WOMEN EMPOWERMENT DEVELOPMENT
Women were always treated as the weaker section of the society. That is because we fail to see how much they can and they actually contribute in improving the life of an individual as well as that of a society. Today, a society cannot develop completely until and unless the women section of the society are empowered. Realizing the importance of women power in today’s society, Viraj Profiles Pvt. Ltd Profiles Limited puts special attention in empowering local girls and women by providing them vocational training and support them in making them self reliant and give them economic independence.
SHAILA NITESH SAVARA, HOUSEWIFE TURNED INTO AN ENTREPRENEUR, MAAN VILLAGE-
I got to know about Viraj Profiles Pvt. Ltd CSR activities through a common family friend, who introduced me to this. Before joining the group, I always had to strive hard to make both ends meet. Financially, my family was not very sound and every night before retiring to bed, I used to pray to God to feed us for the next day. My husband used to work on a contract basis and was the sole bread earning member for the family. As contract labour, there were days when he did not get any work to do. I always wondered how I could help him in contributing to the family income. It was around this time that I met Mrs Alka Save from Viraj Profiles Pvt. Ltd CSR Centre. Initially, I had my apprehensions about how they will treat me and whether with their help I would be able to earn any money for my family or not. My focus initially was only on the fact that how could I earn some money. With several questions running through my thoughts, I joined the programme. I distinctly remember the first day of my training wherein all the staff members were welcoming and quite supportive. Soon I took up stitching classes and started enjoying the same. The environment was quite friendly there and we all were learning like a bunch of college-going girls. After spending a couple of months with the machine, came the examination time. Our examination was a mix of theory and practical exams wherein we had to do our assignment in front of the teacher.
Finally, after the exams, the results were announced. With bated breath, we all waited for the results, and when my name got announced as the first prize winner of the batch, I broke into tears. I did not know how to react to this news. A simple housewife like me who had never had any formal education after class 4 today was the proud topper of her batch. This incident opened a completely new pathway for my life. As the award, I got a stitching machine from Viraj Profiles Pvt. Ltd and that was the most prized possession of my life so far. During the training at the centre, we were taught about making bags, purses, stitching pillow covers, table cloths, embroidery work etc. Soon I started my own tailoring business from home. Initially, it was only my neighbours and family members who used to get small jobs of stitching done from me. But then I started making purses and bags on my own and showcased them whenever they came to me for getting their work done. Soon people started appreciating my work and my products started to sell. Today I get quite a good no of orders from my friends and family and people from nearby villages to prepare customized designer purses for them. Now I feel so happy when I see my kids going to school and when I contribute some amount every month towards financial contribution at home. My life has completely changed and now I try to help other women in my vicinity achieve financial independence.
NILIMA KOLHEKAR, HOUSEWIFE TURNED INTO A SPICE QUEEN NOW, ATHLEPADA VILLAGE-
My name is Nilima Nilesh Kolhekar and I am mother of two. Today I can proudly say that I have come a long way in the last one and a half years since I joined Viraj Profiles Pvt. Ltd Women Empowerment Programme. I clearly remember that afternoon in summer when Mr Rajesh had come to my house along with two other females to discuss with me the Women Empowerment Programmes being run by Viraj Profiles Pvt. Ltd. They told me how the company offers free training to women and help them in earning money and gaining respect in society. After a brief discussion with them, which lasted for around 40 minutes, I got convinced. I joined the centre and started visiting there. Initially, I was not regular in my visits there since I had to take care of all domestic works also. My husband works with a school and both my kids are school going. This was the time when my husband provided me with the much-needed support and encouraged to attend the training classes regularly. Soon I became a regular student and started enjoying my class. The teachers were quite supportive and in no time, I started picking up the art of stitching and embroidery. Then came the month of Diwali and our CSR centre bagged a huge order for providing 4 thousand diyas and a lot of candles to a big shop in Mumbai. And I enrolled myself on Diya making team. This was my first experience with colours and candles, and I enjoyed this work.
We completed our order on time and got a very good response from the buyer. Then I also got trained for masala making and papad making. While learning this trade, I decided that I can start my masala making business and contribute financially to the household income. Then I discussed this with my husband and he agreed to support me. Now the million-dollar question arose about the initial finance required to support the business. We tried to borrow it from one of our relatives but it did not work out. Then we left it to destiny. One day, I discussed this with the senior teacher at the centre and she assured me that the group account of the women can lend me the money and I can repay that money in three or four monthly instalments. My joys knew no bounds and I immediately started working towards fulfilling my dream. The very next day, we got the money from the centre and my husband bought all the necessary raw material. Initially, we had to go to each doorstep of the village and inform them about our new venture and how we are selling all kinds of masalas at a very economic price. Soon the effort started showing results and our ship started sailing. Last month, I repaid my loan lent by the centre and recently we also got our house re-coloured and painted. I owe all this to the life-changing decision made to join the Women Empowerment Programme and which enabled me to stand up on my own and hold my head high. Recently, our results were announced and I stood second in my batch and as an award, I got a brand new electronic stitching machine. Now I run my spice shop and also teach tailoring to school girls.