IIT Mandi Is Helping Rural Women To Become Entrepreneurs

IIT Mandi Is Helping Rural Women To Become Entrepreneurs

IIT Mandi Is Helping Rural Women To Become Entrepreneurs

New Delhi: Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi is helping rural woman of Kamland Valley in Mandi in become entrepreneurs. An incubator, called 'Enabling Women of Kamand' (EOK) has been installed under an initiative of IIT Mandi Women's Centre to help  rural women set up their services or small enterprises.
EWOK is helping the women from the four panchayats of Kamand, Kataula, Katindhi and Navlaya in Mandi district.

In May 2018, the First batch of seven women, certified in basic computer literacy, Spoken English and Personality Development, graduated, the Convocation program for which took place on June 28, 2018 at the EWOK Office, IIT Mandi.

Two certificate courses have been offered by EWOK in collaboration with NIIT Foundation. In the basic computer literacy certification, the students receive training in MS Office and introduction to Internet that includes online ticket booking, banking, enrolling to open universities and looking up Aadhar card details and so on.

In the Spoken English and Personality Development certification, the main focus is on improving their English conversational skills as well as developing one's personality that would help them in interacting with various cultures.

Dr. Priscilla Gonsalves, Chief Advisor, EWOK, while speaking about the importance of this initiative and the commitment of IIT Mandi to development of local community, said, "Arriving at Kamand Valley for the first time in 2010, the director and I found a traditional, Himachal community. We realized that the growth of a new IIT in the valley would have a major impact on the lives of locals."

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Further, he added," EWOK strives to ease the transition for local women by providing guidance, training and information. It has also helped bridge the gap between the largely urban, technologically oriented IIT community and the local agricultural community. Both sides have benefitted from the link. In future we hope to have closer ties as we work together to build a new Kamand."

Two of the graduated women got paid internships and a third has applied for license to take up contractual work for landscape development.

Each course lasts three months long, during which there are two hour classes daily. The students receive the certification after an assessment by external examiners from NIIT Foundation team.

Ms. Nirmla Devi, a 30 year old resident of Baglidhar village who will soon bev a landscape development work talked about her experience saying,"I learnt how to use Computers to send messages and stay in touch. I also feel more comfortable in understanding English and have started speaking a few words myself which helps me in communicating with visitors here."

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