Anju, Kamal, Indulata, Pooja, Rekha – they are all women in Jaipur’s Shanti Nagar area and come from economically marginalised sections in the community. Single mothers or sole breadwinners, they are employed by IFI Jaipur and the Neerja Modi School, where besides their full time jobs they are also being trained in creating craft objects which can be sold for some extra income.
13 of these women were enrolled in a digital literacy programme financed by the French Institute in India, co-financed by the non-profit organisation Read to India and supported by the Barefoot College International in July 2021.
The three-month intensive digital literacy programme equips them with basic skills in operating computer software and smartphone applications. The objective? Imparting skills to increase employability opportunities for the trainees and also to prepare them for the competitive Rajasthan State Certificate in Information Technology exams for securing IT-based public sector jobs.
The training has shown signs of early success. The model is not based on a top-down dynamic, but the trainers themselves have been trainees once, therefore bringing a more equitable and shared environment. The trainees receive personalised counselling and feedback, while their interaction remains active: every trainee must train each other, in a peer-to-peer learning approach.
Reporting of the first month has observed that trainees exude a sense of self-confidence, they feel more empowered within their social circles. The perception of their own self-worth has vastly improved, thanks to concrete professional opportunities, now available to them. This gives them a sense of accomplishment, where they can become change-makers in the days to come.
We are proud to accompany these ladies in their journey and watch their accomplishments, as part of our campaign to promote equality. The first month of the training was completed on 25 August, when Mr. Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, Counsellor for education, science and culture, French Institute in India, visited the training at the Neerja Modi School.