

@Suman_Jile I have dedicated my lifetime to working in Karnataka. In other geographies, we are looking for partners. Lets talk? [email protected]


“I’m thoroughly enjoying being an entrepreneur”, says Kusuma who makes a profit of Rs 20,000 per month from her shop at her village. That’s a 250% increase in her income within just 8 months of attending the Buzz training.

For a self-driven woman like Kusuma, all she needed was a fair chance at knowledge. Read Kusuma’s story here:
This Rural Woman Entrepreneur Tripled Her Income and Built a Thriving Household


When the idea of rural volunteers came up, no one believed in it.

“Why will marginalised rural women volunteer?”

“They will ask for money.”

“It’ll not be sustainable.”

There were more negatives than positives that we heard. But we believed in our women and the power of the knowledge that we are sharing with them. And here we are with a colossal feat - 9000 rural women volunteers are part of the Buzz movement!

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This Green Motivator is saving gallons of water through her innovation!

This is the story of Yashoda, a Buzz Green Motivator (a community anchor who supports community women to take green initiatives). Yashoda is a 50-year-old resident of B Gadduru village in Mulbagal taluk, Kolar district. Yashoda has undergone four Buzz Green sessions and has one more to go. Her second ever session taught her about the importance of water and since then her lifestyle has not been the same!

Yashoda’s passion for the environment and plants specifically, began when she purchased some seeds from Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad, a few years ago, intending to grow them at home. However, the seeds failed to germinate, which deeply saddened her because she was excited to plant them. This led her to reflect on the impact of human activities on nature and ask herself, “What can I do?”. Since then, she has actively engaged in environmental pursuits. Prior to Buzz Women’s interventions, she grew coriander and mint at home and would generously distribute the surplus to her neighbours and passersby. She would do this for two reasons: one, to avoid being wasteful and two, because home-grown produce is much healthier and safer for the body and environment than those sold at markets. So it makes perfect sense that her daughter encouraged her to be a Green Motivator for B Gadduru.

Yashoda’s inspiration to take climate action is her daughter, Sripriya, who is also a Green Motivator and a Gelathi (community anchor and change-maker) in B Gadduru village. Our field associate, Farhana, initially identified Sripriya as the Green Motivator for their village, who then suggested that her mother join her because of her innate love for the environment. Her daughter is a member of the Sthree Shakti Sangha (SHG) and holds a leadership position within the group. Additionally, she drives a tractor for farming activities, which is a big deal for where they come from, Farhana shared.

At the second Buzz Green training session, the group was asked, “How can we save water?” This got Yashoda to deliberate and assess how she wastes water on a day-to-day basis. “My water purifier is the biggest culprit!” she exclaimed. The session raised questions such as, how can water be repurposed, why are we living in a ‘danger heat zone’, and how can everyone take initiative. This catapulted into a simple and strategic creative innovation!

Yashoda’s water purifier releases impure water from one of its pipes that would earlier get wasted into the sink in her kitchen. Now, she has extended the pipe to reach a bucket, which is then used for watering her plants. In addition to this, she utilises the water remaining from cooking rice and washing lentils to provide drinking water for her cows. This has resulted in her saving 25 litres of water a day!

“Mōḍala hejje namminda ārambhisuttade (the first step begins with us)” is her mantra and motivation that she has imbibed from her third session. Driven by her passion for change and the environment, Yashoda has extensively researched on Youtube and discovered that the soap water remaining after washing vessels can be used to clean plants without causing harm, specifically local white flowers she grows. This practice helps clean the flower and remove any accumulated dirt.

Yashoda’s continuous quest for new methods to contribute to the environment reflects her dedication and passion as well as the capacities that we possess to take climate actions.

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“I owe it to my children and I owe it to my land!” - says this rural woman who is taking climate action

Nagamani has independently been able to create alternate water supply systems at her home and her agricultural fields. She completed Hasiru (Green) programme last year in October, and is a Green Motivator from Sundarapalya village, Kolar district. She lives with her son and daughter.

Nagamani used to grow water apples but barely made anything out of it to sustain herself and her children. She was also struggling to manage waste water on her property, as there is no sustainable drainage system in Sundarapalya. The training was important for her because she resonated with the idea of ‘responsibility’ that we as individuals and communities have over the environment.

Nagamani is an Anganwadi teacher and finds herself responsible for shaping the lives of her children. Therefore, doing the ‘right’ thing for them in order to set an example, is imperative for her. Furthermore, Nagamani has been the sole guardian of her children for several years now since she made the decision to leave her husband after years of marital strife. So, the concept of ‘responsibility’ and taking action is quite natural to her. She seeks change and her personal struggles at home and her commitment to moulding the lives of children has facilitated her in internalising that ‘change comes from within’ and that anyone can be a changemaker. When asked about why she’s enthusiastic about being a Green Motivator, she exclaims, “I owe it to my children and I owe it to my land!”

Her biggest learnings from the Hasiru programme is ‘sustainable living’ which she understood was multi-fold. She realised that in order to achieve this living, she has to nurture nature and show kindness to her, as well as have money and good health. So, she envisioned a plan and four months ago even executed it, just three and a half months after completing the programme.

On her land, she now grows guavas, mangoes, a few other varieties of fruits and various flowers in addition to the water apples. Apart from this, she cultivates vegetables like spinach and brinjal. To efficiently use water for her produce, she developed a drip system, which she devised herself after speaking to a local agricultural worker on how to create one, to ensure there is absolutely no wastage of water.

Starting this initiative has been profitable to her in a holistic way. Nagamani sells her vegetable produce every two days and saves money by growing vegetables solely for her own consumption. She even sells her flowers to local flower vendors. Secondly, she is confident that her produce promotes good health for those who consume it because she doesn’t use chemicals on her produce unlike those you get at the markets. She’s yet to reap the benefits of her fruit produce as she just began to grow them. Lastly, this effort is environmentally safe and cautious since her land was once used only for one kind of tree. This mono-crop cultivation was eroding the soil. Now, other varieties are being cultivated and the land is regaining its vigour.

Embracing sustainable practices, Nagamani has also implemented rainwater harvesting and conservation of groundwater at her home, following the intervention of the Buzz Green programme. This too she developed by herself. As a farmer, water is essential for her livelihood and has hence committed herself to conserving water in whatever capacity she can.

Nagamani has overcome a lot of obstacles and has been able to change her life on her own by taking initiatives. Green motivators like her are true inspirations for all of us.

Inspiring! I feel more and more people need to see this. I am constantly struggling to meet people who feel they too can make a change. To many, it just feels like something out of their reach when I talk to teenagers and young adults in urban settings.

You have accomplished so much, I wish you a very successful journey ahead. I also hope you share your work and get maximum outreach. This is exactly what the newer generations need to idolize.


Thanks Aari. I am humbled. I feel I have miles to go before I sleep but I am very happy with what has been done. The women are the biggest strength for me. What they accomplish with such little opportunity and resources just amazes me everyday. So newer generations need to idolise these women.

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Just five months after joining Buzz, Radha Devi went up to Kempanna, her manager, and said she wanted to quit. But that was the abyss from which Radha rose.

Today Radha asks, “People from 114 villages know me by my name. They value the work that I do. They believe I can help improve their lives. Why will I leave my job and sit at home?”

Read the remarkable story of how Radha strived her way through personal challenges to become one of Buzz’s top performers.

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Nagamani from Srinivasapura Taluk has started a Naati Kozhi farm (desi poultry) after undergoing the Buzz Green training and doing the Basket of Needs. Today was the inauguration. The first of many ‘local production for local consumption’ livelihoods. The local TV news journalist said Nagamani spoke better than me in the interview :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Success!


Myths become beliefs, then they become norms, and then they limit us. But we decided to question the beliefs that govern our sector. The result? We have cut new roads and changed norms.

#womenempowerment #womenempoweringwomen #changemakers #beliefs #change #strategy


A climate conscious rural India - that’s our big audacious Buzz Green goal!

From starting kitchen gardens to wisely using water, we have hundreds of women taking small steps towards sustainable living. Here’s a peek into how our women who are changing their behaviour and are taking climate action that matters.

#climatechange #climateaction #buzzgreen #ruraldevelopment #climate #sustainability


Will a group of village women voluntarily gather as a support group? Will they be open to discuss their problems with the group? Will they sustain camaraderie? We had all these doubts when we thought of the idea of Buzz Jenugudu (Buzz Beehives program), a self-sustaining peer group of women who can support and empower each other. But we went ahead without getting weighed down by the doubts. Today, we feel if we didn’t implement the Jenu Goodu Program we would have stunted so many opportunities for change – like this one.

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