Vatsalya Swavalamban Abhiyan
Economic independence is the only key and triumph to poor women’s grit to overcome poverty, the torture and shame which she faces every day. Assisting them to bring out the entrepreneurial abilities from within these women will lead lives of dignity and security”, it is with this belief, Pujya Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara commissioned Vatsalya Vocational Training Centers (VVTC) in Vrindavan and Jwalanagar. Vatsalya Gram is striving hard to make a difference in the lives of needy orphan children and women to get a home, security, education and future with decent prospects, while VVTC is having the similar mission of uplifting women folk from the poor strata of the society. We at VVTC believe that economic independence and growth is critical to all round social development of women. This only gives her voice and dignity.
Vision : We at VVTC are focused to make poor women & adolescent girls more literate. Equip her with income generating vocational skills of her choice, along with entrepreneurial training and help her to start income generating activity alone or in Self Help Groups. We believe once she is economically empowered, social change will follow leading to a world of hope and social justice for underprivileged women and girls in India.
Constraints : Women’s entrepreneurship is both about women’s position in society and about the role of entrepreneurship in the same society. Women entrepreneurs faced many obstacles specifically in marketing their products (including family responsibilities) that have to be overcome in order to give them access to the same opportunities as men. Increased participation of women in the labor force is a prerequisite for improving the position of women in society and self-employed women. Particularly the entry of rural women in micro enterprises need to be encouraged and aggravated. Rural women can do wonders by their effectual and competent involvement in entrepreneurial activities. The rural women are having basic indigenous knowledge, skill, potential and resources to establish and manage enterprise. Now, what is the need is knowledge regarding accessibility to loans, various funding agencies, procedure regarding certification, awareness on government welfare programs, motivation, technical skill and support from family, government and other organization. More over Formation and strengthening of rural women entrepreneur network must be encouraged. Women entrepreneur networks are major sources of knowledge about women’s entrepreneurship and they are increasingly recognized as a valuable tool for its development and promotion. This network can help to give lectures, printed material imparting first hand technical knowledge in production, processing, procurement, management and marketing among the other women. This will motivate other rural women to engage in micro entrepreneurship with the right assistance and they can strengthen their capacities besides adding to the family income and national productivity. Thereby, the fallback position of all targeted rural women could be improved and the vision of Didi Maa to create a society with self-dependent women could be realized.Context : The context which demands interventions of Didi Maa for economic empowerment of women from rural areas to increase her fallback position in the family as well as society are described below -
- “Economic empowerment of women leads to development of family and community” is already proven by many NGOs in the country through Rural Entrepreneurship Development Program (REDP).
- The days when a man used to earn the breads for entire family has gone; every individual including women earning finds it difficult to earn for two square meals a day.
- Why a (rural) woman is always considered as agriculture or unskilled labor when there are thousands of examples proving them as capable as man in all fields?
- Women entrepreneurs need to be lauded for their increased utilization of modern technology, increased investments, finding a niche in the export market, creating a sizable employment for others and setting the trend for other women entrepreneurs in the organized sector.
- Interventions to reduce the drudgery of women by bringing mechanization in their routine household activities are also important.
- Rural women having human and non-human resources to take up an enterprise need an innovative mind and motivation.
It is in this context, Didi Maa visualized that Vatsalya Vocational Training Center shall be established to up-grade the skills of rural women and address all practical problems related to their family and working lives.
Interventions : Param Shakti Peeth runs 2 vocational training centers, one at Vrindavan and other at Jwalanagar, Delhi. While Vrindavan center caters to the needs of rural women, the Jwalanagar center imparts skills to the semi-urban and peri-urban adolescent girls as well as women. The courses offered by these VVTC are based on the demand by the target groups as come out during the market surveys. Major courses offered so far by these 2 centers are papad making, candle making, pickle preparation, tailoring, beauty parlor, cooking, computer, beauty & skin care, stitching, balwari and English speaking courses.
The year 2009-10 is a successful year for VVTCs of Param Shakti Peeth as it could render the services to more number of women and adolescent girls than the previous years. The table below furnishes the data about various course offered by these VVTCs during the year.
Impacts : Empowering women particularly rural women is a challenge. Micro enterprises in rural area can help to meet these challenges. Micro–enterprises not only enhance national productivity, generate employment but also help to develop economic independence, personal and social capabilities among rural women. Following are some of the personal and social capabilities, which are expected at as result of taking up entrepreneurship development among rural women.
- Economic empowerment.
- Improved standard of living.
- Self confidence.
- Enhance awareness.
- Sense of achievement.
- Increased social interaction.
- Engaged in political activities.
- Increased participation level in gram sabha meeting.
- Improvement in leadership qualities.
- Involvement in solving problems related to women and community.
- Decision making capacity in family and community.
Economic empowerment of women by micro entrepreneurship lead to the empowerment of women in many things such as socio-economic opportunity, property rights, political representation, social equality, personal right, family development, market development, community development and at last the nation development. Many of these women / adolescent girls have set up their own self employment ventures after acquiring skills through our vocational training courses while few others have employed themselves in various enterprises on monthly basis. There are quite a few examples where the women have become the breadwinner of the families and many of them are investing their earnings for education of their children. Adolescent girls are assisting their aged parents in meeting their family expenditures and so on. To summarize, we are happy to state that the VVTC is moving towards achieving its goal set by Pujya Didi Maa.