IS A GAME CHANGER.
Anita Dongre Foundation works with the local Government and village Panchayat to create Self-Help Groups and bring employment back to Indian villages.
“We need to empower our women by providing them sustained, gainful livelihood opportunities in their own villages, without them having to migrate elsewhere.
We provide skilled artisans with work and train unskilled labour, through our Foundation, at community tailoring units and also provide them employment opportunities – both in the comfort of their own villages.
This is the single-most powerful driving force and guiding philosophy for me.”
Driven by purpose and provenance, The Anita Dongre Foundation is a catalyst for change that works towards enriching the lives of people from marginalised communities of India. The Foundation develops livelihood opportunities for women in rural India by providing skill training. This is reversing the effects of job migration and bringing employment back to the villages of India, while giving women an equal voice.
For thousands of years, India’s rural economy has relied heavily on agriculture. With a sharp decline of revenue in this sector, villages in India are being forced into penury. Able bodied men are compelled to leave their homes and families in search of livelihood. Women are left behind to take care of the children, the elderly and the sick with no means to support this effort.
Empowering the people of these villages by giving them access to a dependable source of income in their locality is critical to arrest the tide of migration to cities.
One possible solution is to create a source of employment in villages. These village economies, run by the locals have the potential to:
- Create a steady household income
- Reverse the social effects of migration and bring families back together, thus demanding infrastructural growth in rural India
- Empower women to become decision makers within their family as a direct result of their significant contribution to the family income
Under the aegis of The Anita Dongre Foundation's women empowerment initiative, the company has set up community tailoring (Training & Production) centres in rural Maharashtra, India wherein marginalized tribal women are professionally trained to make garments.
These community tailoring centres are equipped with modern industrial sewing machinery for making ·garments/accessories as per contemporary designs and styles. Our company's engagement with these women doesn't end at just training. We also provide them with forward linkages, such as assuring regular supply of fabrics, raw materials, tools and organized buy-back of the tailored garments at fair per piece rates. This has resulted in a profound socio-economic impact amongst the communities being served.
The Foundation envisages systematic capacity-building of the women trained at these centres, presently organized under registered women Self Help Group (SHG) collectives, for them to manage these centres independently and eventually become self-sustaining.
The Foundation envisions 50 such community tailoring centres to be set up across the country in the next three years, as a part of its women empowerment initiative.
Located in Maharashtra's Palghar district, the tribal village of Charoti used to face the daunting challenge of unemployment—an experience common to many Indian villages. Their main source of livelihood—agriculture—no longer being economically viable, pushed villagers to migrate to urban areas for work.
In 2015, when approached by the office of Smt. Poonam Mahajan, Hon. Member of Indian Parliament, to explore extending sustained livelihood opportunities to tribal women of this village, The Anita Dongre Foundation responded by setting up a community-focussed tailoring unit. Here we trained local women in cutting, sewing and finishing garments. In the initial phase, 15 industrial sewing machines helped train 40 women. Each woman was given a stipend during this training period.
Encouraged by the results of the maiden effort, more machines were added in following years and more women were trained. Today, the centre boasts 50 sewing machines.
- Charoti : 2015-2019
- 83 Women Trained
- 44 Women Working
- 180 Dependents Supported
Based on the success of Charoti, our Foundation was armed with the firm belief of being able to positively impact the lives of more rural women. To this aim, we started our second tailoring unit at Jawhar (Jawhar Taluka of Palghar Dist. of Maharashtra, India) in January 2018.
This was done with the support of, and in collaboration with Jawhar Nagar Parishaci, UNDP, Tribal Development Dept. of State Govt, DHFL, Maharashtra State Skill Development Society and Power Grid Corp or India Ltd.
Having completed their training, women from Jawhar and neighbouring villages are now equipped with the professional skills required to make accessories and garments.
Currently, the women working at the Jawhar Centre experience a gradual increase in their monthly income as they receive more orders and improve upon their attendance and productivity.
- Jawhar : 2018-2019
- 70 Women Trained
- 40 Women Working
On the Indian Independence Day, 15th August 2018, 25 women in the village of Dhanevari (Dahanu Taluka of Palghar Dist. of Maharashtra. India) gained an important opportunity to earn sustained livelihoods. These women underwent a three month structured training program in professional tailoring at a community garment tailoring centre set up in their village, equipped with 20 industrial sewing machines.
Under a unique Public-Private-Community partnership model, in addition to The Anita Dongre Foundation, the other key stakeholders include: Village Gram Panchayat, Tribal Development Department-Govt. of Maharashtra, Pala hear District Collector office, Lupin Foundation, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd., and Maharashtra State Skills Development Society (MSSDS).
This is phase one of the joint-endeavour. The work for phase two has begun in earnest and the site was inaugurated on the same day as the launch of the phase one unit. Once both the phases are complete, the centre will house 50 machines benefitting women.
- Dhanevari : 2018-2019
- 51 Women being Trained
Gandhi Jayanti, 2nd October 2018, was special for villagers of Modgaon, a tribal village of Palghar District, as more than 25 of its women would get an important opportunity to earn sustained livelihoods post being skill training at a community garment tailoring centre set up in their own village.
These women would undergo a 3 month structured training program at the centre, equipped with 21 industrial sewing machines used to make women's garments.
- Modgaon : 2018-2019
- 41 Women being Trained
- 96%reported increased self-confidence
- 88%reported improvement in respect by family
- 63%reported increase in respect by community or society
- 62%reported enhanced decision-making power in family matters
- 42%reported regular monthly savings
Educating children, 2 Wheeler (on loan EMI), Sewing Machine, financially helping relatives in times of need/distress)
Founded in 2015, The Anita Dongre Foundation was set up to empower women, especially in rural India, by bringing jobs back to the villages and helping them become independent economic centres. By training women in the art of tailoring (sewing, pattern cutting, and so on), The Anita Dongre Foundation ensures economic independence for these women through an accessible and dependable source of income. In addition to training these women, the foundation also provides a travel stipend to maintain a comfortable and stress-free work environment. The Anita Dongre Foundation works with local Government and village Panchayats to create Self-Help Groups and bring employment back to Indian villages.
In her journey to battle societal prejudices, Anita Dongre was struck the absence of opportunities for women. Whether in rural India or amongst the newly immigrated urban population, women continued to remain financially dependent on the men in their lives, and as a result remained excluded from decision-making roles in their private and public lives.
In 2015, The Anita Dongre Foundation was set up to address this concern with a three point agenda.
- Train women and create opportunities for gainful employment in rural India.
- Provide a network and support system to help women entrepreneurs.
- Ensure continuous, year-long support whether financial or consultation.