In Chennai, one of India’s fastest growing cities, over 29% of the population live in the slums. Very few people in slums have toilet or any access to water in their home. The majority travel at least 500 meter to get drinking water. Young women in these slum areas do not have the opportunity to develop skills and find employment, so they have to depend on the men of their families. As a consequence, they get involved in unskilled and unorganised work and are often mistreated for cheap labour.
Tzedek’s project with partner organisation SAVE aims to promote economic independence for 80 young vulnerable slum women of Chennai, through computer training in Microsoft office applications and life-skill education such as leadership training, self-employment and preparing for interviews and English.
In the first year, 40 beneficiaries will be referred for getting job placement in private companies, commercial complexes, malls and educational institutions. They will get a starting income from 5,000 to 7,000 Rupees (£53 to £74) per month. After 2 years, all 80 beneficiaries will be in this position. Furthermore, SAVE will guide those wanting to start their own business to get loans from the nationalized banks.
Their regular income will help them to face the expenses for their daily bread, medical and educational purposes of the elders and children of their families, and standing on their own feet rather than being dependent on others.
A Day in the Life of a Beneficiary
Mrs. Rekha is from a poor Dalit family, her father was working as construction worker for an insecure, daily wage. He is also an alcoholic who wasted the little money he had on his drinking habit. Her mother was a fruit seller who educated her three daughters on the money she earned.
Mrs. Rekha’s husband is an electrician but his income is not regular and insufficient to meet their family expenses. Mrs. Rekha has two sons aged 4 and 1. Her regular daily chores include drawing water from the local corporation pump in the early morning, preparing food, sending her husband to work and her son to school, as well as cleaning her house, utensils, clothes etc. They need to ensure they have sufficient money to pay for the rent for their house, their children’s education, medical expenses, household expenses, electricity etc. Mrs. Rekha now hopes that the computer skills will get her a decent job.
The project is expected to cost £6,657 for a period of one year.