In this extremely poor region of India, still recovering from the distruction inflicted on the area by the 2004 tsunami, women are considered far less important than men. Indeed, sometimes they are even considered a burden for families since a sizeable dowry must be offered to ensure daughters marriage. In many cases, the latter is the only acceptable social status for women, otherwise they may be ostracised from society.
The achievement of a high-school diploma enables young women to start their own business or find employment as office workers (schools, hospitals, state offices etc.). This means they can support themselves and the whole family. In some cases, at the end of a course in dressmaking, the graduates are given a sewing machine so they can immediately start a small business in their home village.
The main goal is to promote active participation for women by giving them employment as a means of empowerment, encouraging co-operation as a form of social enterprise. The direct impact is on 100 girls and women from Nagercoil and neighboring villages who have no access to state-provided long-term education either due to severe poverty or social issues, or because they are widows with children who have no way to provide for their families.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).