Women’s Education Project / WEP - India
Date: From 15.02.2021 - To 31.05.2021
Center Name: Aarti WEP Leadership Academy - Kadapa
Report By: Aarti Home staff
Aarti for Girls/Kadapa in collaboration with WEP/India is running a Community College - Aarti Community College. As part of this college, ACC is training selected young women and girls to become entrepreneurs in their lives and thereby gaining economic independence. WEP's Leadership Academy curriculum is part of this College. This is a residential program, and was conducted safely at the Aarti Home.
Average Center attendance: 95%
Classes, tutorials, study hours, nutrition program, reading (and other daily activities):
Students attended classes in:
- Basic English Communication Skills,
- Telugu Classes
- Learning skills to deal their day to day affairs
- Basic computer skills
- Indian heritage and culture
- Basic knowledge in Geography, History, Indian Polity and Arithmetic
- Basic skills in photography
- Personality Development - Mindfulness and Leadership
Teachers / tutors / student mentors: 16 teachers and resource people and three student mentors taught and facilitated the program.
Each of the mentors was allotted approximately 10 participants each and the three mentors were constantly speaking to the participants both as a group and on one to one basis. As a result of these conversations, the participants were able to overcome their problems and gain confidence in dealing with their issues.
- As part of making the students aware of the rich indian heritage and culture, it was scheduled to take the students to the temples and traditional arts and crafts centres situated within Kadapa district. This could not be achieved due to the ongoing pandemic. However, participants were taken on virtual tours of the river ganges.
- They were shown videos on the saree draping styles adopted by the people from various regions of the country. The participants draped the sarees and presented themselves.
- The participants were taught to make some homemade grooming products. Intense discussions were held and the participants, after watching the source videos, developed recipes to make “Aloe Vera based facials”.
- A group of social workers and the faculty from the IIT/Chennai came forward to teach the participants about basic requirements needed to start a small business. They covered topics like
- Basic accounts - Profit and Loss statements.
- Basic IT infrastructure needed for the small startup.
- Assessment of consumer needs.
- Assessment of materials and other things needed for production.
Basic English communication Skills: The curriculum of this course is to make the participants communicate freely and faultlessly in English. The participants were taught the basics of English Grammar. As part of the daily routine, participants took turns to share their ‘good thing for the day’ and speak on a selected subject. This resulted in boosting their confidence while conversing in English, and speaking in front of a group. The participants were taught the various nuances of grammar in English, the correct pronunciation and meaning of various words including homonyms.
Telugu Classes: These classes were conducted by a doctorate in Telugu and the main objective of these classes was to make the participants aware of the richness of Telugu language. They were taught the poems by the famous poets and were told the meaning of these poems. These poems speak about the values and virtues in our lives and how a person should conduct himself to create an ideal society. Apart for these poems the participants were also introduced to the epics like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita and Bhagavatham.
Learning skills : The participants, during this class were made to understand and get familiar with the day to day activities like dealing with their finances (banks/post offices), travelling to other towns on their own, preparing the budget for a small family.
- Their curriculum started with teaching them the history of the banking industry in the country. They were made to understand the banking activities.
- As part of imparting practical knowledge to the participants they were made to fill the following forms.
- Bank account opening form. They were made to understand the meaning of the home branch and different activities that are possible only in the home branch.
- Cash deposit forms
- Cash withdrawal forms.
- Usage of ATM cards. They were made to understand the difference between the credit cards and the ATM cards.
- They were taught about internet banking and the safety steps to be followed while doing online transactions.
- They were taught how to fill a PAN Card Application and the basics of income tax. They were shown an example for calculating income tax for a salaried person.
- They were taught about various means for obtaining funds for their ventures like
- Seeking the assistance of the government in getting funds, utilising various schemes available for the women entrepreneurs
- They were told about DWRCA: Development of Women and Children in Rural Areas
- Venture Capital
- Loans from friends and relatives (partnerships)
- Loans from the banks
- They were told how to fill various forms like Railway reservation forms and how to book rail/Bus/Air tickets Online.
- They were also told how to read the railway time table and find out the best option available for their journey
Basic Computer Skills : As the name suggests, the participants were taught about the basics of using computers, using MS Office (Word, Excel and Powerpoint) and e-mail. With the advent of digitisation across the globe, many jobs require fundamental computer skills to perform well. While basic computer skills include knowing how to type, understanding social media and having general web skills, there are several more to consider, such as:
- Productivity software
- Operating systems
- Presentation software
- Digital marketing
- Computer programming
- Graphic design
- Communication tools
- Database management
- Accounting software
Indian Heritage and Culture: These sessions were mainly focussed in teaching the participants about the culture and heritage of India. They were taught about the various practices followed in the olden times and their merits. They were also made aware of the virtues associated with the virtues of Indian scriptures.
Basic knowledge of Geography, History, Indian polity and Arithmetic:
- The participants were told about the geography of India and the geography of the world.
- With regards to the geography of the world they were told about the various continents and were taught how to read the maps.
- They were given a self learning exercise on looking at the globe and identifying the oceans and the continents.
- In the self learning exercise,they were asked to learn about the various countries of the world (African, South and North American, Asia and European continents). They were told to learn the countries, their capitals and the currency used in these countries.
- They were made to work on the puzzles. They were shown the cards displaying the maps of the nations and were asked to identify the country, it’s capital and it’s currency.
- As a self learning exercise they were asked to identify the places of tourist interest in the European countries and write a brief on these monuments.
- They were also told about the Solar system and how the rotation of the earth impacts the day and night and about the revolution of the earth around the sun that creates the seasons.
In History the participants were made aware of the following topics:
- Why is it important to know history?
- They were told about Archaeology and how the archaeologists seek evidence to recreate the history through the evidence discovered.
- They were told about the birth of the Universe and how the homo sapiens evolved and how they migrated from Africa to various parts of the globe.
- They were told about how the civilization developed and how the humans started settling down at a place
- They were told about the Indus Valley Civilization and about Vedic civilization.
- They were told about the Empires of Maurya - specifically about Chandra Gupta Maurya and Ashoka.
Indian Polity: The participants were taught the following topics as part of the Curriculum.
- Indian constitution : They were told about the importance of the constitution and what is the function of the constitution and why we need the Constitution.
- They were told about how the constitution of India was written and about the constituent assembly.
- They were made to memorise the Preamble of the constitution.
- The Fundamental rights and the fundamental duties enshrined in the constitution were discussed with them.
- They were told about how the laws are made in India. They were also told about the three organs of the government and how they are linked to each other.
Arithmetic: The following topics were taught to the participants.
- They were taught ratios and proportions and how the rations and proportions are useful in our day to day life
- Finding out the LCM and GCF
- Calculation of Simple Interest
Basic Photography and videography skills:
- Basic Photography:This is aimed at getting the participants to know the basics of photography and videography using DSLR cameras and mobile phones.
- They were shown various parts of the DSLR camera and were told about the functioning of these parts.
- They were told about the importance of the shutter speed, aperture and the ISO.
- The participants felt very happy to handle expensive cameras and to learn about the basic principles of photography, like choosing a suitable background, right time for clicking the picture and getting a perfect composition for the picture.
- Basics in Photoshop: They were also taught to edit their pictures using photo editing software like Photoshop.
Personality Development: The curriculum of this subject is based on the objective to make the participants mindful of themselves and to develop themselves as good citizens of the world. They were taught to become aware of themselves, their thoughts, feelings, perceptions, their surroundings, and persons and objects in their surroundings. This awareness brings about the observation of what occurs inside of them, how their emotions and thoughts are manifested and how their experiences are inculcated. They were taught to respect their peers . A detailed description of the activities conducted can be found in Leadership Academy Activities.
Assessment : Regular tests were conducted to assess the performance of the participants.
Other Special Activities
Date: Various dates during the month.
Objectives: To inculcate personality development skills in the participants
Number of participants: 30
Student feedback: All these sessions were activity based and were conducted purley on a participatory basis. The participants enjoyed the sessions most and they learnt a lot of things from these sessions. The most important things learnt by them are
Start off the basic exercise of breathing for 5-6 minutes. This regulates the breathing as well as keeps the focus on the breath. This is one of the foremost exercises to develop focus and be mindful of oneself.
Respecting others and waiting for their turn to express their opinion. This is done through exercises like walking meditation. While 5 participants are walking, the others are observing.
Observing things and explaining them, being in the present and neither letting the mind wander into the past nor dreaming about the future.
Building trust amongst the peers and dependable guidance. Team building exercises are conducted like painting as a group and making a meaning out of that.
Self-awareness in terms of thoughts, feelings and perceptions as a complete experience. This brings about a change in the approach of the participants towards their very life. The exercises included drawing and talking about their intentions and plans for the future. Also group discussions were conducted.
Thinking out of the box through 9 dots exercise. The exercise gave a completely new perspective to the participants in approaching a problem to bring about a solution.
Topics like complaint and commitment were introduced to the participants through activity based learning. The different types of complaints and the seriousness of commitment to oneself was clearly understood.
The participants were enthusiastic about learning through exercises.
Game like methodology of the teaching experience was adopted, and hence the active involvement and inclusion of every participant was obvious.
Commitment brought perspective to the participants in paving their path towards the future.
Understanding about communication, conversation and complaint introduced a world of new possibilities to the participants to what they have been aware of till now in their lives.
Aarti Home Photo