An initiative to support widow women / daughters who lost their Bread-Earners during Covid-19 Pandemic by providing them 5 Year Food Security, Skill Training and enabling Digital Education to their Children with BYJU’s E Learning.
Cause Introduction: Global Context -
According to UN Women, one in ten widows worldwide lives in extreme poverty. Societal discrimination and exploitation relegate these vulnerable women and girls to a life of economic insecurity. Behavioral codes in some cultures restrict a widow's mobility, barring her from access to job training or the ability to find work. Children of widows, and child widows of forced marriages, are withdrawn from school, leaving them at risk of abuse and feeding the intergenerational cycle of poverty and sexual violence. "Regardless of their place of residence, caste, ethnic group, or religious community, these women and girls deserve protection from their government, as well as international law to provide overarching accountability. Protection of windows should be part of a global treaty to stop violence against women and girls." As per World Bank figures, forty-nine million more people globally will be put into poverty by Covid, with 12 million in India. Meera Khanna of India, Executive Vice President of the Guild for Service, stressed the urgent need for data on households headed by widows during the pandemic – experiencing enhanced poverty with some widows in South Asia left homeless on one month's salary and many walking hundreds of miles during the lockdown as there were no trains or buses. Widows were sent back from India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal with no food or income, and some were thrown out of marital homes when unjustly considered to be at risk of carrying the virus. Some women now spend twice the time doing caregiving work, and both women and children are at greater risk of exploitation.
"Once the global community defeats COVID-19, and the world has moved on, we must not forget those left in its wake. We owe it to our mothers and daughters to put an end to the violence against widows."
National Context (India): Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, thousands of women were widowed in India and were subjected to Human Rights violations, denial of their rightful inheritance, physical and sexual violence often done by their own families. While losing a husband is destabilizing, many women are vulnerable in India without any financial plan. They are prone to prejudices and stigmatization that the patriarchal society makes them face. Destitute and isolated Covid widows are subjected to several atrocities & challenges; they are ten times more when these widowed mothers have daughters. Their daughter(s) are also vulnerable to these atrocities. "As the death toll from India's second wave unfolds, an inevitable third wave threatens to ruin the lives of more women who will suffer their consequences, beyond the already devastating loss of their loved ones." The tragedy for Indian women continues to grow.
The widowed mothers, especially those who have daughters, became the most vulnerable population suffering due to the disruption created by Covid-19. As you know, the COVID-19 death toll during April 2020-June 2021 was 87,902 (The Hindu Newspaper sourced data on deaths registered from January 2020 to June 2021 in Delhi, Data for the previous years were sourced from the annual reports on the registration of births and deaths in Delhi). The Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) has identified 791 women who were widowed owing to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in the national capital; within this, the mothers who have daughters in their family have become the most vulnerable population. Of the 791 identified women surveyed, it was found that 774 (97.85%) have children. "Further, it was seen that while the majority of women, i.e., 384 women, have 1-2 children, a large section of them - i.e., 360 widows (almost 45.51%) have around 3-5 children. Thirty widows have more than five children," the DCW said in the letter.
Introduction: The Ladli Foundation Trust has always worked for the upliftment of the underprivileged and marginalized populations; we identify these communities and individuals and make action-researched programs that would be a stepping stone in developing an individual. With the belief in "No one should be left behind," we have been coming up with initiatives for the marginalized and most vulnerable populations and getting stakeholders, concerned authorities involved with such initiatives so that they also have knowledge about the situation at hand, which requires their attention. Women, one of the marginalized groups, have suffered the most due to pandemics within this group. Many women are left behind after the death of their husbands, who were the sole breadwinner of the family. Widows in India have constantly been subjected to social injustices, biases and face human rights violations. Analyzing the situation at hand in Delhi and the data of such widowed women/mothers pose a threat to their development and also put their daughters at the risk of not getting equal opportunities or getting a proper education; these families and women have become the most vulnerable population with the advent of covid, and the risk of a third wave has already shaken the country.
At Ladli, we have come up with this proposed Project to uplift these vulnerable women by providing them with five years of free ration and development of their capacity building, skill development through various sessions and awareness programs which will also include sessions on financial literacy, digital learning, WASH, MHM, and job placement drives.
Concept Note: Our Punar-Utthan Initiative for supporting the most vulnerable population - widowed mothers, who lost their Bread Earners during Covid 19 Pandemic in Delhi for providing them Free Ration Supply for 5 Years, Skill Training, Capacity Building, and Employment Opportunities and enabling Digital Education for their Children) by Providing Digital devices and BYJu’s Education Content), is an action-research project conceptualized for uplifting the marginalized section, the most vulnerable group of the society.
The concept has also added some organizations key expertise and essential features for sensitizing the students on various sensitive issues such as Gender Sensitization, Menstrual Health & Hygiene, Wash, Sexual Abuse, Child Rights, Prevention from Drugs/Substance abuse, and Deadly Transferable Diseases / STD's through in different community workshops, fun activities and reward-based competitions to develop an interest in completing their academic education and creating career opportunities in respective fields.
Our Project will follow a trauma-informed approach to provide a sense of safety and trustworthiness for the beneficiaries of this Project. The Project is done following the six key principles of Trauma-Informed Care:
Sustainability & Monitoring Mechanism:
The purpose of the monitoring mechanism is to further the effective implementation of the rules. The following systems of review and monitoring are maintained to strengthen the implementation process through continuous improvement and effectiveness of the intervention:
Efficiency Of The Project
With an estimated 1,027 million people, India is the world's second most populated country. It has 17 percent of the global population and 20 percent of the world's out-of-school children. Despite impressive gains in the last few decades, India still has more than 260 million people living in poverty.
Our Project also focuses on families with three or more children (especially girl children). It is important to pay greater attention to the role of population dynamics for longer-range prevention. The population of that society differentiates vulnerability with which a society or group is threatened and the prejudices held against these vulnerable groups. The varying reproductive patterns among different social groups determine the relative size of their families and, to a certain extent, their levels of poverty, housing characteristics, crowding, access to services, infrastructure, and other elements.
Working for the most vulnerable individuals in Delhi would cater to the goal of "No one should be left behind." This would also be a step in the direction of reducing the prejudices and injustices that were done to the widowed women for centuries.
About the Organization
Ladli Foundation is a grassroots-level non-profit organization known for implementing highly impactful & innovative social initiatives to uplift vulnerable people in urban & rural slums. The organization is granted special consultative status in United Nations ECOSOC and conferred with the National Award by Govt. of India for directly serving over one million beneficiaries through its action-research-based projects by promoting sustainable living for achieving UN SDGs
The organization was recently recognized by the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. António Guterres during the 65th Session of Commission on the Status of Women to raise the voice to prioritize the agenda of Women’s Health and elimination of Child Marriages in developing countries for achieving Gender Equality (SDG5).
Having the Special Consultative Status In United Nations ECOSOC, A Statement Submitted by the Ladli Foundation has been published in the “United Nations 2021 High-Level Political Forum on Covid Resilience and Recovery” stating that “Covid -19 Pandemic has been an instrument of change, unexpected transformations and awakening at an individual level. The idea of resilience and recovery from this pandemic is not something that can be supported with sheer thoughts and beliefs but has to do much more with the idea of real-time implementation and execution of initiatives which support holistic development through Technological Acceleration” hence we believe that Next-Gen technologies and digital learning can play a significant role in achieving all UNSDGs combined by 2030.