Women's Empowerment: Kotla

Empowerment - New Delhi

Kotla, Premnagar, Kotla Mubarakpur


  • Gadhia Lohars, an ancient Rajasthani tribe, have been living in Kotla slum for over 40 years. They had been issued voter IDs, ration cards and had been supplied with a water connection. On 12 January 2009, without any notice, their slum dwellings (jhuggis) were demolished overnight as part of a slum clearance policy to ready the city for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
  • The slum is next to an underpass in South Delhi with perpetual traffic noise, pollution, sub-standard living conditions and no water supply or sanitation. Dwellings are made of any available material. In parts of the slum there is space for only a single person to pass between the jhuggis.
  • The programme includes education and nutrition for children, a women’s empowerment programme and legal aid for the community to enable them to receive compensation for being displaced.
  • The kindergarten and tuition centre for 120 students has brought about a change of mindset in the community and an appreciation of the value of education. The students' mothers requested skills training in order to earn an income.

Circles of Love

  • The programme aims to alleviate poverty through empowerment.
  • The women are not educated and have young, malnourished children. As the slum is highly congested, there is no room for equipment such as sewing machines.
  • Twenty women earn an income through producing fabric beads.
  • They keep their materials in a large plastic box and use the lid as a clean working space.


  • Nutritional snacks to address malnutrition are provided.
  • Living essentials such as clothing and blankets are distributed.
  • Regular fogging with herbal pesticides for mosquito and pest control is carried out.
  • Treatment and medicines for the community are provided by medical camps/clinics.

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