Yamuna Khadar, under ISBT flyover, near Metro Vihar, Shastri Park, Shahdara
Shastri Park, Yamuna Khadar, is a slum dwelling under a bridge close to the Yamuna River, with almost 8000 residents - families of rickshaw pullers, farmers and daily wage labourers. Although the bridge provides some respite from the extreme weather conditions, the community lives in makeshift homes with no sanitation and little access to drinking water.
Initial interventions were made via initiatives of education and nutrition in the form of a contact and bridging school, a kitchen for the children, health camps, and nutrition and hygiene camps for the entire community. This contact with the community revealed a need for the women to be given opportunities to learn a productive skill for them to not only contribute in income generation but also to motivate them to be independent and have a sense of identity with positive self-esteem and confidence.
The challenges faced were mostly related to the mentality of the community whose orthodox mindsets and prejudices restrict women from going out and working. Along with this, they also need to cater to their domestic demands as care givers. The best way forward was to have a training programme within the community with facilities like a crèche and nutrition for the children.
ILCA initiated training in skills development (stitching and tailoring) within the community with 25 women. Today, 75 beneficiaries are being catered to via the initiative. The programme operates in 3 batches of 25 women each.
This project made an impact in the following ways over the past year:
A visit to Magical Stitches, Kishangarh, where Samarpan’s first empowerment setup is established.
A visit to the ILCA production centre, where they were exposed to the working atmosphere of a professional production house.
A visit to the Qutub Minar, which was a pleasant change for those who seldom get the opportunity to leave their neighbourhood.
Women are enthusiastically coming for the classes, showing commendable increase in both enrolment and attendance.
Women who have never done sewing work earlier are now able to work on the foot machines confidently.
Adult education - women are studying regularly and have shown drastic improvement.
Events celebrated over the past year included two fun get-togethers with drinks, snacks and games as well as an enjoyable interactive session with the trustee of the foundation.
Consumables for the programme, like note books, needles, threads, and frames for embroidery, are provided.
Further services offered include adult education, creativity workshops, costing workshops, medical intervention and welfare activities like health checkups, sensitization camps, awareness camps, and winter crisis intervention where clothes and blankets were distributed.