Women Entrepreneurs In India

In a nutshell, women entrepreneurs refer to those women who come with a business enterprise with proper planning and initiative, combining and organizing various factors of production, operating and undertaking all the risks of uncertainty involved in running an enterprise.

It is a fact that the development of women entrepreneurship in our country is expectedly low. Most of the population in India believe that they are living in a male-dominated society, with women being weak and dependent on men, especially the age-old traditions and conditions serve as non-conducive conditions for the emergence and development of women entrepreneurship in India. As a result, there is a low literacy rate, low participation rate and low urban population share of women in our country.

From the economic point of view, Providing women with equal access to financial and development opportunities progresses towards gender equality and it is very much likely that it could have a direct positive impact on national and international economic efficiency. Many theories on economic development and gender equality agree that a “simultaneous relationship” exists between economic growth and women’s empowerment i.e. women empowerment and economic growth go hand to hand.

It was said by Paulo Freire, a Brazilian philosopher, in his book “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, that a change could only be brought upon the oppressors through a movement led by an oppressor. Similarly, a woman as a representative in any of the governing agencies or an in the top management of relatively big companies would help in coming up with policies and programmes that adopt the notion of women empowerment to a significant depth, with a greater understanding of problems alone faced by women.

Ms. Rashi Aanand, the award winner of “Social Entrepreneur of India” by Entrepreneur India Summit 2013, has been successfully leading the organization of Lakshyam NGO, over the past few years, majorly involving the activities of child education and women empowerment.
Lakshyam has three successful program i.e. Butterfly Program – Child development and education focusing on imparting remedial education classes to kids at its centre, Rooh Awakening Women’s Soul working for women empowerment, and Lakshyam Toy Library which aims at providing toys and books to kids.

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The Rooh program, the organization has come up with, mainly aims at strengthening women’s demeanor towards a life with the notion of making women empowered, self-employed and Self-reliant. The program also includes the needs of sanitation and menstrual hygiene for women. Health awareness campaigns for women are organized now and then which range from the importance of iodine in salt to spreading awareness about causes of Breast Cancer as women’s health affects both individual household and national economic welfare due to gender roles. Moreover, women often take care of children and prepare meals. To fulfil these important duties and ensure the well-being of their families, women must be physically well and knowledgeable about health. Broader/Positive changes can occur within communities and regions if societies have improved women’s abilities to make decisions regarding childbearing, childrearing, sexual relations, and the use of contraceptives.

General progress in women’s empowerment correlates well with progress in economic development, and spillover effects from gender-economic equality are positive for both the economy and women’s empowerment. It is widely believed by many scholars and learned men/women that the full participation of both men and women is vital for development. Only acknowledging men’s participation would eventually lessen potential sustainable development. Without the equal inclusion of women in development, women would not be able to benefit or contribute to the development of the country.

NGOs in India for Children’s Education and Children Welfare.

Knowledge is power and power come through education.  Basic education is the right of every human being, but it should be provided at the correct time. So, the planning should start right away when they are born. Now here the problem arises of lack of resources, facilities to get basic education due to poverty or unawareness. So, the kids then unknowingly start getting into the path of misery, suffering, pain, and exploitation i.e. the dark side of life. But there are lots of verticals when it comes to education and one of the main problems the society not aware of is the mental problems, health, intelligence level of the children. Children born in the poor sections of the society are not as healthy, strong as of the other children of the upper section. So, the power of grasping knowledge is not equivalent to others.

So, for the great future of unprivileged children, and bringing them to the bright side and the golden part of life, Lakshyam NGO has taken a great initiative for changing the lives of the children. It was founded in the year 2012 by a young social changemaker, Rashi Anand to uplift the unprivileged children and women through education, empowerment, and pieces of training. And with a strong determination of reaching its aim, Lakshyam now has expanded to 17 states within a span of 7 years and planning to expand more. It is currently operating from its main office in Hauz Khas, New Delhi.

Lakshyam acknowledged all these problems faced by the innocents and formed a strategy to provide them education via different means like fun games, awareness programs or educating them by involving in different activities like plays, dramas to grow them mentally. So, ‘BUTTERFLY – CHILD WELFARE AND EDUCATION’ is one of the programs introduced by Lakshyam which aims to provide holistic education to each and every unprivileged child of the community. Not only providing education to the children but also it provides special attention to the children by developing their soft skills like personality development, personal grooming, and also some crucial components like hygiene, cleanliness, discipline and other positive habits for a better and healthy lifestyle.

Every day new challenges arise and this NGO is solving them at a great pace, till now Lakshyam has reached 17 states and touched more than 30,100 lives. And it has a courageous aim of putting at least 500 street children, dropouts to the formal schooling system by 2020. And in India, there are around 3 million children are living in the streets, 50% of children are not going to school or are school dropouts, many of them also face sexual harassment or are beaten up in schools. And to stop this social issue from growing further, children’s education is necessary with proper training and guidance.

So, to eliminate all these injustices, inequality between poor and rich, Lakshyam is fighting and creating awareness for making this earth a better place for the poor and the needy. Lakshyam with its work towards humanity is also trying to make the world understand the need for children’s education and welfare by empathy.

Volunteer Work In India, Volunteer Programs In India

A volunteer is a person who is willingly to work and gives his time, energy to contribute to the greater good of others. The term ‘Volunteer’ is derived from French word ‘Volontaire’, which means “one who volunteer”. In the earlier times it meant to serve the country willingly in times of war. With the changing times the term has also evolved to mean and volunteer for the society.

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Volunteer work, Volunteer programs in India have been going on right from the times of ancient era, and there are evident examples of some famous freedom fighters who at that time worked for women issues like sati practice, widow re-marriage, abolition of child marriage, girls education amongst other issues. The Indian society since independence have undergone tremendous changes and so the domain of volunteer work has also shifted its focus from these issues to issues like child education, empowering women by providing them opportunities to enhance their talent, environment, health and etc.

Lakshyam is an NGO, founded in 2012 by a young social entrepreneur Ms Rashi Aanand, with a motto to provide women empowerment and holistic development of children. Today Lakshyam is spread across seventeen Indian States and has reached three countries and many have been benefitted from its vision. However, all this wouldn’t have been possible without its troops of volunteer who come forward to help and garner Lakshyam vision to reality. Volunteers under Lakshyam can choose to volunteer in its program i.e. Lakshyam Butterfly – Child Education and Welfare program which works toward child development from their education, personal hygiene, to their extra-curricular activities. Volunteers can choose from an array of activity areas like media and communications, performing arts, academics, indoor and outdoor activities, data management and research, administrative work and business development, social entrepreneurship, building and construction. Volunteer under Lakshyam come from different walks of life like from the field of MBA, social work, house makers, architect, and data analysis. So, for this purpose Lakshyam gives a range of activity from which they can choose and work, associate themselves with good deeds. Like for instance, a MBA student can help and contribute toward making of an excellent business strategy or help make improvement in the earlier ones or a teacher can volunteer to teach lakshyam kids at the centre where they can choose from a range of subjects like Hindi, Maths, English, General Studies, Social Studies, Computer.

The requirements to join as a volunteer in Lakshyam are meagre like the minimum age of volunteer should start from 16 or 18 years, since some tasks require volunteers to be minimum 18 years of age. If, 18 years age must possess a authorize government ID, should be able to communicate freely in English as well as Hindi. The conditions Lakshyam works in are really poor so, expects volunteers to possess a tolerance level towards poor, unhealthy conditions and unhealthy slum surroundings. The volunteer must commit for three to four months of volunteer term.

Over the years of Lakshyam existence it has grown and evolved into an organisation and come forward to touch many lives. All this wouldn’t have been possible without the support and contributions of volunteers who turn up to lakshyam and through Lakshyam help the under-privileged and under-resourced community.

WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS IN INDIA

According to Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, “entrepreneurship is about being able to face failures, manage failures and success after failing”

Entrepreneur, as the name suggests is a person who looks for a change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity. In simple words, he/she is a person who does new thigs or does things which are already being done in a new way. In a male dominated society like India, today, women entrepreneurs have gained a lot of importance and have challenged the numerous gender norms and stereotypes associated with women. By not heeding to the discouraging comments on how will they manage family or child along with a start-up, these women have taken a step ahead to accomplish their dream.

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One such example of an ingenious women entrepreneur is Ms. Raashi Anand, founder of one of the renowned and established non-profit organization, LAKSHYAM.

Ms. Raashi Anand has selflessly worked for the upliftment of child development and women empowerment through her NGO, Lakshyam. Established in 2012, Lakshyam has taken various initiatives to end the violation of human rights of the underprivileged and focus on holistic development of children and women empowerment. It has involved itself in various activities to make the exhausting lifestyle of India’s street children and families easier and better.

Ms. Raashi Anand was highly influenced by her mother, Poonam Anand, another social worker. They both had established an orphanage in Ranchi, mostly for deaf and dumb children. The various visits to the orphanage opened her eyes to the poverty prevalent in the rural areas.

With this mindset, she established her own non-profit organization, Lakshyam which has drastically improved the lives of the street children by preventing them from engaging in anti-social activities like begging, drug trafficking etc and providing them with basic amenities and support. This is one of the major steps keeping in mind the present demographic dividend where the majority of India lies in the age group of 15-64. Not only has she worked towards the underprivileged children, but as a young social activist she has also vowed to prevent the ostracization of women which is prevalent in our society since decades.

Rooh, a programme launched at Lakshyam aims to strengthen a woman’s demeanour towards life itself. It comprises of three components: first, provide remedial education to their children, second, provide exposure along with professional training and lastly providing them with a platform where their skilled products could be bought and sold. They are assisted in generating self-employment and creating a feeling of empowerment amongst them. This programme has benefited more than 500 women in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

She continues to actively work for the betterment of society by using her connections and fundraising skill to arrange funds for her own NGO.  It Is only through Ms. Raashi Anand’s hard work and perseverance that she has fulfilled not only her own dreams but has also encouraged and assisted the underprivileged to realize their dreams and have the courage to fulfil them. Her determination and resilience are an example which emphasizes the fact that everything in possible; it is all about our grit and determination

Volunteering Programmes in India

Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”

Volunteers are people who expresses a willingness to undertake a service. It is not necessary that one volunteers for the pursuit of monetary prize or recognition. One can also volunteer due to the desire to work for the welfare and betterment of the society, in particular the underprivileged sections of the society. The volunteers are the people who reflect a nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience and just plain loving.

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There are numerous organizations who have made an attempt to uplift the people out of abject poverty and prevent the ostracization of the underprivileged sections of the society. Lakshyam is one such organization which through the help of its volunteers has and continues to make this society a better place to reside in.

Lakshyam was founded in the year 2012 by Ms. Raashi Anand with the ultimate aim being the advancement of the socially, economically marginalised communities and prevent the exploitation of these underprivileged sections of the society. Lakshyam today, is spread across 19 centers in India and has impacted 20 states. It has further touched over 30,000 lives and directly benefited them.

Lakshyam offers a volunteering programme where the volunteers can work at centres spread across 5 locations across India. Lakshyam encourages the volunteers to work in diverse areas ranging from – media and communications, performing arts, academics, indoor and outdoor sport, data management and research etc. This enables them to use whatever skills they possess to further enhance the skills of these underprivileged sections of the society.

Lakshyam further provides programmer like Butterfly where they can employ the knowledge they possess for the betterment of these underprivileged sections of the society. Butterfly allows the children to come out of all the inequalities and fears and have freedom to foster creativity and curiosity.

The volunteers can teach various subjects as well as positive healthy habits of cleanliness, hygiene and discipline to the children involved in various professions like rag picking, begging etc. The volunteers can also take workshops of art and craft, music, dance forms, drama, calligraphy etc.

Another major initiative or the programme launched by the Lakshyam is the Lakshyam Toy Library which provides the children what they are lacking- childhood. Various toy libraries have been set up across India. The volunteers provide them with educational toys, games and books to help the children in their growth and development.

Furthermore, Rooh is an initiative which is introduced to provide women with financial independence. Thus, women are provided vocational training by volunteers and renowned professionals so that it could help them generate self-employment and a measure of income. Volunteers also engage in enhancing the knowledge of women with regards to sanitation and menstrual hygiene.

Other volunteering programmers initiated by Lakshyam includes fashion for cause, a one-of-its-kind fashion show, Delhi Primes etc. Furthermore, Lakshyam NGO offers an opportunity to be a part of the Earth bag build which is a green sustainable school building workshop and a volunteering opportunity in Delhi.

Thus, Lakshyam provides the volunteers an opportunity to improve the conditions of these marginalized sections of the society by contributing their knowledge and skills.

CHILD WELFARE PROGRAMMER IN INDIA

By the term “child welfare” we refer to the social work that has been done in order to uplift the quality of life of children. In a country like India where population grew at the rate of 1.2% between 2010 -2019 to 1.36% billion, which means that 40%of the country’s population comprises of children, for them government has launched numerous welfare programs for benefit of children while keeping in view the problems and challenges which are being faced by them like child labor malnutrition and lack of educational facilities as they are the budding talent of our country. Child welfare means that services are catered in order to create a safe, sound and peaceful environment for the children to sustain and grow.

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Around 20 million children are working as a labor in our country in a hazardous conditions like firework industry ,pottery industry and glass industry where they work in dingy conditions ,lack of ventilation  which would ultimately ruin their health in their initial years itself, which would put the future of our country in danger .Touched by this growing menace in our society our founder, Ms. Rashi Anand took a step towards the betterment of the society because of her philanthropist approach .With this mindset she introduced “Lakshyam”. An organization dedicated towards street slum under-privileged children and women.

At Lakshyam initiatives in the name of these programs have been taken to improve the current situation of the have-nots section of the society, namely “Butterfly-child welfare program “,” Lakshyam – Toy library “and “Lakshyam – Rooh Awakening Women’s Soul”.

The aim of ” Butterfly – child welfare and education “ program the aim is to provide holistic development of each and every child which would ultimately help the child to achieve success in life .With this intention around 620 children are imparted education at lakshyam remedial education centers. Another program developed by Lakshyam is “Toy Library”. The Program is the heart and soul of the organization As Lakshyam believes toys are the first thing with child play and interact they also help a child to explore the worlds around them and make sense of the worlds around them. In our country women have never been treated at par so in order to break this widening gap Lakshyam has initiated with a program named “Rooh” – Awakening women’s soul. Literally transforming the word Rooh means “Soul”. In this program professional training is being given to women as they come from different sections of the society so that they build a better niche in life for themselves. Under the program women are provided with skill training and financial training workshops. Thereby giving them a sense of freedom and independence.

Today Lakshyam is spread across various Indian states working enormously on the cause of women and child development, touching hundreds of thousands of lives each day.

Social Entrepreneurship in India

In the era of 21st century, the term entrepreneurship is growing widely. Lots of young and talented people are coming forward with great innovative ideas to change the world by different means like innovations in technology, politics, etc. In general terms, it means starting a new business with a motive to earn a profit. But when entrepreneurship is prefixed by the word ‘social’, the motive to earn profit eliminates. Social entrepreneurship can be defined as an approach to work for the social issue. The person who find ideas to curb these social issues from the world and works for it is known as a social entrepreneur.

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In India, children and women are considered as the weaker part of society and are dominated by the world. But the world ignores the fact that they are the most crucial part and plays an important role in society. So, Raashi Anand founder of Lakshyam NGO, a social entrepreneur or you to say as a change maker, identified the problem and showed the courage to fight towards the rights of the unprivileged children and for women empowerment.

In 2012, Raashi Anand founded Lakshyam NGO to transform the lives of unprivileged poor women and children via means of education, training, and guidance. The objective of Lakshyam is to put at least 500 street children, dropouts to the formal schooling system by 2020 and to increase the income by ₹5000 of at least 200 women.

To turn the idea into action Rashi introduced 3 different programs, firstly ‘BUTTERFLY – CHILD WELFARE AND EDUCATION’, which aims to provide holistic education to unprivileged children of the community. Under this program, it also provides special attention to the children by teaching them about personality development, personal grooming and also guides them about how to live a healthy lifestyle which includes cleanliness, hygiene, discipline, and other positive habits. As a result, it has successfully benefited around 620 children at Lakshyam’s Remedial Education Centre in New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh.

Secondly, ‘LAKSHYAM TOY LIBRARY’, this program aims to bring back the real childhood of the kids. Unprivileged children can’t afford to play with toys, which destroys their creativity and childhood fun. So, to overcome this challenge Lakshyam has set up 46 toy libraries in over 17 states, and collected around 80,000+ toys and books, and made a way for the growth and development of these children by restoring the means of their imagination and creativity.

Thirdly, ‘ROOH- AWAKENING WOMEN’S SOUL’, this program focuses on the upliftment and empowerment of the unprivileged women. As women community has always been suppressed by the dominating, Rashi made this program to put an end to this. It aims to employ women through remedial education, professional training, providing platforms. This program helps poor women to become self-dependent by developing their skills.

Lakshyam NGO is a message from the social changemaker, Raashi Anand to change the world by humanity, empathy, and kindness to fight for the inequality, injustice, for the poor and the needy by a peaceful way of social entrepreneurship.