Creating Income Generative Alternatives
From Economic Independence to Empowerment
Sanchetana makes efforts at different level to provide the women and young girls with income generative alternatives. Our efforts focus at their economic independence that can take them towards their own empowerment and empowerment of their communities. In our different programs we make sure that the ownership of the program does not remain with Sanchetana but transfers to the women and girls of slums.
The main interventions for income generation are as follows:
Women from urban slums of Ahmedabad collaborate with Professional designers transforming recyclable papers woven into beautiful craft forms… this initiative of Sanchetana is environment friendly, creative, economically viable and a step towards building a healthy and peaceful society. We invite all to join us with- ‘Green India – Safe Planet’ with these beautiful products. The products include baskets (with or without lids), pen-stand (with or without lids), coasters, dustbins, lamps and table mats.
Around 1000 women and adolescent girls take different vocational training at two vocational centres i.e. Behrampura and Bombay Hotel as well as area level vocational set ups during a year. The courses conducted are Computers, English Speaking, Basic and advanced stitching, beauty-parlour, advanced beauty-parlour and henna. Some short term training like rakhi making, diya making, cooking, make-up etc are also organized regularly as well as different life skills are imparted to them regularly.Along with the regular courses, we collaborate with other stakeholders like government and non-government organizations as well as expert individuals and organize different short-term value added training workshops for advanced make-up, hair style training, cooking, government schemes, health education etc.
Area level vocational set-ups
TArea level vocational set-ups have proved to be very impactful. The initiative focuses on the areas where we work but are far from the Vocational Centres of Sanchetana. There are girls and women who want to learn the skill to earn, but due to various reason they are not willing to travel everyday to comparatively far areas where Sanchetana has the permanent setup. As a response to their needs, we have started basic beauty-parlour and Henna courses for them in the areas. We do that in any house in the area that the participants themselves arrange for the course. Efforts are made that they join the other courses at the centre and start moving out of their areas.
Capital Assistance is provided to leaders who are doing exemplary work in their areas for their communities. Though the assistance per woman is not very high (From 7500 rupees to 10000 rupees or 20,000 rupees in some cases), the small amount has contributed to their income substantially. The finance is provided only for income generation purpose under this program so they are motivated to go towards income generation. Our approach of empowering them is to motivate them use the money that they earn towards educational or health expenses improving their standard of life. Also the approach protects them from being indebted. It is important to note that they give the money back as they are a part of this objective and they feel responsible towards this money. They very well know that the money given back by then shall help many other women to earn. This increases their ownership towards the program
Creating a market within the slum through Linkages
Deeper and sustainable linkage with the market is a very important component of income generative efforts and it is the logical step to put the women in touch with the market who have either learnt a skill at the vocational centre or received capital assistance under the project. There are also many women who have not joined the above two interventions, but still link them up with the market has created alternatives for her to earn income. We have been able to put the women in touch with a number of whole-sellers, factories or shops. This has created a linkage not only for them but also many women around them. The women bring in other women of their areas and families and give work to them also. They work in their homes and thus manage to earn with their family responsibilities. This makes it possible for many women to earn who cannot leave their homes or families in the absence of proper support system. The women with entrepreneur qualities have managed to earn much more by involving other women in their work.