Tata Communications has launched Phase 2 of its School of Hope and Empowerment (S.H.E) project to provide entrepreneurship education and professional guidance to five million women by 2024 across rural parts of India.
Phase 1 of the School of Hope and Empowerment project has already motivated women to complete the education series and be empowered with knowledge and skills to set up and manage a business independently,
“Phase 1 of the School of Hope and Empowerment project has advanced the wellbeing of women in Jharkhand and empowered them to play a pivotal role in advancing their family and the larger community,” said Aadesh Goyal, Chief Human Resources Officer, Tata Communications.
“In Phase 2, we are now scaling up this project by 10X to help women in the States of Bihar and Odisha in India. Through this project, we are extending access to self-empowering learning modules, local support ecosystem and micro-communities to bridge the rural and gender development gap.”
Phase 1 of the project, launched at the 2021 UNESCO World Conference, has surpassed its target and brought entrepreneurship education to over one million women in the state of Jharkhand in just one year, well before the committed three years.
The School of Hope and Empowerment project, designed in partnership with The Better India media company, has seen empowered women embody courage and confidence to overcome structural barriers, including gender stereotypes, household responsibilities, financial constraints, social pressures.
In Tata Communications’ Sustainable Development Report 2022‘, the company states that sustainability is built on the premise that positive economic results are possible when it effectively manages its environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) policy and practice.
The School of Hope and Empowerment project aligns with UN SDG number 5 (Gender Equality) and number 8 (Economic Growth). It empowers youth and rural communities (especially women) economically and socially through vocational, entrepreneurship and life skills training which enhance access to resources, new technology and financial services, thereby supporting them in becoming active contributors to the economy.
To celebrate and recognise the success of phase 1 of this project, Tata Communications and The Better India have unveiled an education video series featuring real-life women entrepreneurs with their stories. One such story is that of Kalawati Kumari, a resident of the village Kurumdegi in the Simdega district of Jharkhand.
A beneficiary of the project, Kumari won a business grant to set up a flour mill she manages today with her own funds. She also creates and fosters relationships with her customers and operates the flour mill. “The workshop trained on subjects like book-keeping of accounts, managing customer relations, shop environment, the importance of saving,” said Kumari.