Empowerment through inspiration: The SHE initiative by Tata Communications and The Better India
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Empowerment through inspiration: The SHE initiative by Tata Communications and The Better India


Perseverance is a very rare quality in today’s world. Some of the most successful people have one thing in common – perseverance. The old adage, ‘Hard work beats talent every single time’, is very true and we see it everywhere. There is no dearth of unsuccessful talented people in this world. Your capabilities do not matter if you are not willing to put in the work.

One also requires two other equally important factors to chip in – timing and luck. Timing is everything. A person may possess every conceivable quality but if the time is not right, success will continue to elude them or if achieved, will be short-lived. For three women in Jharkhand, however, the stars aligned to provide them new opportunities to move up in life.

Lady Luck arrived in Sushma Devi, Kalawati Kumari and Laxmi Kumari’s life, taking the form of the School of Hope and Empowerment (SHE). SHE is an initiative of Tata Communications in collaboration with The Better India. It is a holistic impact communication initiative that leverages digital technology to inspire and support women entrepreneurship in India. It is an ecosystem within itself meant to empower women and help them establish themselves as entrepreneurs and leaders in their respective communities.

Sushma Devi is a mother of two and comes from a below poverty line (BPL) household. She was one of the three applicants who were selected by the SHE initiative to receive grants. Kalawati Kumari is the second of the trio who received the SHE grant. She pitched the idea of setting up a flour mill after watching the inspirational series by The Better India, which featured Hasrat Bano. The last beneficiary is Laxmi Kumari, a single mother from Jamshedpur. The grant will finally allow her to pursue her dreams which she had to forego for many years now.

The SHE initiative will provide a grant of Rs. 50,000 to the selected trio along with mentorship and classes on key entrepreneurship skills.

SHE was launched by Tata Communications at the 2021 UNESCO Word Conference on Education for Sustainable Development. The project wants to inspire at least a million women and help them realize their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs. The first phase will focus on aspiring women between the ages of 18 and 35 in the Dhanbad, Bokaro, East Singhbhum, Hazaribagh and Ranchi areas of Jharkhand.

The three women and their stories are a testament to the effectiveness of the SHE initiative. Tata Communications and The Better India have already made plans to extend the initiative to rural Bihar and Odisha as well.

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