Women from economically and socially disadvantaged backgrounds are generally treated as second-class citizens. Many are denied education and entirely dependent on their male counterparts, not allowed to step out of their houses which leads to lower educational status, low confidence to face the world. In its 35-year journey, VIDYA has touched all aspects of a woman’s life: academics, household economics, self-growth, employability, and social engagement.
VIDYA believes that women’s empowerment comes not just from awareness, but from enabling women to become independent by their own effort.
VIDYA skill-building program strives to empower the women, and community at large. VIDYA addresses the needs of such women in a comprehensive manner through Skill-based vocational training programs – “Bhagini and Shakti Livelihood Program”. Our dedicated team conduct the program at VIDYA centres and get into communities and transform the lives of the women by opening up a world of learning and opportunity. Programs include spoken English skills; skill based vocational training in tailoring, art and craft, awareness initiatives, specialized cooking classes, wellness programs, yoga, health camps, and life/soft skills training. The program provides professional and comprehensive training in the community, and works towards building confidence, dignity, employability and holistic development of the individuals.
Every participant in these programs becomes part of the Margam program, an entrepreneurship initiative during the last 4 months of the training course. At the end of the Margam training, the women are introduced to the concept of a Self Help Group, which is a registered entity and can be run by the women to benefit the group through their work orders.
While more than 50% take some form of employment, mostly work from home jobs, the biggest impact that is noticeable in the participants is a change in their attitude; the formation of deep and long lasting friendships that thereby creates a support system that leads to a gain in self confidence and personality development.
A significantly positive pattern of change is seen in the beneficiaries by the end of 6 months with many choosing to return to the space of growth, fun, freedom, acceptance, friendships, and encouragement to give back. The impact the program has on the quality of their lives and the value-added internally is unquantifiable but yet visibly reflected and acknowledged. The expectation would be that the internal changes will drive changes in external circumstances in time.
A phrase most often told unto the trainers “We love coming here” reflects the difference it has truly made in the quality of their lives. One common agreement is that the 3 hours spent is the most cherished “me time” that the women lacked otherwise.