Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been a boon for many communities. From education to healthcare and self-sufficiency, CSR programs have made a positive impact on the lives of millions. The marginalized sections, especially women and children have gained a lot from the initiatives carried out by corporates through their respective CSR programs. the need of the hour is the empowerment of women in rural areas by teaching them entrepreneurship skills to improve the women entrepreneurs in India.
Recently, a proposal has been floated to link CSR funding for education with the promotion of entrepreneurship among women in Rajasthan. This has been done in order to address the hardships faced by them during the pandemic. The COVID-19 has exposed many vulnerabilities, especially that of women, during times of financial and health crisis.
The proposed move has found a home with the ‘Nirbhaya Squad’ of Jaipur Police. The Nirbhaya Squad is an all-women contingent of women constables that was formed in 2019. Trained in deadly martial arts, they were deployed in public places like schools, colleges, malls, and bus stops to provide protection to women.
The Squad has expressed willingness to partner with other organizations to impart skills to women at the grass-root level. This will allow young women in rural areas to develop their entrepreneurial skills and help mitigate the impact of the pandemic. It will also allow them to be more self-sufficient and contribute to the finances of their families.
Sunita Meena, the Squad’s nodal officer, said that the CSR funding earmarked for education could be utilized for developing life skills among young women in villages and small towns. This will open doors and allow them to create their own livelihood opportunities.
While most CSR activities focus on education, skill development, poverty alleviation, and healthcare, women empowerment usually takes a backseat. It is true that women are almost always included in these social programs. However, one is hard-pressed to find programs that are specially dedicated to the empowerment and upskilling of women. Along with education and healthcare programs, the need of the hour is the empowerment of women in rural areas by teaching them entrepreneurship skills to improve the women entrepreneurs in rural India. These skills will not only enable them to eke out a living but also contribute to the financial health of their families.
Ms. Meena adds, “Digital skills training is the need of the hour for women, who should be encouraged to take up productive work and join the community efforts in the fields of healthcare, sanitation, and hygiene.”