Our much-anticipated, first meeting with dear blogger friend, Damyanti Biswas (D) in Gurgaon’s Mad Tea Pot café, Wishing Chair, turned out to be serendipitous.
I say serendipitous because D shared with us stories of hope from Anouradha Bakshi’s life-altering initiative for women and children called Project WHY. The Project WHY stories were one of unrelenting courage, grit, determination, unsurpassed pain, yet an unstinted spirit of a flag flying high.
Over copious doses of Himalayan Rose-Ginger tea and latte we brainstormed on various ways we as bloggers could pitch in for this noble cause. Post this meeting D travelled to other cities and met bloggers, who supported Project Why and it’s path-breaking initiative. These bloggers joined hands with Damyanti and Anouradha Bakshi and chose to spread the much-needed word, by blogging about this project via the Giving Tuesday Initiative, a global giving movement, which Project Why also happens to be a part of. This blogging initiative we hope will help create awareness and raise funds.
Project WHY is a flagship program of Sri Ram Goburdhun Charitable Trust, that provides educational support to underprivileged children. This after-school support program goes beyond academics, to include life skills and all-around development.
Project WHY also runs vocational skill programs for women from underprivileged homes. Every year this nonprofit reaches out to 1200 underprivileged children and provides after-school support to them and also to 160 women. It also works on women’s empowerment, so they can support themselves and their children.
Since 2007, over a 1000 women have been trained at the women’s centre sewing circle.
Project Why Sewing Circle
The sewing circle of Khader began its activities over 10 years ago in Madanpur Khader, one of the many villages that dot New Delhi. Since then over 1000 women have been trained by Project Why as part of its women empowerment programme.
This programme was initiated with the belief that women were true agents of change and that giving them the means to earn a livelihood would go a long way in transforming the lives of their families. This held particularly true in an environment where men often drank and domestic violence was prevalent. At Project Why they not only learnt a skill, but also to read and write, thus helping them to become small entrepreneurs!
The sewing circle of Khader has been a resounding success. Over 80% of the women have found some form of gainful activity be it within their homes or even outside.
The Project WHY Sewing Circle has changed the lives of scores of women, but none more so than for Renu Karotia, the sewing teacher.
Six years ago, Renu’s husband lost his job following a work accident. the family lost their home and incurred huge debts. Being unskilled, Renu had very few options. After she joined the Project Why sewing class, she soon started taking small sewing jobs at home. It was a struggle to put food on the table every day.
When Project Why lost its sewing teacher, they felt that Renu had the skills to take on the job. Though hesitant at first, she grew into the job and is now very proud of her students. She is slowly paying back her debts and knows that she holds the key to her future. Her children study at the after-school support classes run by Project Why.
Today Renu is looking at developing and honing the skills of her students through a six-month programme. This will enable them to find employment in the garment industry.
For this endeavour the following is required:
Interlocking machine 4400/-
Pico machine 5600/-
Ironing board 2000/-
Cutting table 4000/-
6-month salary for Renu 60,000/-
Total amount needed: 77,000/-
Big Hearts Make a Big Difference – Why You Should Donate
Women such as Renu are the true agents of change and helping them find the means to earn a livelihood goes a long way in transforming the lives of their families. At Project WHY, Renu and her students not only practice sewing, but also learn to read and write which will empower them. When women are empowered, domestic violence drops, and the next generations find access to better education.
Follow this link to know more about www.projectwhy.org. and make a donation here. Your contribution, no matter how small, will drive this noble initiative forward and enable these women to find employment in the garment industry where such skills are needed.
How to donate:
If donating from India, you are eligible for a 50% tax deduction under section 80G, and the entire account would be put up on the project WHY website once the amount is raised.
You can also donate in different currencies like USD and pounds—all you have to do is change the currency at the top right of the screen. If donating from the U.S., you may donate to Project Why via Omprakash which is a tax-exempt non-profit organization, registered under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Join the Project Why family by supporting Renu, and other women like her. Do remember, no amount is too small. A few rupees – a fifty or hundred or two-hundred, a dollar or two or more, maybe a few euros which might cost you a coffee or that mini-meal at Subway; will go a long way in turning a few dreams into reality.
Go, ahead, make a difference! After all someone rightly said, big hearts, make a big difference.
Share the SEWING CIRCLE FUNDRAISER on social media using the hashtag #GivingTuesday and #ProjectWhyDelhi. Did you know each share leads to at least 3 donations!