When most people in the country were upgrading to cars, in 2006 we responded to the needs of our women in villages – for a cycle.

With no public transport system at that time and with poor roads, cycles were the only sensible means to get around. Women with their traditional clothes could not get on to men’s cycles and men never bought women cycles of their own! So, we decided to start cycle rental services in villages which later went on to become a sustainable revolving cycle bank. It helps women buy cycles on loans and puts put mobility and power into the hands of women.

No. of cycles in the bank – 800
No.of cycle bank chapters – 7

the ant's Women's cycle bank project in Assam
Learning cycles has no age bar in our villages
Girls dance, while the boys play the music instruments. This has been the long accepted gender norm in our Bodo villages. Challenging this norm, two young women from our Rowmari youth parliament started playing the khaam (long drum) and the sifung (bamboo flute) in a workshop we supported to revive and preserve traditional music among youth in our villages. With pride, we watched the two girls lead the procession in the opening ceremony of the Bodo Sahitya Sabha (the highest literary body of the Bodos). This has emboldened more young women to learn the traditional instruments. Today, our troupe of girl musicians is much in demand to perform all over Bodoland.