The Centre for Social Development in Jaipur, Rajasthan, provides vocational training and non-formal education to low-income women in order to teach them the basis of social entrepreneurship. The NGO, which was established in 2003, focuses on women’s empowerment and development of less privileged groups. Having undertaken a study on domestic violence in India and learned that women are particularly vulnerable in urban centres in Rajasthan, the Centre has started this entrepreneurship workshop under the Government of India’s Trade Related Entrepreneurship Development scheme.

JAIPUR: A 23-year-old victim of domestic violence, Sudha Sharma, (name changed) of Jaipur is learning basics of social entrepreneurship at a workshop organised by an NGO — Centre for Social Development (CSD) in the city. Until a few months ago, she was physically assault by her inlaws but now she lives separately and is planning to open a small tailoring unit here.

Like Sudha, there are 29 other women, mostly from low income groups participating in the workshop. They all have different ideas to open their own venture. All this is possible because of social activist Manju Rai, director of CSD. Ever since the NGO’s inception in 2003, she is working for women’s empowerment and development of less privileged groups in the society. Her activities involve awareness programmes, conducting research work, imparting vocational training and non-formal education.

Concentrating on financial awareness, skill development, imparting education to migratory children, promotion of entrepreneurship among the youth and conservation of natural resources is also on her agenda. Rai started with creating awareness on breast feeding among low income groups in 2003. They deliberately chose this income group considering the fact that most of them are subjected to malnourishment. “The response was enormous as they weren’t aware of the importance of timely feeding of milk to infants,” added Rai.