Empowerment is now increasingly seen as a process by which those without power gain greater control over their lives. This means control over material assets and intellectual resources alike. It involves power to, power with and power within. Some define empowerment as a process of awareness and conscientization, of capacity building leading to greater participation, effective decision-making power and control leading to transformative action. This involves ability to get what one wants and to influence others on our concerns. With reference to women the power relation that has to be involved includes their lives at multiple levels, family, community, market and the state.
Under “Nai Roshni: The Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women” run by Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India, Center for Community Economics and Development Consultants Society (Sauhard Vikas Sanstha) has successfully completed training of 300 women from Muslim Minority Community in Tonk District of Rajasthan, in 12 batches, in the financial year 2014-15.
The training program was started in January’15 and was completed by March’15. Total 12 batches of women were given training on leadership development with the help of tool kits and reading materials, each batch comprised 25 women. Each of the batches was trained for 6 consecutive days by experts of the priority subjects as per the Ministry of Minority Affairs and other women’s issues. We also used audio visual aids and videos for enhancement of training and its usefulness. At the completion of the training each participant received a cheque of Rs. 300.
CEOCEDECON has started the first three batch of Training on Leadership Development of Minority Women in Urban Slum of Tonk on 20th of January 2016. The training is given under the “Nai Roshni” scheme that is supported by Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. One batch of training will continue for 6 days and will cover leadership, education, life skills, health and hygiene, swach bharat, digital literacy, legal rights, financial system and advocacy etc.. The training provides women knowledge and information on their rights, health and on their daily affairs. To effectively conduct the training, the organization hires experts from NGOs and takes the support of experts from Government. Follow up is also being done at the field level. Under the same scheme in 2014-15, Sauhard Vikas Sanstha trained 300 women from the minority community in Tonk and will be giving training to 300 more women from minority community in Tonk in 2015-16.
Sauhard Vikas Sanstha successfully completed training of 300 women in 12 batches latest by 19th of April 2016 during the financial year 2015-2016 in Tonk Urban areas under “Nai Roshni” the Scheme for Leadership Development of Minority Women supported by Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. The follow up meetings and activities will take place from the month of April 2016 onwards with trained women.
Breaking out of the shackles of prevalent patriarchal structures for women to lead and take positions of power and exercise their decision making has been a long struggle and still continues to be, not just in India but world over. There are still many parts of India where women are bound by structural constraints and social norms that do not allow them to be financially independent. Empowerment in terms of digital literacy and financial literacy is still a distant dream for a large section of women who are categorized as educated and working. Their dependence on their spouses or sons is also a kind of hidden marginalization, hampering their empowerment and development.
Empowerment means to inspire women with the courage to break free from the chains of limiting beliefs, patterns and societal or religious conditions that have traditionally kept women suppressed and unable to realize their true beauty and power.
Sauhard Vikas Sanstha since its inception has believed in an inclusive approach that caters to the most marginalized and in a strong patriarchal society such as Rajasthan with traditions of child marriage and female foeticide widely prevalent, working with women was a natural extension of the work that Sauhard Vikas Sanstha has undertaken. A holistic approach looking at social, political and economic aspects of the lives of women; making gender a cross-cutting area of focus in all our activities and initiatives apart from implementing specific women centric programmes, the organisation is considered among those who have done extensive work in women’s empowerment.
The organization is committed to the overall development of women and for achieving this goal it has worked and continues to work with like-minded organizations and institutions like The Hunger Project, IGPRS, Social Welfare and Advisory Board, Oxfam, FES to name a few. Sauhard Vikas Sanstha is has been making sustained efforts towards the overall development of women by carrying out interventions in priority areas like women roles and contributions in natural resource management, women in Panchayati Raj, micro enterprise development for women entrepreneurs, political empowerment, promotion of better health facilities, education of girls, provision of crèches for the children of working parents.
The state of Rajasthan has certain distinct features, which have bearing on the condition, status and rights of children. Its feudal history, colonial interventions, Strong patriarchy, cultural heritage, diverse ecology, cumulative traditions and typical institutional practices like child marriage, purdha challenge the issues and strategies of child rights in a big way.
A large number of children die in infancy. Those who survive do not have access to adequate nutrition. Many children do not attend school; they are not immunized.
The number of child laborers is increasing. The girl child works at home, looks after siblings and performs adult-roles from a tender age. Recognizing the importance of the issue Sauhard Vikas Sanstha has always paid a great attention to issues around the child in its endeavors. Right from its inception the organization has been working in different capacities to address the issues related to child development.
The organization has a strong believe that the complex nature of social problem needs multiple strategies if one wants to minimize these. With this opinion the organization started working on the Non-Formal Education model, and has been using it for various interventions.
With the understanding developed over the years, Sauhard Vikas Sanstha facilitates the process of child development with partner communities and provides opportunities to develop the foundation of the child. In this regard, organization puts sincere efforts to place parents in a better position to attend/meet their children’s needs for social and educational development. Under the child development program we give more emphasis on education because of many new factors we see in society today. The widening gap between rich and poor, population increase, unemployment and underemployment in unorganized sector in particular, socio-cultural confusions caused under the impact of information technologies are the main corners at the crossroads and we need to understand them. Education for our children would require consideration of all such factors. Education is always perceived as a great tool for bringing about social change and the organization has always been trying to establish the thesis through different actions directed towards establishing a just society. For Sauhard Vikas Sanstha, the child development program is not merely providing education only; it captures all the aspects of a child’s lifespan where he/she could be developed as an individual of the society that is based on non-discrimination.