This project will help establish 5 Women's Community Centers (WCC) to serve women in 5 slums of Kolkata, India. These WCCs will have a) Seniors Day Care b) Activity center for Adolescent girls and provide c) Meeting space for women's groups. A growing population of elderly women faces a life of neglect and loneliness. Adolescent girls have few opportunities beyond the cycle of hardship, discrimination and violence. This project will create both hope and opportunities for women of different ages
India is a young country with a rapidly growing population of urban poor. While women's empowerment is part of the development agenda it ignores the needs of older women, whose numbers keep growing as life expectancy has increased. Adolescent girls don't have opportunities for confidence building, computer skills and knowledge on reproductive health and hygiene, especially those living in urban slums. The project supports the health and development of poor women of Kolkata, a city in decline.
Kolkata Initiatives a programme of the Centre for Health and Social Justice (CHSJ) supports needy communities greater Kolkata. It is running one WCC now. The Seniors Day Care provides physical, mental and emotional support of older women. The girls emerging from the adolescent activity center have completed their schooling and many have entered professions other than being domestic workers like their mothers. Women's groups are giving a new leadership for civic improvement in their slums.
Increased well being and reduced gender discrimination with overall empowerment and leadership of women and reduction in the neglect of older women is the larger long term goal of the project. CHSJ has existing interventions on women's empowerment and with men to support gender equality. The WCC's will provide an important complementary support in the community to build all round support for women' health and development. This will lead to harmonious family life and collaborative communities.