UNNATI- Youth Empowerment
WOMEN LITERACY PROGRAM
'You educate a man; you educate a man.
You educate a woman; you educate a generation.'
It has been proved that literacy enhances a region’s human capital. Literates have always enjoyed better health & economic status. Literacy of women leads to the holistic development of the family & the society on the whole.Being literate imparts a sense of empowerment to women which is otherwise denied to them. Education ensures the mental development of women enabling them to sustain themselves financially. Education is a vital for a woman as she grows up to be the bulwark of her family and her children.It has been reflected upon and simultaneously proved that literacy enhances a region’s human capital. Literates have always enjoyed better health & economic status. Literacy of women leads to the holistic development of the family & the society on the whole. The female populace residing in the JJ clusters of North and North-West Delhi are mostly illiterate and have never had the opportunity to enroll themselves in schools and colleges. Tata Power-DDL identified this concern as one of the intervention areas and ventured into Women Literacy Program in 2006-07 with two centers, through Computer Based Functional Literacy program (CBFL) introduced by Tata consultancy services and today the program has grown to 290 women literacy centers. The intent of the program has been to impart functional literacy, so that these women become adept with carrying out their daily tasks such as doing grocery shopping, operating bank accounts, reading bus numbers etc. The beneficiaries become self-reliant in reading, writing and numeracy. They become aware of the causes of deprivation and move towards amelioration of their condition by participating in the process of development. The program has also led to improvement in their economic status and general wellbeing.
This six month program consists of two batches that comprises of 30 women in each center who work on the Computer-Based Functional Literacy Software designed by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). This software enables them to read and write alphabets and understand the numerical system through animated videos. An educated woman is identified from within the community itself as teacher and her home serves as the classroom for six days a week and is 1.5-2 hours. The classes are generally conducted during the afternoons and evenings. It is ensured that it is conducted at such an hour, so that it coincides with the free hours of their household chores. Along with imparting functional literacy, these beneficiaries are also given awareness sessions on health issues and safety.
A total of 47,049 women have been covered through this program and in the last FY 2015-16, 17,400 women have benefitted from this program.
Tata Power-DDL believes that apart from empowering these women by showing them the avenues to educate themselves, it is important to make these women beneficiaries financially independent as well. Tata Power-DDL started various schemes for these women so as to help them start earning in order to meet their family responsibilities. Instructors at the women literacy program are developed as brand ambassadors and are named ‘Abha’. Here, they are financially engaged in disseminating information on behalf of the Social Innovation Group (SIG) of programs like vocational training, free health services through mobile dispensaries, drug de-addiction camps, scholarship for SC/ST students etc. These ‘Abhas’ help the community to avail benefits of SIG initiatives and also works as first consumer contact points regarding general queries of SIG. Currently 741 women are designated as ABHAs and working dedicatedly in the community. Monthly meetings are also organized for a regular monitoring and handholding of associated ABHAs.
ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH SELF HELP GROUPS
The creation of self-help groups is encouraged at these women literacy centers in order to organize them into small micro income-generating groups. The aim behind creating self-help groups is to make these women independent and self-sufficient and to also inculcate the habit of saving. Maintenance of account books and other records like the minute’s book, attendance register, etc., are also being maintained in these self-help groups (SHGs). The SHGs have their own centralized bank accounts which are opened in their respective names for the sake of transparency with regard to various transactions that take place within these SHGs. The process of transparency is done in order to promote trust, mutual faith and confidence among its members. These SHGs are linked with nationalized banks so that they can have proper bank accounts in their names where they can deposit their savings and avail of financial assistance at the stage of maturity. Over 292 SHGs are functioning smoothly and engaging 3,497 women.
In order to support and offer longevity to SHGs, it is essential to create doorstep access to micro- enterprises amongst seasoned SHGs. Keeping this objective in mind, specialized agencies have been identified to train women in various skill sets such as bangle making, chocolate making, soft toy making, jute work, handicrafts etc. Network linkages have been established with various companies and factories with the objective of marketing the products made by our SHGs. Network linkages have been established for the self-help groups both before and after training, in order to facilitate a positive and supportive environment.
Tata Power-DDL is working towards providing skill based training to 101 SHGs on entrepreneurship development program of which 35 SHGs have been trained in FY 15-16. The training programs aim to empower women in such a way that they can start their own entrepreneurial venture.
SUPPORT GIRL CHILD PROGRAM
The fundamental lack of life skills, employability skills, and self-confidence become barriers in the progress and development of many girls who come from the underprivileged section of society. These skills are necessary to help ease and acclimatize them into mainstream society. The reasons could be financial obstacles that may become an impediment for them to get into good schools, a lack of trained teachers, high number of enrollment of students and condensed focus of teachers. Tata Power-DDL identified this gap by providing life skills, soft skills and personality development trainings in schools for adolescent girls studying in XI & XII through a professional agency. Developing the foundation skill sets enables improved accessibility, increased inclusivity, and upward mobility. This program is very different from a typical classroom structure. It follows the “learn by doing” methodology – each module is activity based and the students learn through discussions, debates, extempore, role plays, practice exercises, and games, through monthly session in schools by professional counselors. Career Counseling is given to class XII girls so that they can decide upon appropriate career options for themselves. The duration of each workshop is about 4 or 5 hours.
The frequency of the workshops would be either twice a month or once a month depending on the school’s academic calendar.
In the first phase of implementation the program has reached out to 3200 girls from 10 government schools.
VOCATIONAL TRAINING CENTER
Youth living in the Jhuggi Jhopri clusters (JJ clusters) and who belong to the poorest of poor families are unable to find other means to fulfill their dreams and aspirations, due to an inaccessibility to basic resources. Tata Power-DDL has started various vocational training cum educational centers for the inhabitants residing in these JJ clusters. After taking a need assessment survey, skill training programs were started to enhance the employability of these communities and to uplift the economic status of their families as well. These vocational training centers provide a platform to the less privileged youth to support them to learn desired skill sets which will make them employable and empower them to earn their living. Basic objective behind opening these centers was to enhance family income and bridge the gap between needs & resources in order to fulfill them. In order to cater and meet this purpose, Tata Power-DDL runs 14 vocational cum tutorial classes and plans to develop more vocational training centers in order to impart the requisite skills to the unemployed youth and school students. These centers are centrally located within the communities, offering an ease of access to the youth, especially women. The aim of skill generation programs is to train the unemployed youth and school drop-outs that hail from JJ clusters & resettlement colonies, in various vocations, thus enabling them to either start their own small ventures or get a gainful employment. This leads to an enhanced family income and the family is then able to afford the basic amenities of life which are needed to lead a happy and healthy life.
Our partner agencies carry out assessment surveys for the selection of courses ensuring the marketability & engagement of passed out beneficiaries. The beneficiaries are skilled in useful and practical vocations such as computers, training in electrician’ s skill set, stitching, tailoring and training in beautician practices, personality development and mobile repairing. Also, new industry based short term courses of Retail Chain and Office Assistant have also commenced which has very high placement prospects.
Around 3,586 youth pursued various courses at our VT centers in the last Financial Year (2015-16). Till date we have reached out to 10,463 youth.
Students who have passed-out and are skilled in computers, mobile repairing, tally, and are trained in electrician skill sets received opportunities to work with IBM, Consultancy Firms, District Courts, and shops are making a decent living.
The socio economic status of the families residing in our JJ clusters proves an obstacle on imparting quality education to their wards. Poor quality education, lack of infrastructure within schools and a disorganized evaluation system, all lead to loss of interest in studies which adds to the dropout rate. After voluntarily dropping out of mainstream education system, these wards who are still in their teens, either get entrapped and sucked into anti-social activities or they start working early in order to support their families. This aggravates the problem of child labour which leads to exploitation at their work places. These teens get under paid and become prone to various addictions.
The locations in which our vocational training centers are developed are fully equipped with all the provisions that enable us to run tutorial classes along with other income-generating trainings. These VT centers are located in the heart of their communities, making them easily accessible to children (both school going and drop outs). The school going students from standard 1-10 are roped in and given free supplementary education. The kids are not just supported in their studies but are also groomed in extracurricular activities such as painting, skits, singing and dancing. In the last Financial Year (2015-16), 1,573 children enrolled themselves in the tutorial classes and a total of 3,468 students have got benefits through these classes.