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Poverty & Struggle to Independence & Empowerment – Inspiring Stories of Change From Across India

It is heartening to see organizations making an effort to ensure that they are doing their bit for the society.

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This article is powered by ICICI Bank


Poverty, illiteracy, lack of skills, underdeveloped villages, and more — a bird’s eye view of India paints an awfully sad picture of the reality that many citizens are living every day. According to reports, India is home to 26% of the global extreme poor; at least half of India’s under 18 population lives in acute poverty; and the 2011 Census states that 26% of the population is illiterate, making India home to the largest population of illiterate adults in the world.

But while these threatening statistics loom large, India is also home to several organisations that are toiling hard each day to change the circumstances — one life at a time. Be it an organization helping a woman with the skill sets she needs to earn a livelihood, or a school teacher in rural India getting the required resources to inspire his students — zoom in and you’ll find such inspiring stories of change all around you.

One organization that has been taking up many such initiatives over the past two decades is ICICI Bank. These initiatives are focussed on women’s empowerment, skill development, cleaning India, increasing the green cover and improving healthcare, education, digitising villages and more. Though their initiatives, the organization provides underprivileged section of the society with relevant skills, basic infrastructure, access to loans, market connections, and more.

With a heartwarming narration about transformation, here’s a video to show how these initiatives are bringing about the much-required change. The video emphasises on the fact that change and impact are just around the corner — all one needs is a helping hand. “Everything can be stabilised, everything can be changed, humans have the power of angels,” it says and shows how lives can be brightened up.

Have a look here:

Working with the belief that growth opportunities should be accessible to everyone across society, these initiatives have impacted over 17 million individuals belonging to underprivileged backgrounds. ICICI is striving towards change with the philosophy of Empowering People, Transforming Lives, which will help many with access to better chances and will improve their current situation. With this initiative in place, women will get the chance to earn a living, young people will get access to the knowledge they need to succeed, and society at large will grow progressively.

Here’s a peek into the lives of some of them:

Lata Kalaskar

From an extremely weak financial background, Lata started working as a daily wage labourer to support her family. Early in life, she lost her 2-year-old son because of lack of money and proper medical care.

She then had to leave her husband and live alone with her elder son. No matter the
hardships, Lata never lost hope and continued working. Soon, she formed a self-help group (SHG) in the village and also started selling snacks to earn a living. Growing slowly, the SHG approached ICICI Bank for a loan, post which Lata expanded her business. On repaying that loan, she applied for another loan from the bank and bought a delivery van to further expand her business. Today, she sells to wholesalers in Mumbai and Nagpur. “I have built a future I can be proud of,” she says.

Under this initiative, ICICI has empowered over 2.5 million women like Lata to become self-reliant. Overall, 200,000 self-help groups across the country have been endorsed with loans
worth over Rs. 5,000 crore.

Narmada Vaishnav

The resident of Bhikamkor village in Jodhpur district, Narmada’s family could not afford her education and she was married off at the age of 15. She had to face crippling domestic violence and financial difficulties. It was in her village that she came to know about free skills training provided by the rural institute of ICICI Academy. Determined against giving up, she joined a dress designing course there. From then till now, it has been a journey of learning, improving and developing. Narmada formed a women’s group where women with similar backgrounds like hers could come together and apply for a loan. They received a loan from ICICI Bank and with her share Narmada started her own tailoring shop. Today, she is looked upon as a successful, independent woman and is an inspiration for many others.

ICICI has provided skill training to over 180,000 underprivileged youth that has helped to earn a
sustainable livelihood. Similarly, ICICI is also working on supporting initiatives towards education,
cleaning India, and helping create a sustainable ecosystem. The organization has helped revise
curriculums, trained teachers and constructed over 500 toilets other than being involved in solar
electrification projects and tree plantation drives.

It is heartening to see organizations making an effort to ensure that they are doing their bit for the society. Initiatives like these go a long way when it comes to empowering people living with limited resources and growth opportunities. Not only do they open several doors for those coming from underprivileged backgrounds, but also transform lives of their families and give them the belief that change is just around the corner. Know more how lives of over 17 million underprivileged has been impacted through various initiatives of ICICI Bank.

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