Nothing could stop Shraddha from chasing her dreams!
Shraddha Shinde is a young woman filled with talent and a drive to succeed. But her life had not always been easy.
Her father passed away when she was in school. He had been the sole breadwinner of the family and his untimely death left the family in a bad situation. Her brother began to work to support the family.
The money that came in was still not enough so her mother began to work as well. She took on stitching jobs during the day but she could not work too long as she had spondylitis. Shraddha’s dreams of becoming an engineer were beginning to fade as her family did not even have enough money to get through a day.
Akshara Center discovered Shraddha and decided to help her pursue her dreams. They provided her with financial help to pay for a course in Electronics and Telecommunication. Through her college days, she went to workshops held by Akshara to build confidence, life skills and interpersonal skills. Upon graduation, she got a job as a trainee engineer with an international corporation!
Young girls like Shraddha are just ones step away from their dreams. All they need is a helping hand to do what they’ve set their hearts and minds on.
You could donate to give girls like Shraddha a chance to study further after school. Your help could make the difference of turning years of education into a career for them. You can give with confidence because every program on our platform is GIVEASSURED.
By donating to this program
you will be sponsoring the overall costs incurred to support the beneficiaries
What the beneficiary gets
Akshara Centre's 'Empowering Dreams' is a scholarship program for girls in the age group of 16 to 21 years, pursuing higher education. These girls are predominantly from 'single female head families' based out of underprivileged communities in 2 of Mumbai's low-cost housing municipal wards.
Applications are invited from such girls, following which aspiration levels and desire to pursue higher education are assessed via interviews with the applicants. The selected girls are then enrolled in the Life Skills Workshop, where they work towards developing their confidence and interpersonal skills. All the candidates undergo an evaluation at the start and end of the program in order to quantify shift in their life perspectives.
The girls are urged to open bank accounts to deposit their grants, in order to encourage accountability. The program is extensively publicized to ensure it reaches its desired demographic.
23 March, 2021
The covid 19 pandemic and the immediate lock down affected the girls in multiple ways. They were hit so badly because most of them are children of daily wage earners who are working as street venders, hawkers or laborers. They all lost their livelihood and some of their families got infected with Covid 19 also. Other than the financial issues there were many other problems that they have been facing like violence and pressure of marriage, drop out issues due to lack of income and lack of facilities like phone and internet to work from home or to find out such jobs or to actively participate in their college lectures, problems with coping up with stress and anxiety etc were some of them.
Scholarship Support & Selection of girls : This year we have selected around 170 girls for scholarship for 2020-21 academic year based on the following criteria. • Her family monthly income should be 20,000 or below. • She should be a college going student. • Preference is given to children of single mothers, socially backward categories and girls from minority communities.
Also Akshara has made a change in the programme by introducing a six month certificate course on life skill and perspective building for newly enrolling girls and it is named as ‘Saksham Leadership training Programme’.
Mental Health support and Awareness : We identified the stress and anxiety of our girls has increased during lock down and helped them with psychological support, counseling facility.
We have also realized that they are facing a lot of hygiene issues during the pandemic and to address this we have organized a workshop on ‘Menstruation, health and hygiene’ .
Conducted serried of Workshops on Life- skills. Few are mentioned here: Why do we fear Violence: Focused on What is gender based violence and why it occurs and how can one prevent violence or stop being a victim of it. ‘What is my gender? A girl , A Boy or A person’:This workshop discussed more about gender and gender discrimination that exist in the society. ‘Are you a change maker : We introduced the idea of leadership, decision making and taking initiatives to change few issues that they have identified in their community. Perspective building and Employable Skills for Senior Girls : Senior girls are looking forward to complete their graduation and get a job as soon as possible. Hence we have conducted series of workshops on Employability related skills development.
5 July, 2020
Girls learn leadership skills and build confidence
Girls learn leadership skills and build confidence
This entire year consisted of various activities where many of our girls took part in confidence building, learning leadership goals and indulging in non traditional careers stepping away from the limitations imposed by gender. Some of these activities are listed as follows :-
Workplace Readiness: This workshop was conducted to equip girls in understanding - Self to make well informed career decisions. It Enabled them to become Self- Learners to thrive successfully in the 21st century emerging trends. It helped them create SMART career goals for themselves and understand critical life skills such as Decision making, Conflict resolution and Effective communication to foster positive relationships personally professionally.
Non Traditional Workshop: Majority of careers are Male dominated and women have very limited source of livelihood which are home science, cooking, tailoring etc. In this workshop, women who have broken the barriers and created a space for them in the male dominated careers were spoken about. For e.g.: Geeta Phogat (Wrestler), Veena Patil (Owner of Veena World- tour and travel etc. The girls were also encouraged to take up careers often branded as only often men such as engineers, pilots, film makers etc.
Mentoring: Akshara centre collaborated with ISDI School of innovation and Design for a Mentoring program where few of our selected girls were mentored in Planning, confidence building, setting their goals for the future, improving their communication skills to be able to present power point presentations in front of their classmates, college and other people. It helped them to believe in themselves and present with confidence.
Chai Ki Tapri Campaign: There are many places in public where predominantly males are found, and to break this barrier and reclaim public spaces, girls did a campaign called Chai ki tapri where in groups they visited 3-4 chai ki tapris, had tea, discussed with the tapriwala regarding the lesser number of women coming and drinking tea and how can the barriers be broken and women also can come and drink tea. Questions of mobility, restrictions and freedom were discussed later as the girls shared their experiences in a closed group.
Goal Setting: Girls were made to do an exercise of writing down what their future goals were and also to create a pathway of short goals in order to achieve the larger, future goal. We then sat down to find the challenges in the pathway and find solutions to them in order to move ahead. This gave the girls a sense of clarity as to how to achieve their goals.
In the future too, we hope to equip our girls with all necessary skills to build an independent life and make great career choices while constantly battling gender discrimination to build a gender equal and gender just society.
19 November, 2019
Girls indulged in studies and extra-curricular activities
Girls indulged in studies and extra-curricular activities
22 July, 2019
This year, our ‘Empowering Dreams’ Program gave financial aid to 225 girls and gave them skills and gender trainings. 5 workshops on gender and health were held and the girls also attended CV and Interview Skills workshops. 35 girls applied for jobs and more than 100 girls turned Gender Advocates and took up a series of social actions in public spaces.
Even though our girls are aspiring for ambitious professions, they sometimes lack direction. Our Goal setting workshops were crucial for them to identify their strengths and challenges. These sessions were conducted with small groups of girls on different occasions to provide them individual attention and guidance.
Through our initiative of Placement Cell and creation of Info Hub we could individually helped our beneficiaries by providing information related to career options, scholarship opportunities, details of higher education opportunities and its scope and various nontraditional livelihood opportunities.
Dr.Kamaxi Bhatte , Senior faculty at the Department of Community Medicine and Secretary of SPGRC came forward to take the session on Health during the workshop on ‘Health and Rights.’ A workshop on the different forms of violence and legal rights was also conducted.
We find support of parents critical for girls’ aspiration, enhanced mobility and livelihood possibilities. We attempt to build that through joint programs and also through individual visits and interactions especially with the parents of the core group leaders. One such event called ‘NaateMaitricha’ was held where we tried to bridge the gap of communication between parents and their children and encouraged parents to support their girls’ dreams and aspirations.
Story from the field
Chetna Kajrolkar is 20-years old. Her father is a security guard and her mother is a home maker. She has an elder sister and a younger brother. Being a sole bread winner for the family, her father was struggling to fund Chetna’s higher education along with 2 other siblings.
When Chetna first visited Akshara’soffice , she wasn’t even confident enough to speak to the staff members. She was shy and had struggled in interactions with people. She also wasn’t confident enough to talk in groups. Because of all these reasons, she was unable to build or sustain relationship with friends and family. Things didn’t seem to be working for her on the professional and academic front as well.
Chetna received scholarship from Akshara and she used this scholarship to pursue a Diploma in Architecture from Regional Vocational Training Institute (RVTI). She is currently in her second year. After attending various workshops conducted by Akshara she has developed better professional skills and perspective. The 20-year-old, who had difficulty in making friends and in communicating with people, now cherishes her relationship with classmates and juniors. She now has the confidence to lead activities at Akshara and at her college.
|What is the expected total number of beneficiaries in this program for FY18-19?||160|
|What is the number of beneficiaries/ benefits provided in this program, Year-To-Date||161|
|Village/City/State where project is located||Mumbai, Maharashtra|
|Total Budget for the project for FY18-19||1000000|
|Total Expenses for the project YTD||1073305|