Diwali provided a good context both for providing skills training and to test the learned skills. Mann Deshi arranged a marketing fair in Satara to connect the young women under skills training to the local market. It has worked as a wonderful exposure for the young participants; their products were appreciated and sold. This was a complementary effort to the livelihood training so that the young participants also could learn from the experienced makers and sellers.
The event proved to be more than just a linkage between the young women and the local market. Some of the young participants were able to generate enough profit to invest in developing their ventures and also to save for future education.
Mann Deshi Foundation
Established in 1996, the Mann Deshi Foundation empowers rural women by supplementing the Bank’s financial service offerings with training, capacity building, skills development, awareness programmes and information sharing.
Mann Deshi Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation are independent institutions with similar mission and vision. Mann Deshi Bank, one of India’s largest women’s cooperative banks, is run by women, for women. Mann Deshi delivers a range of financial services – loans, savings, pension and insurance products – to unbanked, rural Indian women with very limited formal education, enabling them to finance their own businesses and to purchase property. Since the bank has been established, over 200,000 women in Maharashtra have been supported.
The Mann Deshi Foundation and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) are working in collaboration through the GIRLS Inspire project to empower girls and women who would otherwise not have access to skills-based and life skills learning due to labour migration, early marriage, distance to school, security concerns and costs of schooling.
Learn more about Mann Deshi here.