Crowdfunding for vocational livelihood training for women from low-income backgrounds

At present, India ranks 120th among 131 nations in women workforce, according to a World Bank report. Female literacy is at 65.46%, as against 82.14% for men, according to the 2011 census report. While girls have been consistently outranking boys in all kinds of examinations for the past few years, they gradually disappear from all public walks of life. According to a recent report, India has the largest number of overqualified housewives, grossly affecting the country’s GDP.

It is not that the government is not doing anything to combat the deeply entrenched gender bias. Over the years, a number of schemes to provide education and vocational training to women, especially those from low-income households, have come into being. But the problems are far from being solved, and there are a number of reasons for that. The first is corruption- the amount of money that finally reaches the women is simply not enough to deal with the magnitude of the problem. The second is that the agents equipped to disperse these facilities to the women are themselves indoctrinated in patriarchy from their childhood. The third is that vocational training is just a means to an end. Because of the huge discrimination in the workplace and the insufficient attention given to marketing, the trained women find it difficult to earn money. This, in turn, reinforces the notion that at the end of the day, such ventures are useless. Also, those seeking help are often made to undergo abuse of all kinds.

Under such circumstances, it becomes imperative for private ventures to look into the vocational training for women from low-income backgrounds. Because the more the help, the better the remedy. Even those not related to any organization without much of a capital can pitch in with the help of the crowdfunding platforms in India.

Setting up a crowdfunding campaign in crowdfunding websites for helping such women is not very difficult, but needs careful planning right from the beginning. Here are a few things one needs to keep in mind:

  •  *      You need to get all of your basics straight before going for the crowdfunding campaign. Where exactly are you going to conduct the vocational training program? For how long is it to last? How many women do you expect to train? How are you going to make them useful once the training is over? Who are you going to involve for training them? Do you have all the necessary permissions? These and many other logistical issues need to be sorted before you start the crowdfunding campaign. You will get potential donors interested only if you have a concrete plan up your sleeve with everything in place.
  •  *    If you have conducted such workshops before, include success stories from them in your fundraising profile if you want to make people confident in you. Of course, people like to be part of something good, but they are more likely to have faith in you if they know that you are experienced.

* But before everything else, you need to ensure that the women are actually going to turn up for your classes. Because social conditioning often makes women, especially those from low-income households, unable to believe that they actually can take charge of their own lives.

Over the years, even very big and reputed organisations with a lot of capital behind them have resorted to crowdfunding in order to conduct vocational training classes like papad masking, sewing, pickle making, dye-making, computer education, and even nursing to help these women not only make better contribution to their families, but also to take charge of their own lives.

Crowdfunding is a really good way to go about this. Reputed platforms like Crowdfunding India bring more exposure to such initiatives, it provides security to these women once they start earning, and it helps expose these women to the bigger world out there where there is a lot for them to do and live by.

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