Women empowerment is a topic which is usually discussed, debated and then left suspended in thin air to ponder over another meeting. And in the majority of rural India , the condition is worse. This perception is particularly true for Jhunjhunu district in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan.
Bagar is a small village in jhunjhunu where the official sex ratio is 921 girls per 1000 (which is worse than the already dismal national average of 933). Here girls still eat the leftovers after the men have finished their meal. Many married women practice purdah covering their faces with veils and are not allowed to venture outdoors .
Recognizing the daunting challenges faced by women in the region, four young entrepreneurs decided to find a way to provide economic empowerment to the women by giving them employment opportunities. On October 2007, through a joint initiative of Indicorps and Grassroots Development Laboratory ( a project of Piramal Foundation in Bagar), India’s 1st All women rural business process organization, Source For Change, came into being. The mission of SFC is to provide women with skills and employment enabling them to be financially independent so that they can achieve their rightful status in the society.
Initially when SFC started operations, the local community was very skeptical – how can village women work on computers? Some husbands did not allow their wives to appear for the interview. But SFC’s persistence paid off and 27 women turned up for the interview process. After two months of training, ten of the most talented women were selected as business process associates .
SFC’s all women team, now 45 in number, has proven time and again it is more than capable to execute complete spectrum of outsourcing services, from data entry, invoice processing, archival, web research, hindi in-bound and out-bound call services. SFC’s clients include JPAL(MIT) , scholars from Harvard and University of California, L.A. In 2008 , SFC was adjudged the best provider of data entry services among 21 vendors across the country. Apart from basic IT training , women also receive soft skills and leadership training after which they take up operational responsibilities within the centre.
And as the women started working and socializing with one another, their initial shyness and nervousness has been transformed into confidence. This has had an amazing impact on their personal lives as well. Source For Change Quality Assurance manager Saraj Yogi , who was initially afraid to step outside of her home now considers the Source for Change office her “home outside of home “
Source for Change has a vision to catalyze 10,000 jobs for women throughout rural India, providing leadership opportunities as well.
For information and enquiries about the services offered contact SFC at [email protected]