In India, empowering youth, adolescents, and women is crucial for fostering sustainable development, but it requires addressing various social, economic, and cultural factors that impact their lives. These factors can vary significantly across different communities throughout the country. One of the major challenges faced in low-income communities across India is the prevailing mindset regarding employment and income generation. Firstly, there is a widespread perception that government jobs are the most desirable and secure career paths in the country. This mindset often leads to a lack of motivation and innovation among the youth, as they aspire primarily for government jobs rather than exploring other opportunities for skill development and entrepreneurship.
Secondly, there exists a belief that obtaining a college degree is a guaranteed ticket to a better life. While education is undoubtedly important, this mindset disregards the significance of vocational skills and practical knowledge that can empower individuals to create sustainable livelihoods. It is crucial to challenge this notion and promote a holistic approach to skill development that encompasses both formal education and vocational training.
Lastly, deeply rooted cultural norms contribute to the belief that girls should not work outside the home. This mindset restricts the potential of women, limiting their opportunities for economic independence and personal growth. To achieve lasting change, it is imperative to challenge these societal norms and create an environment that encourages gender equality and economic empowerment for women.
These mindsets present significant barriers to skill development, employment, and overall progress in low-income urban and rural communities. To bring about a mindset change towards sustainable income generation and growth, it is crucial to challenge and transform these beliefs. By addressing these mindset issues, we can pave the way for a more inclusive and progressive society, fostering economic growth and empowering individuals to pursue diverse career paths.
What We Do
ETASHA works with youth in low-income communities as well as their ecosystem to empower them with the skills, confidence, and mindset required for modern-day work environments. We believe that empowering youth involves addressing the social, economic, and cultural factors that affect their lives, which can vary widely across different communities in India.
We interact with different segments of the community in different formats to celebrate skills, highlight achievements, present role models, and have focused group discussions to gradually get them to see the advantages of thinking differently.
Our community-focused approach helps us to foster trust and build relationships between community members and community influencers, which is essential for effective collaboration and sustained impact. Through our community outreach initiatives, we aim to bring about behavioural change and mind-set change to break barriers, and biases, and promote gender equality, youth and women empowerment. Some of our initiatives for the community include:
Reach & Impact
Project ProtsahanProject Protsahan, our first community-wide initiative, received support from MSC Agency India Pvt Ltd. for a period of 7 years, from 2016-17 to 2022-23. The project initially began in Janauli village and gradually expanded to encompass several neighboring villages, before eventually relocating to Palwal, the district center.
Over the years, the project undertook various activities, including vocational training for young girls and boys, multiple interventions in the two government schools in Janauli, career highway workshops in several schools in neighboring villages, digital literacy programs for men and women, adult literacy programs for women, and most significantly, entrepreneurship development programs for women.
Additionally, it facilitated the formation of women's clubs, youth clubs, organized sports competitions, and hosted several cultural events.
The impact on the village was particularly evident in terms of training and employment opportunities for girls. From a situation where the village elders refused permission to run training for girls, to one where fathers and even fathers-in-law brought the girls for admission to job-linked training programs ending with placement in jobs.
Funded By: MSC Agency (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Project Spreading WingsThe BT Group supported 'Project Spreading Wings' as a major intervention in the peri-urban and rural communities in and around Pataudi, Haryana, with the aim of enabling adolescent girls to become economically, socially, and emotionally self-reliant.
While the project focused primarily on adolescent girls, it also included interventions for boys, and several specific initiatives were designed for men, women, community influencers, and local authorities, including the police. The project covered over 120 villages within Pataudi block reaching over 3500 students in 10 schools.
Project Spreading Wings also conducted safety audits to address issues like road safety, adequate lighting, and transportation required to access educational and employment venues by women.
The project included the development of a Computerized Process for providing individualized Career Guidance to High School Students, which was used to cover over 7000 students in rural Haryana in 6 months.
Phase 1 of the project concluded successfully, reaching a total of 14779 direct beneficiaries and 21115 indirect beneficiaries.
Currently, Phase 2 of the project is being planned for an additional 3 years.
Funded By: BT Group
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