Supporting women living in slum resettlement communities in India

Feed the Minds, in partnership with Thozhamai, is working to improve the self-confidence, vocational skills and financial independence of 400 women living in slum resettlement communities in India, so they can generate an income and break the cycle of poverty.

A major slum clearance programme by the government in Tamil Nadu has displaced thousands of slum-dwellers from the city of Chennai to a nearby slum resettlement colony in the town of Semmancherri, which is equipped with inadequate levels of basic services. Resettled residents live in poverty, lacking access to financial support.

Economic empowerment

We are training 400 of the most vulnerable women in the community, such as single mothers, divorced, widowed or disabled women, in vocational and business skills. Following the completion of beautician, bag production and jewellery making training courses, the women will apply their skills to generating their own income, through employment and small businesses.

Crucially, the social stigma and political marginalisation underpinning Semmancherri will also be addressed, by empowering 200 residents through leadership training and education on government schemes and entitlements. Trainees will actively provide citizens’ advice to fellow residents.

The project will improve the financial security of Semmancherri residents, as they will develop the necessary technical skills and capacity to secure long term employment or run successful small businesses from home. The increased household incomes will enable parents to afford sufficient food, health care, education materials and transport for their children.

These positive impacts will not only improve the health and education level of Semmancherri residents, but the conflict and violence that accompanies unemployment will be reduced. The community will also be empowered to access the government services they are entitled to, demanding health, education and transport facilities from a more accountable local government.

The project is improving the financial security of people, as they develop the skills needed to secure long term employment or run successful small businesses from home.