India is 70% rural, despite the high rate of urbanisation. Women continue to face discrimination, inequality, violence and restrictions in both urban and rural set ups. The discrimination is much more pronounced in rural India as compared to urban India, which is moving faster towards achieving some aspects of women’s empowerment. Though India has policies and legislatures which strive to get rid of these inequalities, ground level realities are still jarring especially in villages.
Education, Employability and financial stability are some of the paths towards empowerment. Literacy India works with rural women and women in semi urban areas to provide access to education, livelihood and economic freedom. These women are the most hard-hit by the patriarchal system and LI strives to empower them with information, awareness and access.
Empowerment is seen as equal access to information, education, healthcare, decision making abilities etc. To help break the shackles of patriarchy, Literacy India provides women not only with livelihood skills but also trains and handholds them to be able to produce goods which meets the market standard and demand.
Indha is the employment wing of project Karigari, providing the trainees with fair and market-oriented opportunities. It provides employment platform to the rural and semi urban ‘karigari’ trainees near their homes, who can gain experience and then move on to become entrepreneurs. Since women’s movement are restricted in these sections, Indha centres of production are established close to the artisans’ homes.
As a market-oriented women’s micro enterprise, Indha is also one of the solutions for financial sustainability of Literacy India. A percentage of Indha’s income is rotated to ensure sustainability of both Karigari and Indha. Constant demand from Literacy India’s educational programmes are met by Indha production centre, maintaining the commercial demand for the enterprise.
Currently there are 17 Indha centres providing employment to 650 women across India. Literacy India’s founder Captain Indraani Singh also heads Indha, the Social Enterprise
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