Underprivileged Women and Children

Project Maitrigram is a two-fold programme to alleviate poverty through education and vocational skills. Not only are Underprivileged Children usually first-generation learners with few resources at their disposal, but spend a disproportionate amount of household income on tuition and school-related expenses. Furthermore, the government schools that these children attend are generally characterized by unqualified teachers, poor maintenance, dilapidated classrooms, lack of sanitation facilities, and unclean drinking water. These factors, among others, have led to alarmingly high dropout rates. Maitri provides an after school educational centre for underprivileged school children that provides tutorial support since 2007, with the goal of enhancing school performance, low drop out rates and building greater interest in academics. The Vocational Training Centres, comprising the second part of Project Maitrigram, is aimed at providing women and girls with skill training to improve their vocational abilities as skilled designers and tailors. Upon satisfactory completion of the courses, participants are awarded diplomas that enable them to secure employment or avail of soft loans to set up their own tailoring or embroidery units.

Through Maitrigram, Maitri provides supportive educational tutoring and exposure to other activities like yoga, art and crafts, music and sports to name a few to Underprivileged Children between ages 5 and 17 years, many of whom dream of becoming engineers, teachers, fashion designers, and more. Over the past fiscal year, Maitri has gained more quantitative and qualitative information about the students seeking services from the centres, particularly in the local slum of RK Puram Sectors 6 and 7. With the new information, Maitri has been able to start new, better tailored programmes to engage these children. Maitri is enageged at 3 Tutorial Centres in the slums. Maitri also provides financial scholarships as support to meritorious students ensuring better performance and zero drop out ratel. The children are given a nutritious snack and drink each day as an incentive towards regular attendance and excellence.,

Since 2007, 400 students have been part of the Tutorial program; 10,000 nutritional snacks distributed; 550 children and 450 women empowered through educational and vocational services. Each year minimum 10 students are given scholarships to motivate and ensuring they continue their studies.

Project Maitrigram – A Capacity Building Programme for Underprivileged Women and Children

Poverty is a self-perpetuating phenomenon, giving rise to illiteracy, disease, and malnutrition. Of the world’s poorest 1.2 billion people, India is home to 33%. It disproportionately affects the already Vulnerable Populations of women and children and is compounded by a lack of resources and inadequate access to Health Care.

Initiated: April 2007

Location: New Delhi

Project Description: 1) Vocational Training Programme -, Maitri’s Vocational Training Centre was set up in the slums of RK Puram sector 6, in 2007, to provide skill building and training for economically challenged women living in the slums as an empowerment program. After discussions with the community women, a stitching and tailoring facility has been created where women and girls are given skills to design, cut and stitch garments. Duration of the course ranges from 6 months to 1 year and upon completion participants are awarded a diploma, which enable them to secure employment or obtain soft loans to set up their own tailoring or embroidering units.

It is our aim to educate the women and girls to be aware about their rights as well as empower them to stand on their own feet. We ensure that our instructor consistently engages them in conversation and educates them about health and hygiene issues and domestic violence.

2) Children’s Tutorial Centre – The Children’s Tutorial Centre provides mentorship and supportive Education to students ages 4-17 in subjects considered essential for successful employment. These areas include English, Hindi, and Math. Older students are also provided support in Science, Economics, and career counselling. Annual scholarships of Rs. 6,000 are awarded to 16 meritorious students to encourage continued Education. In 2011, a nutritional supplement programme was implemented in order to provide students with a nutritious snack and milk drink. The aim is to promote better diet and health, while also encouraging academic performance and focus.

3) Creating networks with Corporates for skill development and income generation

Project Impact:
1. 300 Women and Girls enrolled and successfully completed the course
2. Partnership with Miranda House College to market the students’ work online
3. 412 Children enrolled in the Children’s Tutorial Centre;
4. 54 scholarships awarded to meritorious students;
5. 10 and more volunteers assist each week
6. 4 girls given skills and employment by Taj Hotels under their CSR