05 March, 2021
Women of power
Various initiatives by the Tata Trusts have helped empower rural women across the country
Monica Soy is a tribal farmer who lives in a Naxalite-affected region in Jharkhand. Seeking the opportunity to improve her children’s lives, Ms Soy became a part of the Trusts’ Lakhpati Kisan Initiative. She learnt scientifically validated practices to enhance agricultural productivity and began implementing them. Ms Soy soon began marketing soil-less saplings, along with her husband, which changed her fortune. She was able to expand her business, hire three women to help her and even enrolled her children in a good school.
From making pickles at home to becoming a member of the Gram Panchayat, Asiya says she owes it all to Internet Saathi, a Tata Trusts-Google initiative which encourages digital literacy for women. Today, she trains other women in her village to help them begin their Internet journey.
Chandra Devi, a farmer from Uttarakhand, depends largely on her crop of rajma or kidney beans to support her family. She switched over to the Trusts’ innovative vertical net trellis cultivation method after she found the yield from traditional methods insufficient. Not only has the yield increased by at least 40 percent, but it has also helped boost her annual income. Ms Devi now promotes the use of this innovative technique amongst other villagers.
Munmuni Das’s sports journey has been propelled by talent, hard work and the quality hcokey training she received at the Naval Tata Hockey Academy (NTHA). The youngster made the most of the opportunities she received at the NTHA and went on to captain the Assam girls’ hockey team at the Khelo India Youth Games 2020. She is seen here with her team, which won the Hockey India Sub-Junior National Championship (B Division), 2018.
These youngsters are the first ambassadors of the Power Paanch Girls initiative in Madhya Pradesh. The initiative is driven by a community of adolescent girls who spread awareness about the dangers of anaemia among their peers and bring about positive behavioural change in their community. There are over 800 teenagers that drive the initiative across anganwadi centres in the Morena Urban Project.
Pinki is a 24-hour caregiver for an octogenarian with hypertension and dementia. Her efforts are well appreciated by the patient’s families and relatives, which means a lot to Pinki. An orphan who was grew up being supported by local NGOs, she earlier lacked self-confidence. However, all that changed after she trained at a Tata STRIVE Skill Development Centre, and now, Pinki has achieved her goal of becoming self-reliant.
Kanbagam Anandi Devi’s solar-powered sewing machine, which she received under the Trusts’ energy initiative in Manipur, came to the rescue in the most unlikely way during the COVID-19 crisis. It helped her earn an income during the pandemic by sewing face masks to combat a shortage in the state, while helping in the fight against Covid-19.
Pranali Kale conducts a routine check-up on an infant in Maharashtra’s Palghar District and demonstrates good nutrition practices through the digital tool launched by the Government of India. Ms Kale is one of the Anganwadi Workers who were trained by the Trusts to follow step-wise guidelines on the convergence of the departments of Health and Family Welfare, and Women and Child Development.
Shyama Devi is a Community Resource Person under the Trusts’ Menstrual Hygiene Management programme in Uttar Pradesh. She regularly conducts sessions with women to raise awareness about menstruation. Inspired by her, Manju Devi who was a fellow participant, now works as a ‘period volunteer’ in her village and openly discusses menstruation with women and adolescent girls and boys.
These stories, which highlight determination and effort, are just a few of the many that unfold every day. Women from tribal, underserved and underprivileged communities across the country have been able to transform their lives and inspire the ones around them, with support from the Tata Trusts.
…A journey of many more women on the path of self-sustained growth