‘Mulgi shikli, pragati zaali‘. When you educate a women, you educate her family. Mahatma Jyotirao Phule first educated his wife Savitribai, who in turn transformed the lives of countless women.
In spite of increasing modernization and education reformation, it’s a known fact that many women in Indian villages still undergo various hardships such as domestic violence, humiliation, disrespect in society. The main reason being they lack education. By education, I don’t necessarily refer to formal education, rather empowering woman that would give her the self esteem that she deserves.
Last week, I was fortunate enough to witness the successful transformation of the lives of more than 3000 such women. I work for Ammachi Labs, that works to provide vocational training to the underprivileged, thus giving a Life to countless such people. One of the projects undertaken by our lab is the Women Empowerment project, recognized by the UN as the most promising project (Read more here). The women are trained in vocational training such as Jewellery making, Plumbing, Fabric painting, Soap making and so on. Over 1500 such women from Kerala and Tamil Nadu had come to Amrita University, Amritapuri to be part of this huge success.
It was a 2 day event. The first day was the Introduction event followed by some exciting workshops such as How to become a successful entrepreneur, Compost training, Plumbing, Origami wallets for the participants to boost their skills.
There was also a Product Competition where the best women from each center competed against each other. They had to make the products they were trained in, and the best three were given prizes.
An exhibition to showcase and sell their products was another success story bit of this event. Each center was given a stall in a hall and they sold the products they made to public. The women tasted both monetary as well as personal benefits. It gave them immense confidence and happiness 🙂
The 2nd day, was the official ceremony. The occasion was graced by Amma – The very embodiment of womanhood and the force behind this entire project, Ms. Lisa Grande – The Head of United Nations, Smt. Sheila Dikshit – The Governor of Kerala, and Kunchacko Boban – a well-known actor.
There was one woman who told me, when I was bid her good bye – ‘Never in my life had I dreamt that I would witness such a massive program, let alone be a part of it!’ Another woman said – ‘I always thought I could do nothing. Although I wanted to, I was not given the opportunity.’ Today, she owns a small boutique. 🙂
As some one rightly said – ‘When we exchange a rupee, we both have a rupee each. But when we share a good deed, each has two good deeds.’ This is an endless cycle of goodwill. I am sure these women would in turn inspire more such lives, with what they have acquired.
With prayers, may we all reach the shore of peace and everlasting happiness.