We Care For Everyone
Women empowerment and education has been the founding basis for Bright Star Charitable Trust. However, the communities we work with are often the most underprivileged and deprived and women are the most over-burdened with social and economic pressures. Their life revolves around the household chores and child-rearing responsibilities. The low social value attached with educating the female child, results in these women having minimal or no education at all. Added to that is the notion of their being secondary income earners which adversely affects their skilling and training for securing a livelihood. This, in many cases, becomes the primary cause of their becoming victims of domestic violence or, makes them work for sub-nominal wages.
Faced with these barriers, when Bright Star Charitable Trust first started working in Mumbai towards empowerment of women, we understood the need for employment of women, alongside awareness, as a first step towards their liberation and empowerment. However, regular means of employment which required high level of literacy or, skills in English language were not immediately possible for them. Thus, they needed to have certain skill sets which were in demand in the local market and could find acceptance despite their low literacy levels.
From the study of the local markets, we identified four trades that were in demand in the local market. Household helps as cooks, aestheticians (beauticians), retail management at super stores, front office executives with basic computer skills, and tailors in boutiques and local tailoring outlets were some of the vocations where women workforce was in demand. Based on this need analysis, we started vocational courses in these four trades for women who showed interest in up-skilling. While the computer courses were reserved for those who had attended a minimum of higher secondary education, other courses were open to all.
The first skilling centre of Bright Star Charitable Trust was established in Borivali west in the year of 2015 with 23 women. The first batch that graduated from our vocational training centre, found employment at households in the nearby areas, in boutiques, and in super stores. They have been successfully employed for the past 4 years and continue to inspire women from their community to be independent and find their way through life.
The skilling initiative by Bright Star Charitable Trust and the success of our programme, was soon recognized by Maharashtra State Skill Development Society (MSSDS) who recognized Bright Star Charitable Trust as ‘The Best Training Partner’ for two consecutive years in 2017 and 2018. Our efforts received further impetus when we were invited by MSSDS to expand operations across Maharashtra.
Today, we run more than 20 centers across Maharashtra where we conduct more than 15+ courses and have trained more than 2000 women. In the recent years, our skilling programme has widened its ambit to include men from among the target population
In our quest to up-skill women in tune with the demands of the market, we are open to collaborate with partner NGOs and are open to CSR partnerships to give this initiative for Skill India mission.