In 2004, a group of women belonging from different disciplines met to discuss and share the issues that affect their lives the most. These issues narrate the story of their lives in general and sketch their professional growth in respective disciplines. The most important concern that emerged was on the concept of women empowerment.
Over a number of meetings that occurred subsequently, the group members concluded that each one of the women, is empowered because she grapples with every day challenges and manages the multiple roles which may be most often, conflicting and competing to each other. The empowerment concept has to get out of the shadows of elitism.
The group felt that a Forum was required where gender issues of routine life could not only be discussed but solutions were also found for many. The Network of Professional Women in Delhi (NOPWID) was conceptualized as an umbrella forum to highlight the life of women in different professions, conduct research and bridge the gap between the actual life practitioners and policy makers.
NOPWID, India International Center, New Delhi
NOPWID organized discussions on Women in The Indian Armed Forces and Women in the BPO sector. The subject specialists drew attention to issues that confront women and young girls in each of these professions. Open House discussions followed where the related issues were discussed and thrashed in the light of expected policy changes.
Beginning of Community Interventions
SADRAG took up the cause of Child Rights in 2007. The Director and a friend and colleague, Ms Karuna Kher conducted a survey in Noida city in the state of U.P., India. Surprisingly, hordes of out of school children were found despite, the presence of Central Government initiative, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in district Gautum Budh Nagar, U.P. SSA demands that no child between 6-14 years should remain out of school.
The Question arose, Why children do not go to school? We found that all the out of school children belonged to migrant communities whose parents had migrated to Noida in search of livelihood and employment. Embedded in the vicious circle of poverty and deprivation, the education of their children is the worst hit. Thus, was conceptualized the program, Ugta Suraj for out of school children from migrant communities.
What started as a program with two children in a rented basement in one of the residential colonies is today a program for 200 out of school children operating out of their own community space.