From March to April 2021, rural Indian women in informal jobs accounted for 80% of job losses (Financial Express). The Desai Foundation is working to rebuild and empower the lives of women in rural India. These livelihood programs help recover and restore a support system, an income, independence, and empowerment. These programs equip women with skills and engage them into the workforce so they can independently provide for themselves and their families, cultivating confidence and dignity.
Many rural women who earn a living to provide for their families are informal workers, which makes them more vulnerable to exploitation. In 2020, 94% of rural women worked as informal workers including working as daily wage laborers or as self-employed home-based production workers (e.g. sewing, craftsmaking). Without investment in the untapped potential of rural women and integrating them into the formal economy, these women will continue to be entwined in a system of gender-based poverty.
The Desai Foundation provides a holistic vocational training program in diverse trades along with entrepreneurship and technical training so that program participants have flexibility and agency to pursue the paths that match their unique interests after completing their training. Our approach caters to the economic, social, and physical wellbeing of the participating women and their communities. Our project also addresses women's health, discrimination, human rights, and self-sufficiency.
This project is expected to enhance the capacity and employability of disadvantaged women and girls; enhance the income generation opportunities and sustainable livelihoods of disadvantaged women and girls through skills training on Sewing, Beautician skills, Candle and Diya Making, Jewelry Making, Computer Classes, and Entrepreneurship Development; and ensure the ability to generate income to sustainable livelihood for the less fortunate women and through vocation skill training.