NGOs empowering women in India - Giving for Good Foundation

Dreaming, Learning, Empowering: Anuradha's Journey of Resilience

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Anuradha grew up in a slum community that borders India’s largest garbage dump. Hers is just one of 256 slum communities that have sprung up around the 132-hectare garbage dump in Mumbai’s poorest Ward - the M-East Ward. 78% percent of the people here live in abject poverty, struggling for basic necessities like water, electricity, sanitation and education. The Human Development Index here is at 0.05, the lowest in Mumbai, and lower than many sub-saharan African nations. For Anuradha, her five sisters, father and mother, this place of strife is home. Anuradha is the third of six daughters. Her eldest sister is married, her second sister has completed Class 10, her fourth is in class 9, fifth in class 8, and her youngest sister is a student in Vision Rescue’s Beacon Learning Centre. Anuradha herself has completed Class 10, and is aged 20 today.

In her locality, young women like her are often married off early, and carry pregnancies quickly. Anuradha’s heart, though, was set on other sights. She wanted to pick up a vocational skill that could set her on steady ground financially. That desire kickstarted a conversation with our Vision Rescue Case Officer who visited Anuradha’s home every month. Anuradha told him that her family’s financials prevented her from studying further, but she wished to somehow support herself and contribute to her sisters’ growth too. She talked about how her parents ran a street stall selling vada pav, the profits of which were the only source of sustenance for their family of eight. Within their community, their gang of six girls born to one family was sometimes considered unlucky, but Anuradha’s father was supportive of her dreams to pick up a vocational skill. He was worried about her travelling far for this though, but consented to Anuradha travelling to a neighbouring slum community where Vision Rescue was running a brand new Beautician & Hair Care Course. Anuradha joined our classes, and she proved to be an eager learner. From basic grooming and hygiene skills, to fine-tuning her techniques in eyebrow threading, facials, manicures, pedicures and clean-ups, Anuradha had an uphill and steep learning curve to climb.

She was regular in class, involved in all the activities and took great joy in trying out new techniques. She grew close to her batch of women learners, especially during the daily practical sessions where they got to test out the day’s target skill on each other. In giving each other pedicures and clean-ups, Anuradha and her peers got precious bonding time, away from responsibilities at home - time to not just practise their new learnings, but time to build each other up and encourage peer learning too! Along with the theory & practicals, Anuradha also picked up many life skills on the course - such as effective communication, client management, developing a positive attitude, overcoming challenges etc. Once Anuradha and her batch had reached proficiency in the Beautician Skills, they moved on to Hair Care techniques - ranging from basic blow drys, to ironing hair, henna treatments and even basic haircuts. “I got to meet new people and learn so many new things!” beams Anuradha on her Course Graduation Day at the end of three months. Since her graduation, Anuradha’s highlight has been her very first independent order - completing facials for a client, earning her her very first payment of Rs. 500.

Since then, she has built up a clientele of 4-5 orders each month, and she’s growing in confidence with each new client. Anuradha’s dream is to become a professional beautician, working at salons in Mumbai, and eventually opening her own salon, with her own money. She knows that many young women like her, in her community, would benefit from the employment opportunity, and she’s eager to empower others just as she has been empowered. In M-East Ward, Anuradha and her dreams are an anomaly. Surrounded by so much struggle for the basic necessities of life, Anuradha stands out as a woman determined to overcome her circumstances, upskill herself, and lift others up around her too. Thank YOU to the Giving for Good Foundation for investing in Anuradha’s skill development course, empowering her and dozens of others like her too

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Vision Rescue

Vision Rescue

Giving for Good and Vision Rescue have partnered for a unique campaign to empower youth with job-ready skills. By working hand-in-hand, we're committed to creating sustainable change, and positively impacting the lives of hundreds of individuals from the slum communities of Mumbai.

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