According to the NITI Aayog, rural women serve as torchbearers for social, economic, and environmental transformation. It says that empowering and integrating the rural women’s workforce into sectors such as agriculture can help the country achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. As the International Day of Rural Women approaches on October 15, here is an overview of five organizations actively empowering women in rural India. These endeavors not only create economic opportunities but also aim to amplify the voices of rural women and build a brighter future for them.
Led by Pradip Shah, the founder of Grow-Trees.com. Grow-Trees.com is one of India’s most popular environmental endeavors, having successfully planted millions of trees nationwide. With most of their projects focused on rural areas, the organization has increased a much-needed green cover and provided employment opportunities to rural women. By engaging women in plantation activities and the ongoing care of trees, they offer them a sustainable income. Furthermore, Grow-Trees.com contributes to creating environmental awareness among rural women, involving them in the restoration of forests, improving wildlife habitats, and upgrading water catchment areas.
Founded in 2001, Nasscom Foundation is a prominent non-profit entity representing India’s technology sector. It primarily focuses on programs for women entrepreneurship among rural communities, digital literacy, skilling and employability, social innovation, and empowering NGOs. According to the Foundation, their entrepreneurship program, intended to connect rural entrepreneurs to the digital economy, has impacted over 33,000 women in 2022 alone. Believing that technology can be a game-changer for these entrepreneurs, the organization provides support at every juncture and equips them with the tools they need to enhance their livelihoods in a rapidly changing economy, leading them to a more equitable and sustainable future.
The non-profit organization Inner Goddess was founded in 2016 by two young women, Anannya Parekh and Disha Shah. Its primary focus is providing financial literacy education to underprivileged girls in rural communities who attend under-equipped schools. Since its inception in 2022, the organization has conducted over 70 workshops for about 10,000 women. Beyond education, it also assists them in accessing paid courses at esteemed educational institutions and colleges. This initiative allows young girls to dream bigger, aspire to higher education, and break through societal constraints.
With a mission to make every child from rural and low-resource settings school-ready, Dost Education provides parents, especially illiterate mothers, with knowledge that unlocks their child’s potential. This innovative approach bridges the gap in early childhood education and ensures that every child, regardless of their background, has access to quality learning experiences. With a team comprising engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, and parents, Dost Education successfully empowers mothers with the tools to nurture their children’s growth and development. According to its claim, over two lakh families from rural India have received Dost’s early childhood development programs.
GramCover is an Insurance broking firm focused on insurance product design for rural India and follows a hybrid model to train and develop village-level entrepreneurs. It has adopted a servicing model well-suited to make insurance accessible to rural populations, including women. It increases access to key Government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY). GramCover has so far covered 22,000 villages and enrolled two million customers under its rural insurance scheme. It also allows people from rural communities, including women, to join its Point of Sales Person community. By ensuring financial security through insurance products, GramCover empowers rural women to take calculated risks, invest in their businesses, and secure their families’ futures.