DADU MAJRA, CHANDIGARH
Dadu Majra – a resettlement colony about 4 KM from university campus west of Sector 38, Chandigarh is currently a community development project. Approximately 2,000 residents from Sector 25 and 14 were rehabilitated in this area by the Chandigarh Administration. The YWCA started working with 300 rehabilitated families in 1979 and started a tailoring & sewing centre, literacy classes as well as Child Care and nutrition programmes for the benefit of these families. The Chandigarh Administration in February 1981 had allotted land at Dadu Majra to the YWCA of India. After conducting a baseline survey in the community, the project now provides sewing classes, mehendi designing classes and nail art classes for the women of the community, with a 6-month course on Beauty culture as well. There is also has a young women’s hostel which caters to 64 young women in a homely and caring atmosphere. There is a Multipurpose Hall which is used for Conferences, workshops, social gatherings and various events by the YWCA and its network partners. A 3-month Geriatric care course is conducted as well. The course aims at providing training to school drop outs on basic health and home care where they get opportunities in hospitals and other places.
The national project in Kandhamal, was an attempt to work with the community soon after the religious riots in the year 2008. A fact finding team of different ecumenical partners and church leaders reinforced the need for starting a project here. The project started by aiming at providing training on Sexual, Reproductive and Health Rights (SRHR) as well as finding legal aid from the government. This was monitored and conducted by Jana Vikas, an NGO in Kandhamal that works on providing training after doing a need based evaluation. The community also deals with issues of domestic violence, trafficking and has managed to have an anti-trafficking vigilance committee which keep an eye of any incidence of trafficking. This has now extended to providing livelihood options for the women of these villages (10 villages) by providing them seeds for kitchen gardening to make them financially independent. The project now aims at spreading to more villages with a focus on issues like trafficking, domestic violence by working closely with the government.
Started in 1945, this project caters especially to elderly women. “Spreadacres” House, located at the foot hills of the Shivalik ranges of the Himalayas, consists of a Home and Day Centre for the Elderly. Initially it was started with the objective of providing a home to retired elderly women who needed a safe place to stay. A high standard is maintained and all facilities are provided to make the elderly residents comfortable. The campus has an orchard of many fruit bearing trees – Litchees, Lokat, Jamun, Mangoes, etc. The Day Centre was set up to reach out to elderly residents of Hathibalkala, Salawala village, Dehra Dun where they are provided with a stable and comfortable place to spend their day. In addition, they are also trained to take up income generating projects to help meet their daily needs. At present the elderly are earning their living by making candles and sewing recyclable bags. The market for these is promoted by the Social Workers who are full time staff of the YWCA. Our Dehradun Project also has many vocational courses such as tailoring, hair styling, beauty culture & a computer course, for women from the community. The goal is to empower women and girls for a sustainable livelihood through skills development so as to become self-dependant and reliant.