SI Pune Metro East – Two Day Workshop on Women’s Empowerment
- India is a developing country. Population explosion is the root cause of most of our socio-economic problems. The solution to all our problems lie in educating and empowering the girl child.
- The slums in India are characterised by women and girls who are uneducated or school drop outs. Being uneducated they end up having too many children. They know nothing about family planning. There is poverty, hunger and too many mouths to feed. Their men folk are unemployed and irresponsible. These women are forced to work as domestic help (maids) in big apartments. They earn a paltry sum which is again snatched away by the husband or father. The frustrated men spend the money on liquor. The drunken husbands return home and beat up the woman when they find there is nothing to eat. The battered woman gets up the next morning and goes back to work washing dishes, clothes, sweeping and mopping etc. She works all day in different households until she falls ill. She is weak in all respects. Economic, physical, social and emotional. The helpless women are exploited. They are incapable of managing their family budget. They do not have bank accounts and have no saving habits. Some of them want to earn and support themselves and their family
but do not have skills to do so.
- While education is mandatory, it is equally important to provide the girl child and woman with skills that would help her earn a decent living. It is important to make her smart and responsible for herself and her own well-being. She must take care of her own health. She must be taught family planning. She must learn how to manage her family budget and the importance of saving. An attitudinal change is necessary. She should be taught how to improve her quality of life and living.
- While almost every SI club in India has taken up empowerment projects, I have the opportunity to discuss a unique programme organised by SI PUNE METRO EAST club. They have identified precisely the specific qualities, skills and knowledge that is lacking in the girls and women living in the slums of India and have themselves gone ahead in providing them with it.
- In the month of June, the SI PUNE METRO EAST organised a two day workshop on “Women’s Empowerment.” They had seven interactive sessions of forty-five minutes each where the women and girls were taught the following : Nutrition health and personal hygiene, handling domestic violence, home budgeting and the importance of saving, Pre-marital counselling – family planning, home building and managing family relationships, Etiquette, personal grooming, personality development, learning a skill like painting on earthen lamps (helping them earn a descent living). 26 girls and women participated in the workshop.
The participants of the workshop enjoyed the sessions and appreciated the importance of the knowledge and skills imparted to them.
We commend the SI PUNE METRO EAST club on their efforts as they have indentified and addressed the problem areas and provided the women and girls with specific knowledge and skills that will help them overcome their vulnerability.
- In conclusion I would like to say that today the government provides free education to the girl child till grade 12. It provides Rs.10,000 per annum to a family that is educating their girl child in the state of Maharashtra for families below the poverty line. A lot is being done by the government and social organisations but there is a long way to go. We have billions of people in our country and every drop matters. The SI PUNE METRO EAST have made a beginning. It is time we teach our girls and women to smarten up. We must empower them and protect them from exploitation. We must Motivate, help and educate the girl child.
- The SI PUNE METRO EAST club is a new club, mothered by SI PUNE in January 2010. They are a very young enthusiastic and innovative group of Soropimists who have moved ahead with projects initiated by the SI PUNE CLUB.
- Congratulations SI PUNE METRO EAST club! Keep up the good work.