“If we are to fight discrimination and injustice against women we must start from the home for if a woman cannot be safe in her own house then she cannot be expected to feel safe anywhere.”- Aysha Taryam
Through Project Samvedana, meaning compassion, Maitri envisions a world in which violence against women is prevented and ultimately ends. Seemingly an ambitious goal, domestic violence must be prioritized in order to promote gender equality and empower women to stand on their own two feet.
Maitri’s initiatives include:
(1) Engaging in a dialogue on domestic violence;
(2) Including more males in discussions and conversations
(3) Creating awareness;
(4) Creating women leaders that are empowered to take this movement forward.
In collaboration with Maitrigram, another organizational initiative, Project Samvedana has also been working to impart skills and instill confidence in women and children through English-speaking and sewing classes. In addition to language skills building classes, both for Hindi and English, women of several local bastis (slums) have been able to take part in stitching and tailoring classes in the hopes of gaining confidence to secure employment or obtain loans to establish their own tailoring units. During the month of January, Maitri conducted an art workshop where community children were engaged. The workshops involved discussion on aspirations of children. Using art as a medium, Maitri initiated a dialogue on gender and the roles one aspires for.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, to eliminate Gender based violence, Maitri India organized a staff training programme with men from the main office headquarters in Delhi. Some Objectives of the training were to sensitize about the gender issues, and create awareness through a campaign “No More”.
Thank you for supporting Maitri's efforts to prevent domestic violence against women in India thus far. Your contribution has been key in helping us make a difference and we look forward to your sustained partnership to ensure that we can translate Maitri's commitments into meaningful change.
Dear Maitri Friend,
For years of subjugation now, women’s individuality has been reduced to the four walls of the house. It is worse when the walls support domestic violence. It is the brutality and the evil associated with gender based violence that Maitri strives to fight against. Since its inception, Maitri has stood firm in its stance of protecting marginalized vulnerable women, and help them realize their potentialities to fend for themselves in all spheres of life The month of December has echoed with voices against violence.
Maitri attended Campaign on Violence against Women organized by Mahila Garima Abhiyan. There were sharing of cases on violence against women and experience sharing by women social workersin which Maitri gave valuable information on Gender equality .The event was successful in garnering a large participation,and there was an effective engagement and exchange of dialogue.
Maitri also attended a Stakeholders Consultation Workshop on developing a network for survivors of violence in Urban Ranchi. Maitri helped built a strong support in forming the foundation of it. Further, Maitri also organised a gender sensitisation campaign with with student of St Xavier College Ranchi.
On the occasion of International Campaign on 16 Days of Activism to eliminate Gender based violence, Maitri India also organized a staff training programme on 27-11-2017 with the project in ranchi. Some Objectives of the training were to sensitize about the gender issues,to develop an understanding on the concept of human rights and violence and to develop a skill of facing and handling different kinds of challenges in field.
We live in a country where there are instances and manifestations of violence in different forms. Creating an effective dialogue on gender is a difficult subject. Inequality and violence travels through different forms and manners. Approaching a path for reducing gender based violence consists of different steps and players. Maitri understands the position of women in our Indian society and the reasons for being oppressed are deeply interlinked with the fact that women have no resources or fewer privileges in terms of power and finances.
Amidst such nuances of gender, Maitri believes that self confidence and independence can act as effective tools in the fight towards gender equality. While working in different projects, our experiences with either Widows of Vrindavan and Radhakund, or young girls in communities have brought us this understanding that creating a space which fosters ideas of self independence and confidence actually helps in strengthening our fights against different forms of inequality and discrimination on the basis of gender.
Learning through these experiences, Maitri has initiated a skill building empowerment project, for women and girls at Vrindavan, Radhakund and Soniya Vihar. The project focuses on providing skills and income generating opportunities. Though women and girls will be the beneficiaries of this project,there will be a special focus on empowerment of widows. We already have stitching and tailoring classes for girls and women. But converting this small step into a small time entreprenurship project will be a great step in eradicating gender based violence.
While this initiative will have more number of gilrs, it will specially focus on working with widows as well.Maitri understands that the struggles of widows are multidimensional. Being a woman and a widow and an older person are multiple identities that each person in Vrindavan and Radhakund struggles with. In case of widowhood, a woman’s identity is defined by her husband’s, as secondary to man, the progression in society becomes one from wife to widow, with no scope to be a person of her own right. Old age is still considered as a burden, and in case of older women who have greater life expectancy but no resources; the violence faced is even higher. Maitri believes this not only limits an individual but also violates the principles of living a life with identity, respect and dignity. And while we work towards creating gender equality, this aspect cannot be left unotouhed.
Maitri wants to thank every donor in Global Giving. Its because of your support, we have reached to a place where we can start such an initiative. You are intrumental in creating such a shift and in shaping our fight against gender based violence and discrimination. Wish us all the best for our new initiative.
Gender Inequality, the term is not new to us. Almost every second household faces this challenge. India being a developing country sees the reflections of violence which has been prevalent since ages. With an idea to bring change in the mindset of the population living in slums. Maitri initiated a sewing class with an objective to empower girls of the community while they are learning stitching, so that they have information and awareness about gender and domestic violence. They are encouraged to talk and speak up not only about their own challenges but also give information to their neighbors.
Stitching and Tailoring centre is a skill building place leading to income generation and in some cases also making entrepreneurs out of these young girls. We realized most of them faced opposition from the male members in their households, to acquiring a basic skill like stitching which is an everyday need in any household. Some of the girls were coming in for the training without the knowledge of the head of the family. And they feared if the father got to know, mother and daughter both would be abused and physically violated. This propelled Maitri to step in to create a support group, at the Stitching Centre, where empowered with awareness, the other women could also stand up for their community women. The project gained momentum and the reflections can be seen in terms of their work, where girls started to come out with a lot of enthusiasm, eager to learn and become productive members of their households as well as the society. We are happy to inform our supporters, that today we are running the courses beyond our capacity. Instead of one, there are three batches running in a day.
Girls have come up with innovations and creativity and are beginning to design on a professional level, different kinds of clothes. They stand confident, aware of their rights.
The girls and women of the area have become confident, earning members with a say in their households. Young girls understand the need for their empowerment. Maitri saw women who felt that household responsibilities didn't let them live their dreams, now are standing tall in society, appreciated. The sewing center, is a blessing in disguise to the slum population. Maitri has been able to establish confidence in the women that they are now discussing issues faced by their communities, which range from abuse, violence, independence, freedom to study and work and seek solutions, answers. They each have created a circle of support of their family, relatives, community.
With your support we could change the lives of the population. We can together make a difference to their lives.We have a long way to go. There is a need for making boys and men as partners to bring a change in the mindsets. A seed has been sown and we have to stand with the community and bring a change.
Maitri with support from our donors in Global Giving have succeeded in making our beneficiaries skilled that they can now work professionally with dignity and respect and more than anything else without fear that they will be stopped from learning. They can now give shape to their dreams and make it a reality.
Maitri and our donors together can make a difference.
Girls and women, Maitri is engaging with, are trapped in a cycle of poverty. Lack of diverse and market responsive education and skill building opportunities often result in these communities being left out from mainstream opportunities. Many girls are pulled out of school to take over household responsibilities and never develop the skills to enter the job market.
Maitri aims to bring these girls and women out of their homes, empower them with education and provide them with important technical skills in tailoring and culinary and English speaking. Since, the girls and women are essentially homemakers, they are well versed with the basic skill of tailoring and cooking. With training, they are being skilled and empowered with techniques of clean cuts, finishing in the final products they stitch which would have a market value. Maitri is also providing them opportunities to become entrepreneurs or support them if they want to work with an export house.
The training provides women with employment and self-employment opportunities. The self-employment creates self-confidence in the trainees and also helps in improving their living conditions.
We are proud to inform you that 7 women were facilitated on 15th February 2017. They have now acquired the basic skills and confidence they need to either venture into a home based self-employed small business. We are happy to inform our supporters; all our trainees from culinary class and English speaking class found employment with companies like Starbucks, Café Coffee Day etc.
There is exceptional determination in the students to learn and empower themselves. We saw that the trainees are in a hurry to complete their basic course so that they are able to step up to learn designer boutique wear stitching. The students not only know how to stitch basic blouses but also have started stitching designer Indian wear. The drive to learn and implement the skill is so much that the students within a month of their course start taking basic orders for stitching Indian wear from their neighbourhood. Gradually as their skill improves they will start taking more advance orders from the ladies.
Story of Empowerment
Seema, enrolled in Maitri’s tailoring course with an aspiration to learn a skill that can empower her to be independent and support her parents financially. She has been a part of the classes for over a year now and has completed her basic sewing course. Seema is pursuing her advance designer course with us and spends two hours a day in learning the skills. Rest of the time during the day she spends in completing the stitching orders given to her by the ladies in her community. Within six months of her enrollment under the course and completing the basic course with excellent skills she has started taking stitching orders from the ladies in her neighborhood. She mostly takes orders for Indian wear that comprise of salwar suit and petticoat , but stitching work pays her enough to earn a pocket money for herself, fulfill her basic needs and contribute a little to the family income. She is able to earn around four thousand rupees a month. At times when the sewing class teacher is on leave she acts as a substitute teacher for her peers. It is a proud moment for us that our Student has become capable enough to step into the teacher’s shoe.
Seema is grateful to Maitri for giving her the opportunity of learning the skill of tailoring and making her confident enough to be an independent earning member in the family. She not only earns for herself but also is able to help her parents financially when required.
Some of our students need financial support to purchase a sewing machine to become entrepreneurs; Maitri seeks support from our compassionate donors.
All in all, the past couple of months have been full of excitement and satisfaction for our Tailoring Class students. You have been a very important link to bringing change in the lives of vulnerable women and young girls we work with. We are very grateful for your support and are positive that with your continued support, we can reduce the incidents of gender-based violence.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.
We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.