October and November are the months when most of the Western Indian communities, rich and poor alike, celebrate a number of festivals; the central being Diwali, the celebration of light.
The festive season also marks a spike in the demands for local produce and small hand crafted products. Mann Deshi has taken this opportunity to introduce a number of training sessions for the young women that could develop as low investment seasonal business.
The aim is to expose the participants to the idea of self-employment as well as boost their self-confidence. We are hoping that such impromptu and responsive inclusion of skills training would result in a number of positive outcomes, including that of demonstrating the possibilities of Girl and Young Women’s economic contribution to the community and households.
As decided earlier, part of the earnings from the initiative (which also is connected to Mann Deshi’s initiative of promoting a gift package including these produce) would go to the Bank Account opened by Mann Deshi Mahila Bank if a participant wishes to.
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.