Holiday season is almost here! To ring in the festive spirit, the Digiqom team decided to pay a visit to READ India – an NGO which works with rural communities and provides training programmes in vocational skills. The NGO also helps empower villagers by training them to use technology to improve their standard of living. Women, children and those with special needs are taught to read, write and use technology to improve their standard of living.
Women at READ are trained in beautician and stitching courses. They learn how to make garments which are sold at various exhibitions. Besides this, READ also has a pre-school for the children of these women which provides the kids with top quality education and nurtures them with a lot of love and affection.
Upon arrival, the children were elated with joy and offered to sing for everyone. A small dance party for the kids was thrown afterwards, where the team handed out fruits and biscuits.
The next stop was the women’s training center – where equipment such as sewing machines, computers and fabrics were provided for women to learn a whole range of skills that would not only benefit them but help their communities as well since most of the women came from underserved areas and small villages where women are not permitted to work.
The women were eager to share stories about their lives and the obstacles which they had faced because they were thrilled to have a chance to get their voices heard. Patriarchal oppression within their previous localities was extreme, and the orthodox mentality of dressing “appropriately” was one of the issues that really bothered the younger ladies. Along with this, difficulties in finding employment and lack of family support for the women to pursue their dreams was something that led most of the women to READ since they wanted to separate themselves from the chains of patriarchy.
The women were confident and vocal about their issues, and did not shy away from responding to uncomfortable questions. This was a testament to how the landscape of female inclusion in society is changing and how women are slowly becoming more independent. All in all, it was a heartening experience for the Digiqom team that takes immense pride in giving back to the community.
If you would like to contribute to READ and help the women and children, do click on their website for more information or walk into one of their centres. It doesn’t take much – just a kind heart.
P.S.: We were fortunate enough to record an interview of the women at READ India, so if you are interested in hearing about the experiences of the women in more detail click on the audio below!