The Rural Centre
   Krishnamurti Foundation India,Rajghat Fort Varanasi, India



   Unit for Women Empowerment

The woman in the family makes a significant contribution to the well being of the entire family. If woman is empowered, the whole family gets benefited. The Centre is fully aware of this value and is making concerted efforts to empower women belonging to the neighbouring villages.

The Centre has established a Unit for Women Empowerment in the year 1994. For a decade the Unit had engaged women in training on various skills such as cloth bags making, designing the bed sheets, wall hangings, etc. A designer was appointed in 2004 to impart skills of designing dress materials. Since then the focus was shifted to making ready made garments. Presently, there are 17 young women are getting trained. And so far the unit has trained more than 500 women in various trades and 50 women particularly in tailoring. The ready made garments stitched by these skilled women are marketed through exhibitions organized inside the campus. The women earn additional income to supplement family's income. The Centre is trying to support these women to become economically independent.

Taking cognizant of size of the women population in the villages, the Centre's scale of efforts is small although it is quite significant.

Export of ready made garments

Ms. Uschi Gibson is a US Citizen and lives in Ojhai, California State. She teaches yoga in U.S. She has done her schooling in Krishnamurti School, Ojhai. She studies Krishnamurti teachings deeply. She is very simple and down to earth person. She has compassion for the disadvantaged women. She is an ardent supporter of Women empowerment Programme of the Rural Centre. Please visit her blog for more interesting information about this project and Varanasi.

After she visited The Rural Centre in July 2007, she conceived a project for these women to empower them economically. She has extensive knowledge and experience in Fashion Designing and garments manufacturing. She has ventured into marketing the readymade garments made by the women from villages. The women embroider kurtas exactly as per the pattern and design given by Uschi. The first consignment of these kurtas was dispatched in Sep 2008. The second batch of garments is being produced now.

A significant portion of the profit earned in this project is contributed to the women in terms of payment of their labour and providing them with machines, tools, etc. She has a dream of expanding this work in order to support these village folks. She is also taking the support from her peers to translate her dream into a reality.

Future Plans

In order to reach out to the larger section of this women folk, the Centre has plans to

  • Accessing and developing new market linkages for sales promotion.
  • Opening an outlet in Varanasi City for marketing the products.
  • Creating awareness on issues such as gender equity, health, hygiene and sanitation.