|The project Why Women|
Project Why is primarily a children's organization yet right from the beginning, we instinctively reached out to women, the true game changers. No wonder then that it was a woman who helped me seed Project Why.
Mataji, the formidable local healer and Rani's mom, whom I had gone to meet to 'cure' an everlasting depression post my parent's demise did so with a few words: Do something your parents would be proud of. With those words, depression and accompanying backache flew out of the window and Project Why was born and so were the women of Project Why.
A slightly diffident and shy Rani jumped at the chance of working for Project Why and stayed on: a sterling leader of Porject Why. Today she runs a large part of the Project. When we needed teachers, we first looked at the women around us. We found many who had several years of schooling but had dropped out because of an early marriage.
It is sad but true that the parents in underprivileged homes in India want their daughters to marry, above all. After marriage, very few can continue with their education. Project Why gave many such women a second chance at education, and more than that, at employment-- something they'd never dared dream of.
Some of these incredible ladies grabbed the opportunity with both hands and went on to complete their schooling and study further. Many obtained graduation degrees. Today, 30 women form part of our team. Some have been with us since day one.
Project Why believes that women should be financially independent, so vocational courses were started at the Women's Centre in 2006. Today over 120 women attend our six-month course on beauty and tailoring. Several hundreds have benefited and are today gainfully employed either as small entrepreneurs or employed in factories and beauty parlors. We organize regular meetings with the women where we share our thoughts on social issues like child beating, gender equality, early marriage, nutrition, women's rights etc.
|adult literacy class|
We hold compulsory adult literacy classes for all women who register for our vocational courses. No one receives a certification unless they clear the adult literacy course. The literate women are given spoken-English classes.
Over the years, Project Why has reached out to women in a variety of ways. Nutrition for pregnant women and lactating mothers. Care for a woman who had contracted bone TB and would have become paraplegic unless she spent six months on a bed-- today she works in a beauty parlour. Support for omen who suffered injuries and needed care, women undergoing rehab who needed a place to heal.
The women of Project Why come with different stories, but they have one thing in common: an indomitable spirit. Project Why encourages this spirit: women are given all the support they need in order to flourish in New Delhi, and this is our #PledgeforParity this year.
Would you consider helping these underprivileged women? Even a small amount goes a long way towards helping these women find a new life.
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