As teachers on a community visit, we saw one of our students living in a low-income urbanized community running around in a beautiful peach dress. We asked her mother where she bought it from to realize it was her creation. As we moved from door to door, speaking to these unskilled and unemployed mothers, we realized that there lay a huge potential behind those closed doors that wanted to break free.
We connected the dots to identify the problem as the lack of participation of these women in the socio-economic decision making of the household due to lack of knowledge, skill and employment. This had negative repercussions on the child’s education, family’s welfare and community’s development.
This was not a problem limited to ‘Mandawali’, an invisible dot on the map but, widespread across a country like India. Clinton Global initiative validated our finding through a research which stated ‘ when a woman works she directs 90% of her income towards her family as compared to 35% by a man’. But sadly in a country like India, only 28% of women are employed, lowest among BRICS and 7th lowest in the world.
In 2014, we started our journey with a dream called ‘Khwaab’ to financially empower low-income community women by imparting livelihood skills and channelizing their earnings toward their child’s education, family’s welfare and community’s development.