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TURNING THE WOMEN INTO MICRO-ENTREPRENEURS: THE TRAINING PROGRAMME AT PURKAL STREE SHAKTI SAMITI (PSSS)

“I remember when PSSS started in 2003 out of Chinni ma’am’s house. It was such a tiny thing then, only two women”, recalls Guddi didi, a trainer at Stree Shakti. “Now, we have over 170 women working here at the moment”, she adds proudly.

The first step in making the women self-reliant is the training programme, which first started six 20150624_110322years ago. Each woman is trained in patchwork and quilting for six months. During this period, she is given a stipend of Rs. 750 per month, and all the material is provided free of cost.

After the training programme, the women are sorted into self-help groups (SHGs). There are 12 SHGs, each with a group leader, an assistant and an accountant to take care of the group’s finances. Each group also has its own bank account. All this enables the women to become more financially independent by working in SHGs that function autonomously under the Stree Shakti umbrella.

Apart from the entrepreneurial training, Stree Shakti also provides many benefits to the women here. Their children below the age of four are cared for at Shishu Shakti, a crèche-cum-playschool, at a nominal fee (they also provide need-based scholarships after a thorough survey of the household). They are also provided a meal a day, and free health care.

By taking exceptionally good care of their women, Stree Shakti enables the women to stand on their own feet and become the writers of their destinies.

Help a woman to earn through life

At any given time, two training groups of 20 women each are training with our Society. Not only is this training free, it is also subsidized with a monthly payment given to the women. We have been running this Programme for quite some time now and as a result there are currently 140 women working with us through their Self Help Groups and benefitting from this initiative.
We have been attempting to raise funds for this service that we provide without significant success. We therefore decided that we would appeal to individuals to sponsor one or more women for training. This is not an ongoing commitment from year to year but a onetime sponsorship of a lady.
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The cost of training a woman comes to Rs. 12,300/. Once a woman is trained for six months she starts earning Rs. 1,500 per month and in a year’s time takes home about Rs.5, 000 every month. With committed time she could earn up to Rs. 10,000 a month after 24 months of experience.
A small contribution of Rs 12,300/ USD 205/ GBP125 will pave the way for a poor woman into becoming a regular contributor to her family. More importantly she becomes a Self-respecting and respected earning member. This boosts her self-esteem and standing in the community – a consideration so important to empower her.
Further, we are planning to train a group of 30 women at Jhari Pani, a new Centre that we are commencing near Mussorie, from August onwards. The training of these women will also cost but we are hoping to get this programme funded by a Foundation.
Please help a woman to become self-reliant by paying just Rs.12300/ USD 205/ GBP125

Contact us at purkalstreeshakti@gmail.com to find out how

Jharipani Outreach Centre

Our first outreach centre which was opened in Feb 2013 is now full and we are coming close to opening our second.

We were approached by some ladies from the hill station village of Jharipani who had heard of the work we do. We went to meet them and to have a look at some potential workspaces. We are very happy to report that this project is now going to go ahead. Initially we will be training 30 women and then expanding once we have additional space. We have found a suitable building and on 9th July 2014 we had a puja (a Hindu ritual) to sanctify the place. We are now looking for the necessary funding and we are aiming to be up and running in mid-August.

Here are some photos.

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Back to School

This week in the Purkal Stree Shakti workshops you can hear a lot more English being spoken. Some of our ladies asked to get English lessons so that they can sell the products to the international customers who visit us and also so that they can understand their children’s homework better. So after the winter holidays, classes started, 15 ladies go for 1 hour lessons every afternoon. The improvement within just a couple of weeks is fantastic. At first it was body parts and naming them but now there are full sentences being spoken and written about their families, the weekend and what time the chai break is! Hopefully we will have them writing some blog pieces at the end of their nine month course.

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Congratulations Rakesh Dhawan!

A huge congratulations to one of our esteemed board members Rakesh Dhawan on being elected to the International Alliance of Women board for the 2014-2016 term. The IAW is nearly 100 years old and works closely with the United Nations in formulating policies on the welfare of women and children internationally.
We are happy to see one of our board members taking such big steps in helping to empower women world wide.

Our shop goes online!

What better way of celebrating this Christmas and buying holiday gifts for your loved ones!
Buy a Stree Shakti product online and help empower the women of Uttarakhand.
We’re very happy to announce that our e-shop has been launched for our customers. We’re starting with a selected range of products for our customers and will very soon add on more products to it. You now have access to the wonderfully hand-crafted products of Purkal in any part of the world!
Please do go ahead and shop and we will be waiting for feedbacks and suggestions from you.
Wishing you a great shopping experience and a wonderful holiday season!
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Christmas at Stree Shakti

To give the design office some festive spirit, Maneet our head designer made an advent calender using our bunting pattern and some toffees. We are all taking turns to eat the sweet, although one did go missing and everyone is acting innocent! We also have a little tree to add to the Christmas cheer.

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