Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India

by The Desai Foundation
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India
Livelihood Opportunities for Women in Rural India

Since launching this campaign in February 2021, the Desai Foundation has continued to operate our Asani Sanitary Napkin, but in the wake of the second, more deadly surge of COVID in India, we have shifted our on-the-ground work to provide relief to rural villages for COVID, specifically with a focus on uplifting women and girls throughout the pandemic, and setting them up for long-term success once this crisis has abated. 

Our programs empower women and girls to learn new skills, improve their economic/social conditions, and challenge cultural stigmas. This work is more important now than ever, as the status and opportunities of women and girls in India are under threat of reverting back several decades’ worth of progress, as communities work to rebuild. 

The COVID relief we are currently performing that impacts women and girls in rural India include: 

  • SUPPORTING WOMEN AND GIRLS - We are in touch with the hundreds of thousands of women we serve trying to support them in any way we can. We know that women are bearing the brunt of the COVID repercussions, and we are working tirelessly to provide them with the resources they need.
  • COVID SUPPORT HOTLINE (Non-Medical) (Help Desk) - Phone number for those who have lost loved ones to call to seek guidance and support on getting aid, food, financial support, etc. This helps the women who are left to manage their homes and families after a loved one passes away. 
  • SUPPLIES - We have distributed over 250 COVID medical kits (thermometers, sanitizer, oximeter, PPE kits, and vitamins) as well as 75 BiPaps, 50 Oxygen concentrators, and 20 ventilators.  We have also distributed 15,000 family hygiene kits to keep those isolated at home safe. There are several area hospitals in which we are also providing these supplies.  We are also distributing 500K Sanitary Napkins to hospitals, COVID care centers, and directly to women in need. These give access to much-needed home supplies to assist women as they care for their loved ones who are COVID positive. 
  • FOOD KITS –  We are supplying Food Kits for people waiting outside hospitals, as well as Food Rations that can feed a family for a month. We have been able to distribute 15,000 to date. 
  • COVID ISOLATION & RELIEF CENTERS — We have 10 isolation and relief centers open with beds, food, medical supplies, rapid testing, sanitary napkins, medical screenings, and comfort for isolation and pre-critical stage patients. These centers take much of the burden off of women in rural villages, whose families do not have the option of isolating themselves elsewhere. By moving into isolation centers, the responsibilities of caring for sick individuals are removed from the women who are also managing the full responsibility of caring for their families and homes each day. 
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The Desai Foundation remains committed to serving the over 1,400 rural communities we serve in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. 

We continue to realize the burden that is disproportionately placed on women in rural India as a result of COVID. We are in touch with the hundreds of thousands of women we serve trying to support them in any way we can. In order to combat the inequities faced by these women, we are providing relief to rural villages for COVID, specifically with a focus on uplifting women and girls throughout the pandemic, and setting them up for long-term success once this crisis has abated.

In 2021, the Desai Foundation launched our Heroes for Humanity program that allows us to impact the lives of thousands more people with food, supplies, COVID testing, access to medical interventions, and so much more in the most rural communities - which are radically underserved and overlooked. The program also economically empowers 500 families - aligning perfectly with our philosophy of bringing both urgent solutions in a time of crisis, while building long-term sustainable programming to support communities. 

We are incredibly proud to have reached over 4 MILLION beneficiaries, across our 8 target states, serving rural communities in need. In 2022 we have been able to employ 410 Heroes that have worked more than 6 months, which includes more than 12.9M rupees have been paid as salaries to rural Indian women 

To ensure professional growth and development, we offer continued training to all Heroes including:

  • Pointers of Powerful Communications
  • Empowered Confident Mindset
  • How to use Excel spreadsheets
  • Understanding of local villages, leaders, and gov’t officials
  • Basic Training on some medical equipment
  • How to answer questions about COVID and COVID misinformation
  • Basic training on menstrual health
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The Desai Foundation remains committed to serving the over 1,400 rural communities we serve in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. 

We continue to realize the burden that disproportionately placed on women in rural Indian as a result of COVID. We are in touch with the hundreds of thousands of women we serve trying to support them in any way we can. In order to combat the inequities faced by these women, we are providing relief to rural villages for COVID, specifically with a focus on uplifting women and girls throughout the pandemic, and setting them up for long-term success once this crisis has abated.

In 2021, the Desai Foundation launched our Heroes for Humanity program that allows us to impact the lives of thousands more people with food, supplies, COVID testing, access to medical interventions, and so much more in the most rural communities - which are radically underserved and overlooked. The program also economically empowers 500 families - aligning perfectly with our philosophy of bringing both urgent solutions in a time of crisis, while building long term sustainable programming to support communities. 

We are incredibly proud having reached over 4 MILLION beneficiaries, across our 7 target states, serving rural communities in need. Over the last 6 months, we are thrilled to have onboarded 541 Heroes and 429 Heroes that have worked more than 3 months, which includes more than 6.1M rupees have been paid as salaries to rural Indian women 

To ensure professional growth and development, we offer continued training to all Heroes including:

  • Pointers of Powerful Communications
  • Empowered Confident Mindset
  • How to use Excel spreadsheets
  • Understanding of local villages, leaders, and gov’t officials
  • Basic Training on some medical equipment
  • How to answer questions about COVID and COVID misinformation
  • Basic training on menstrual health 

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The Desai Foundation, like so many in India, has found itself needing to continually adapt to the changes being brought about as we move through the second year of a global pandemic. Thousands of women rely on the Asani Sanitary Napkin program for sustained livelihood to support their families, and hundreds of thousands more rely on the program to make available much-needed menstrual health managment supplies and resources - there is no option but to remain in operation.

During COVID, the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program has distributed more than 445,000 sanitary napkins free of charge in the regions where we work.

Since its inception, the Asani Sanitary Napkin program has impacted more than 270,000 women and girls, and has distributed over 2.3 million sanitary napkins.

To learn more about the Asani Sanitary Napkin program, please visit www.asaninapkins.org.

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As we approach the halfway point of 2021, the Asani Sanitary Napkin Program continues to As of this year, Asani has impacted over 250,000 rural women/girls. 

To date in fiscal year 2021, we have produced over 400,000, distributed more than 640,000 sanitary napkins to girls and women in 549 rural villages in India, provided livelihood opportunities to more than 1,000 women in our sanitary napkin production units, and have trained more than 1,000 women in distribution.  

Through our free distribution and selling of sanitary napkins, we have impacted over 80,000 women and girls. 

While India is facing yet another deadly wave of COVID-19 and national lockdowns, we have distributed over 500,000 sanitary napkins for free to hospitals, COVID Care Centers, and rural women so that they do not have to travel outside of their homes to purchase menstrual hygiene supplies. 

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Organization Information

The Desai Foundation

Location: Bedford, MA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @DesaiFoundation
Project Leader:
Megha Desai
Burlington, MA United States
$27,515 raised of $50,000 goal
 
432 donations
$22,485 to go
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