Literacy India on Community Empowerment

Literacy India is the result of an effort that began in 1996 with five children on a construction site in the then developing Millennium City-Gurgaon in India. Today that idea has evolved into a national program, improving the lives of more than 7 lakhs of women and children through its 106 centers.

As with all good things, it was a rough start. By the mid-1990s, the nation had just undergone a huge economic change in the form of liberalization and globalization. This amplified the need to work on the upliftment of migrant workers who flocked to cities with their families and children with no idea of ​​their basic educational needs. Therefore, the first Literacy India project called Pathshala was launched. The aim of the project was to close the gap in the education of its students so that they could be enrolled in traditional schools. The open method of lessons, coupled with alternative teaching methods such as songs and games, ensured classroom engagement.

The growth of the project brought with it a new set of challenges. It was quickly realized that there were not enough trained teachers to cope with the growing number of registrations. However, the vision of LI founder Captain Indraani Singh to introduce technology as a tool for Literacy India has not only helped training and human resource development, but has also helped to increase student retention levels in schools. schools.

Success in the classroom inspired confidence in Literacy India to think big. As a result, Literacy India’s work expanded to impart market-oriented skills to women. The Karigari project was launched with the aim of training women artisans and non-artisans and helping them to become financially independent. Currently, the program operates in six states through its 27 centers with more than 80,000 beneficiaries.

Soon LI realized that although young interns could get paid employment, older women could not participate freely due to social restrictions and the burden of family responsibilities. This led to the introduction of the Indha Project which is an entrepreneurial program that aims to create models for improving community-based livelihoods.

Literacy India in collaboration with Master Card

MasterCard is a leading global technology company in the payments industry that has partnered with Literacy India for over a decade since 2012. It is giving a new direction to women, especially in the geographies where Literacy India works in the framework of sustainable livelihood programs at the local level. community. Both have a common goal of unlocking the economic potential of women entrepreneurs. Their community project empowered and changed the lives of 25,000 women, young people and children from disadvantaged and vulnerable families. MasterCard is working with Literacy India to implement the 4Es.

Recent successful projects in 2021 in partnership with MasterCard

Some recent initiatives implemented in seven states in India include: –

– The Gyantantra Digital dost project defends the cause of girls’ education and technology in education

– Karigari- code skill and Robotics Lab

– Empowerment of women and vocational training

Rainwater collection wells

The Kaigari project provides a platform to connect the traditional skills of ethnic and folk artisans with modern handicrafts under the banner of Indha. Products made by these skilled and trained artisans are sold by Project Indha on leading platforms like Etsy, Amazon, and Flipkart. MasterCard plays an important role in training Indha women as skilled craftspeople. This support has helped change the lives of women in the extreme rural areas of West Bengal, Telangana, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and the semi-urban areas of Delhi, NCR, Pune, Vadodara and Kolkata.

Stories of change

Menoka Hembram, Jharkhand

Menoka Hembram is an embroidery craftswoman for the Indha project ( She lives in Madandih, Dhanbad district with her family. Her husband works as a worker. During the pandemic, her husband lost his job. Meanwhile, Literacy India helped them with essential food and gave Menoka extra work through Indha. The advance from Literacy India helped her during the lockdown and now she is steadily earning an income as a successful Indha craftswoman. For many, Indha has become a brand of sustainability and empowerment of women. Artisans like Menoka are becoming producers of B2B corporate gifts with the active support of a non-profit organization like Literacy India’s Indha Project.

Pappi Bai, Rajasthan

Pappi Bai breaks the rules and charts her own path to financial independence. A few years ago, she left her husband for his safety and welfare and that of her children at her father’s house in Manoharthana village, Jhalawar district. His father was a day laborer. The arrival of her daughter and children aggravated the financial crisis. Pappi took a tailoring course with Literacy India and started working as an Indha craftsman in patch making and tailoring. Literacy India provided Pappi with a sewing machine and she was able to support her family.

Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist is involved in the creation of this content.

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About Shirley L. Kreger

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