Tata Communications launches Phase 2 of its ‘School of Hope and Empowerment’ (S.H.E) project intended to provide entrepreneurship education and professional guidance to 5 million women by 2024 across the states of Bihar and Odisha in India. Phase 1 of the project has motivated women to complete the education series and be empowered with knowledge and skills to set up and manage a business independently, ensuring access to quality education for all.
“The Phase 1 of School of Hope and Empowerment project has advanced the well-being of women in Jharkhand and empowered them to play a pivotal role in advancing their family and the larger community,” said Aadesh Goyal, Chief Human Resources Officer, Tata Communications. “In Phase 2, we are now scaling up this project by 10X to help women in the States of Bihar and Odisha in India. Through this project, we are extending access to self-empowering learning modules, local support ecosystem and micro communities to bridge the rural and gender development gap.”
Phase 1 of the project, launched at the 2021 UNESCO World Conference has surpassed its target and brought entrepreneurship education to over 1 million women in the state of Jharkhand in just 1 year well before the committed 3 years.
The empowered women of this project are an embodiment of courage and confidence, overcoming structural barriers including gender stereotypes, household responsibilities, financial constraints, social pressures. A multi-media, multi-stakeholder impact communications initiative, this project is designed in collaboration between Tata Communications and The Better India to support and educate women from rural parts of India. As reported in the Tata Communications Sustainable Development Report 2022, sustainability is built on the premise that positive economic results are possible when we effectively manage our environmental, social and governance (ESG) activities and is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) in policy and practice. The School of Hope and Empowerment
Project aligns with the UN SDG number 5 (Gender Equality) and number 8 (Economic Growth). It is empowering youth and rural communities (especially women) economically and socially through vocational, entrepreneurship and life skills training which enhance access to resources, new technology and financial services, there by supporting them in becoming active contributors to the economy.
To celebrate and recognise the success of phase 1 of this project, both partners have unveiled an education video series featuring real-life women entrepreneurs with their stories. One such story is that of Kalawati Kumari, a resident of village Kurumdegi in Simdega district of Jharkhand. A beneficiary of the project, she won a business grant to set up a flour mill which today she manages with her own funds. She also creates and fosters relationships with her customers and operates the flour mill. “The workshop trained on subjects like book-keeping of accounts, managing customer relations, shop environment, the importance of saving,” said Kalawati.