Have you ever wondered where some of your decorated handcrafted diaries come from? Or maybe the colourful tea-light holder on your desk? Many of these carefully handcrafted items are made by women from rural communities across Delhi.
Lately, many NGOs have found new and interesting methods of empowering these women and providing them with means to sustain a livelihood. These self-help foundations train women in diverse fields, such as embroidery,handicrafts, cooking traditional food, and driving taxis.
“Many of these women are either out of work, or work in low paid professions traditionally assigned to women like domestic help. We need to empower them socially, equip them with a range of skills and knowledge to enable them to build confidence,” says Veronika Miskech Fricova, programme manager, Azad Foundation.
There are a lot of organisations that have taken up initiatives to help these women find a dignified vocation, here is an example of one of them:
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) runs a project for the restoration of Humayun’s Tomb and urban renewal of Nizamuddin basti. Under the latter, women from the basti are provided with skills training so that they can earn a sustainable livelihood.
“Heritage conservation can, and should lead to socio-economic development. Our project, Insha-e-Noor, has six self-help groups in the basti that produce contemporary hand crafted products,” says Jyotsna Lall, director (programmes), AKTC.