Sheryl Sandberg once famously wrote in her book Lean In (New York Times Bestseller 2013), “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will only be leaders.”
She went on to establish the Lean In foundation, an organisation that works to help women all over the world advance in their careers.
Being a highly educated woman herself, Sandberg knew the relevance of proper guidance and opportunities for women. She has dedicated much of her time and energy towards creating awareness of the wage gap and lack of women in leadership positions.
Another famous organisation – the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation published No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project that makes data regarding participation of women in the workforce available to governments and research analysts.
Thus all over the world, people are rising to the advent of third (and fourth) wave feminism and are encouraging women to participate in activities previously kept out of their reach.
Closer to home, Lakshyam is an NGO in Delhi that works for women empowerment and is highly regarded for the same. With an executive and advisory board consisting of Delhi’s finest professionals, Lakshyam has achieved many social welfare goals.
Lakshyam’s two main initiatives are Rooh and Butterfly, targeted towards women and children respectively.
Rooh aims to equip women with skills that will enable them to lead a life of dignity and meaning. Volunteers help these women recycle products, create artisanal items and sell the same to encourage a skill-based earning.
Butterfly aims to educate children to bridge the gap between children in slums and children in schools by bringing the disadvantaged children to the same educational level as that of a child enrolled in school. Volunteers or interns come in to teach the children English, Hindi and/or Mathematics, and assist these children with new concepts and homework.
Lakshyam provides a conducive environment for both volunteers and the women or children they teach. By helping the volunteers to impart their knowledge to their students in an effective manner, Lakshyam has seen tremendous results since its inception in 2004. We are working on the women and child development in India, And our volunteer working in an awesome way.
Child development is incredibly important for India at this point in time – with over 41% of India’s population under the age of 20, India is one of the youngest countries in the world. It thus proves to be a tremendous challenge to equip each child with the skills and education they need.
India has made commendable progress for the same, whether it was introducing Activity-Based Learning in Tamil Nadu or the Marks for Sports campaign.
Lakshyam takes a leaf out of the great educators’ books and implements different pedagogy practices in its classrooms. By engaging the students with the help of visual and auditory aids, they are able to help children excel in the classroom.
Women and child development holds more meaning in our personal lives than we might think – all of us know women and children in our lives who have great potential to succeed but may sometimes lack the encouragement or resources they need to achieve their goals.
Lakshyam thus urges many of us to rethink our approach to women and child development. By making it their primary mission, they have proved just how much benefit can be derived by educating even one child or woman.
One can work with Lakshyam as a volunteer or an intern and help change lives. Donations also go a long way in assisting the organisation. Perhaps Sheryl Sandberg’s dream of equal female participation can come true sooner than we think.