After a Challenging life - Now, I am able, skilled and Empowered
By: Capt. Indraani Singh Managing Trustee and Sohit Yadav Project Manager
Varanasi in U.P. INDIA
Dudhwa is situated on the banks of river Gomti in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It is 31 km from Varanasi Railway Station. The population of the village is approx 11,000 and 80% women are illiterate. There is a government primary school in the village, a government middle school in the adjacent village Saraiyan and Senior Secondary government school & College at village Rajwari on NH29 (2.5 km). Agricultural farming is the core profession of villagers. Harijan, Gond, Dhobi and Kumhar community who are considered lower castes are quite poor. Hence, 75% of the population of the village is quite uneducated despite being surrounded by the schools. The community cannot afford to provide opportunities to the women and girls for education and sustainable livelihood. Most of the girls in this village are not able to finish the secondary or senior secondary exam due to distance of the school from village. Gender based violence such as eve-teasing and molestation are very common. Parents are afraid to send their girls to far off schools. It is in this social milieu that Project Nandini came into operation in this village. The project aims to enable the girls through livelihood and entrepreneurship program.
- Survey was conducted in the village to identify girls and women who needed the most attention and who could take training (the criteria were need, economic status, aspiration and sincerity shown). The focus was on SC, ST, backward caste and BPL families
- Recruitment of trainer for mapping the existing skills of the women as well as conducting regular sessions on cutting cloth, stitching and sewing. They were also given hands-on training on operating a sewing machine
- Evaluation and examination was conducted at the end of the 6-month training
Impact of the program:
- 28 women and girls completed training in stitching and tailoring
- They have already begun taking tailoring orders in the neighbourhood
- Some girls have mobilized within themselves to start a business
Name: Anju (Name Changed) Location: Varanasi UP Education: Class 8th Pass
Manju belongs to a very poor family. Her father is a landless agricultural laborer. The tiny soul has been fearlessly battling Polio since she was 4. She completed her middle school education in the village school but could not complete higher education due to the school being far away. The poor little girl faced such discrimination from the society that she stopped stepping out of the house at all. She developed an inferiority complex. The Literacy India project coordinator identified her, counseled her and convinced her father to allow her to attend the vocational training. She joined the class but after two months her she broke her cycle and stopped attending school. Her father did not have the capacity to purchase a new cycle for her. LI stepped in and arranged a cycle for her free of cost, with the help of global Giving Donors. Manju successfully completed the training. She is now being able to earn Rs 1,000-1,500 per month working from home.
In Manju’s own words: “I am very thankful to Literacy India for providing me this opportunity to earn my own livelihood and making me feel as equal as the other girls.”
Name: Guriya ( Name Changed) Location: Varanasi UP Education: 12 pass
Guriya is 20 years old and has studied up to Class 12th. She belongs to a greatly marginalized Scheduled Caste. Her parents work as agriculture labor. Their financial condition is very poor. Her father is also physically challenged. She also used to work as a daily wage agricultural laborer. She could not join any vocation training classes due to the remoteness of her home from colleges and training centers. After completing the Literacy India Vocational Training program, she decided to start her own tailoring shop at home but failed to do so due to financial constraints. She approached the program coordinator and he provided sewing machines on loan to her. Now she has started work. Earning a substantial income of Rs 1,500-2,000 per month, she proudly supports her parents in running the household.
Jhalda Puruliya- Khatanga Village:
- Survey within the village for identifying the most eligible groups of girls and women who can take training (based on need, economic status, aspiration and commitment shown)
- Recruitment of trainers for mapping the existing skill of the women as well as conducting regular sessions on cutting, stitching and sewing machine operation
- Evaluation undertaken at the end of the 6-month training
Achievements & Impact:
- Completed 6 month training for tribal women, 15 per batch
- At the end, women are able to create finished petticoats and blouses independently
- Some women are planning to start business
Name: Anita ( Name Changed) Location: Jhalada West Bengal
Anita (name Changed) is a housewife in a small village, Khatanga. She completed her studies from Ranchi, Jharkhand. After marriage she had to move to Khatanga village of Purulia. Her husband is a small shopkeeper. They don’t have adequate land where they can do sustainable farming for livelihood. Running a shop within the village only offers a few families for customers, not enough for the family of 4 to live comfortably. It was a very tough situation for Anita to figure out how she could support her family financially. Eventually she got to know about the tailoring training and took admission at Literacy India Learning Center-(UTNOU). She learned to produce different type of products for ladies and gents. Needless to say, this hand-on training helped her lot to build her confidence and ambition. After successful completion of this training, she bought a sewing machine and started a business venture at her home. Her husband is extremely supportive. Now, Anita has not only got back her confidence but is clearly elated.
Children learn ICT-based learning and basic computer skills such as type master, Microsoft Paint, file creation, saving, parts of computer and so on. In ICT-based learning, the children are getting education through Gyantantra.
Stories of Change in Khatanga of Gyantantra Digital Dost
Ananya ( name Changed) She belongs to a very poor family. They are residing in the village Khatanga. Her father is a poor business man and her mother is an agricultural labourer. She is now studying using the Gyantantra at the Literacy India Learning centre. She belongs to a very poor family. The family of 6 lives on a meager income of Rs. 3000/month. She is a student of the Government Primary school. She learns Bengali, English, Math, Science, Geography and History. She is an average student. She can spell English words. She is able to do calculations. She uses the Computer with much ease.
Sonali ( name Changed) Sonali father is physically challenged. Her mother works as a daily wage labourer. She belongs to a poor ‘Santhal’ (a Scheduled Tribe) household in a village ‘Khatanga’ in Purulia district. Her father cannot work for his physical disability. However, father is denied his entitlement from the Government. Her mother is a daily labourer (monthly income Rs. 2000-2500/-).Sonali was admitted to the govt. primary school. But she does not go to school regularly. At 8, she dropped out from school. She was enrolled into Gyantantra in Literacy India’s learning centre.At present she has covered Varnamala in language and addition, subtraction and multiplication in Math with the help of Gyantantra.
Hiramani ( name Changed) She belongs to a poor ‘Santal’ (a scheduled tribe) household in a village ‘Khatanga’ in Purulia district. Her father earns very little. Her father is a farmer and earns a monthly income of Rs. 2000-2500/-. Her father is the only earning member. She has one sister and one brother.She was recently admitted at Gyantantra course. She has interest in Math. She requires support to strengthen her basic concepts.
Manju LI 2
Guriya LI 3