Accenture and READ join forces to empower rural Indian women

07 October 2016 Consultancy.uk

Accenture and READ India have partnered to launch a READ Centre, a hub which will provide the Bagepalli region in India with a library, computer room, women's section, children's room, and training hall. Through the centre the organisations will work to educate local women with a range of skills, thereby enabling them to become more empowered. 

Rural Education and Development (READ) Global was established in 1991 in Napal, with the mission of supporting small communities with READ Centers that provide communities with a library, computer room, women's section, children's room, and training hall. Through the centres READ Global provides the local community with various services, including Education (e.g. adult literacy courses to boost literacy levels, health education), Economic Empowerment (e.g. small business skills training), Technology (e.g. PC and digital skills) and Women’s Empowerment (focused on supporting women across a broad range of issues, from leadership development to family planning and healthcare).

In a bid to empower and improve the lot of women in the Bagepalli region*, Accenture, as part of its Skills to Succeed programme, and READ India have combined forces to launch a rural community development centre in the village.

Accenture and READ join forces to empower rural Indian women

The new centre aims at training 150 women and adolescent girls with economic empowerment, literacy and ICT skills. As it stands, many villages in the region provide limited vocational training – particularly for women – and lack basic healthcare, sanitation and education facilities. 

The new centre will include a multimedia and communications room, an IT area for ICT-based learning, a library and places where women can attend classes, participate in trainings and receive medical examinations. Sarva Dharma Samanvaya Trust, which has been running a school for children at Bagepalli since 2001, is providing the space for the centre. More than 850 village households lie within a five kilometre radius of it – several of the villages offer limited professional and vocational options, and they lack basic healthcare, sanitation and education facilities. 

According to Geeta Malhotra, Director at READ India, “Combination of regular workshops on confidence building, personality development and life skills made women realise their potential. Adding income to the family helps them to create a position for themselves and also take decisions about their children’s future. Being in the environment of education and peer learning at READ Centres helps them resolve many common personal and societal issues.”

READ Centre is Accenture's second full time programme running in Bagepalli. "At our skilling centre in Bagepalli, through our partnership with DB Tech and Quest alliance, we have trained over 108 individuals and placed 87 of them in gainful employment", explains Kshitija Krishnaswamy, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Accenture in India. "The rural community centre is another prong in our development efforts to raise the standard of living and employability in Bagepalli and surrounding villages.”

* Bagepalli is situated in Chikballapur district in the state of Karnataka, India. The municipal is located around 100 km from Bangalore.

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