New UNDEF Funded Project for Women Empowerment
April 28, 2012
Women from Kerala made global headlines recently (see Aljazeera news), when they broke through many barriers to successfully take on the challenging profession of plumbing.
Now some of the poorest women from the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu will have the chance to undergo the same computerized training, as part of a new project funded by the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF).
The project titled Empowerment of Women in India through Innovative Vocational Education and Training will be implemented by Amrita University’s AMMACHI (Amrita Multi Modal Applications using Computer Human Interactions) Labs.
This multi-disciplinary research center of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham promoting the use of innovative educational technologies will partner with Amrita Self Reliance Education and Employment (SREE), Amrita Jan Shikshan Sansthan (JSS), the Amrita Vidyalayam schools and Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) for the project.
The collaborative partners will provide support as per their areas of expertise and offer the required infrastructure.
“The objective of our project is to economically and socially empower 3000 impoverished women by providing them computerized vocational and educational training certified by Amrita University,” explained Ms. Bhavani B., Director, AMMACHI Labs.
“This training will be coupled with life enrichment education in order to really empower the women socially and democratically. Women who have unstable and underpaid jobs remain trapped in the cycle of poverty, which is so detrimental to true democratic functioning,” she added.
“Our training will be made available to women with a total household income at or below Rs. 100 per day as well as those who are unemployed, widowed or otherwise lacking financial independence,” she underlined.
In addition to plumbing, the women will have the opportunity to also choose from tiling and installation of solar panels for their vocational training.
Non-technical trades such as fabric painting, mushroom cultivation, soap making, bee keeping and geriatric nursing assistant will be taught as well.
The project will especially target to empower women in those communities that were relocated due to construction of dams and not provided with adequate compensation.
In Kerala, the targeted districts will be Kozhikode, Wayanad, Idukki, Kollam, Trissur, Palakkad, Kottayam, Alappuzha and Mallapuram. In Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore, Virudhanagar, Ramanthapuram will be included.
The Government of India has announced that over the next ten years 500 million skilled workers should be trained, 33 percent or 165 million of whom should be women. Information and Communication Technologies is one of India’s strengths and has proved to be the most effective way to educate large numbers of people.
This Amrita project will help meet the ambitious targets set by our Government.