Nations that invest in women's employment, health and education are just more likely to have better outcome. Their children will be healthier and better educated. This is not just the right thing to do for us to hold up those women, support them, encourage their involvement; this is a strategic imperative.
- Hillary Clinton.
It is a well-known fact that empowering women is an indispensable tool for advancing economic development and reducing poverty that brings about a positive social change. Empowered women contribute to the health and productivity of whole families and communities and to improved prospects for the next generation. We at MDS have taken many initiatives to train the residents of our short stay home with vocational skills to enable them to embark on a journey of self-reliance and economic independence. We run several in-house training programs in tailoring, embroidery, paper bag making, painting, arts and crafts, cooking, catering and chocolate making.
Training in Tailoring / Embroidery / Painting / Arts and Crafts
We have engaged the services of a tailor Ms. Saraswati, who trains the residents who have a flair for tailoring, and Ms. Savita who teaches fabric painting, embroidery and arts and crafts. Our range of finished tailoring products include all-purpose fabric bags, batuas, sling bags in 2-3 designs, cushion covers, saree petticoats, handkerchiefs and yoga bags. We have trained the women in fabric painting on sarees with intricately designed motifs, painting on diyas and terracotta platters and embellishing them with beads and stones, painting on handmade paper for table mats and coasters, embroidery wall art, flowers and leaves made of twisted fabrics, paper bag making, and woven plastic bags.
Training in cookery, baking and chocolate making
Choco Senorita, our chocolate making venture which was started in October 2013, is running successfully. We make a variety of chocolates in various flavors that are packaged in attractive boxes. Chocolates are available during the festive season of Dusherra, Diwali, Christmas and New Year, and special orders are undertaken at other times for special events and celebrations like birthdays, anniversaries, birth announcements, engagements and weddings. Our clients include ICICI, Canara Bank, Bunt Sangha, KAS Officers Club, M S Ramiah Hospital, and we have displayed our chocolates at events held in the Banjara Academy, Sobha Suburbia, KAS Ladies club, Thomson Reuters NGO Market Day at Yemlur, and the Stall at the Kanteerava Stadium as part of Women's Day celebration. Cooking demonstrations are held regularly to update culinary skills.
MDS catering, an income-generating venture began regular operations in June 2014 and has been running successfully since then. The idea behind starting this was to provide employment to the residents of the short stay home and also utilize the proceeds of sale towards their rehabilitation. We regularly provide nutritious 'meals and snacks to the MES College' Vidyaranyapura, and undertake other catering assignments like supplying meals to senior citizens in the vicinity. We have received major catering orders from Vanita Sahayavani, MES College, GKVK and other such entities and individuals. We also prepare sweets and savories, pickles and papads, spice powders, etc.
We have sold our products at events organized by Thomson Reuters, Sobha Suburbia, KAS Ladies club, Banjara Academy, TCS etc. and have received widespread appreciation for the same.
Other Skill Development Programs
In the pipeline are programs like sending inmates for driving classes, training in soft skills and personality development, specialized health counseling skills to work in community programs, courses in diet and nutrition, gardening and growing herbs, training in yoga and meditation in order to become trainers, retail marketing, beauty treatment and wellness. We must make special mention here of Ms. Parvathi Hegde, our member who has been conducting free yoga classes both for the residents as well as the ladies in the vicinity thrice a week at the MDS premises. Efforts are made to enlist the support of other NGO's in imparting vocational training.
Diya Painting Embroidery
Apart from training for skill development, we engage the residents in recreational activities such as singing, dancing, drama, group tasks for interactive involvement, word building. They are provided with the opportunity to participate in cultural programs during our celebrator events like New Year, Women's Day, Independence Day, etc.
In House programs
We hold in-house sessions on grooming and etiquette, improving inter-personal skills with insights into accepted social behavioral patterns in community living, health and hygiene, diet and nutrition, cleanliness, legal awareness etc. Those who are interested in learning office administrative skills and computers are sent for courses outside to get the requisite training. We provide employment to these residents after training is imparted so as to rehabilitate them thereby empowering them and reintegrating them into mainstream society.