Strategy Development - Etasha

Strategy Development: Beyond Boundaries – Entrepreneurship development activities with Women in Mangolpuri, Delhi

ETASHA Society is a not-for-profit society, providing vocational training with placement as well as employability skills, training and career guidance to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds in India. ETASHA, plans to focus on interventions which promote capacity building and empowerment of women through high quality marketable skills development, linking with and facilitating success at employment or self-employment.

Mangolpuri area in Delhi was selected for this intervention initiative, which is a large slum community comprising of 23 blocks of resettlement colonies with 50.000 families and a population of around 250.000. People of all religions, castes and cultures live here. Mangolpuri is close to and well connected with several Industrial and Commercial areas – one of the 8 industrial complexes built by Delhi State Industrial Development Corporation (DSIDC) is located in Mangolpuri, and the business districts of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri are close by. The area is therefore surrounded by thriving retail and hospitality outlets of West Delhi.

Most men of the area work in factories or are self employed. Men are heavily into substance abuse and Mangolpuri is notorious for its high crime and sexual harassment rate. Few women work in factories or as domestic help in the posh localities nearby. Most work from home on piece rate basis for one of the many manufacturing units playing their very small role in the large value chain of the finished product. Due to presence of decent government schools & colleges in the locality, a large number of young girls are well educated – but have not been allowed to work due to unsafe environments. And yet, pressures of high cost of living push more and more married women to earn. Due to lack of experience and confidence most end up in low paying and low skilled jobs getting stuck in a cycle of low incomes and low self-esteem.

It is these women that ETASHA plans to focus in its current intervention. Since enterprise development was a new area for ETASHA, SOCEO, with its experience in helping organisations to develop and run strong sustainable livelihood, was engaged by ETASHA to formulate a strategy and implementation plan for Mangolpuri women.

Undertaking the assignment, SOCEO developed a four-pronged methodology in order to formulate a strategy. This included an initiation workshop, study of the area and understanding Mangolpuri, interviews and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) & structured survey of 200 households.

In its final report submitted to ETASHA, SOCEO developed a strategy that is based on the proposition that community based entrepreneurship develops a culture of self-reliance and is capable of providing solutions to sustainable livelihood for marginalized communities. A detailed stepwise strategy with a three-year plan was formulated, focusing on a participatory approach involving ideation by the groups (community members) themselves – though supported externally (ETASHA team) in initial germination of idea and later by handholding through the business cycle.

Rajul Bharti

Rajul Bharti earned a degree in Mass Communications at the prestigious Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda. She brings with her more than a decade of experience as a development practitioner & communication strategist, specializing in entrepreneurship, migration and education. Rajul is wanderlust at heart, and enjoys diving into programs that help her stay close to the soil.