When we look at the Indian society, women are always seen as the marginalized group and are downgraded to the status of subjugated classes. Given the status of subjugated class many women remain illiterate. Till today a woman’s place is defined as restricted only to kitchen, managing children and doing the household chores. According to the 2011 census the male literacy rate is 82.14% and Female literacy rate is 65.46%. There are many explanations to this factor:
• Extreme Poverty plays a dominant role when it comes to literacy and access to education as it particularly drags women to drop out from school or not allowed to go to school, because the privilege of getting an education is only reserved for the boys.
• Women from various economically and marginalized sections are brought up experiencing gender inequality hence debarring them from various learning opportunities and resources.
• Migration of families from their villages or small town to big cities hoping for a better lives , which doesn’t always seem to be the case since they have no aim of survival and source of income which forces the women to remain in the clutches of illiteracy.
These factors results in lack of self-sufficiency among the women to be independent and no survival skills. Therefore, when the women encounter any tragedy or misfortune, their lives take an erratic turn. Having no skills leads them to face various dire consequences like deteriorating financial conditions, not able to find a suitable job hence, incompetency in managing their family and when they are not able to survive in this materialistic world it makes such women as a sight of ridicule and, more detrimental to being oppressed and exploited by the hands of greedy and selfish.
Skills and Knowledge is like a lifeline to every individual, henceforth gaining skills will not only help them in providing suitable jobs but it will also boast up their morale and confidence, will help them to gain insights about themselves hence making them more productive and capable of managing their personal and family life, empowering them to make their own choices for the well-being of family as well as actively participating in decision making.
Empowering such women through vocational training is a significant parameter to measure the social and economic growth of the country. Shishu Sangopan Griha provides vocational training to women helping them to become self-sufficient and financially independent. The women who enroll in our program are mostly school drop outs as their families cannot bear the expense of their education, some are single mothers whereas others are confined in the boundaries of orthodox or what we call narrow mind of the family. The women are provided training in two different courses depending on the interest:
Tailoring & embroidery: Interested women are trained with stitching and tailoring different garments and machine embroidery. During the end of the training, the students are provided diploma and certificate affiliated with USHA sewing school. More than 10000 students have successfully completed the course since 1986.
Beauty & culture: This course is one of the main attractions for the women. All the beauty skills fall under this umbrella: hair, makeup, pedicure, manicure and various other skills. It helps them understanding personal grooming along with rendering opportunities to become financially independent. This program was started around 2003 and has successfully trained more than 6000 students. Some of these students got employment in parlors some have started with their own parlor while some prefer to work from their house.
Around 60 students are trained with the course each day. The duration of the course varies from months to year keeping in mind the needs and financial capability of each student yet ensuring quality training.
Skill development is the most significant instrument of individual self-realization, and is an absolute necessity to boost women empowerment today.