New Delhi: RYTHM Foundation, the CSR arm of direct selling company QNET has won the Silver Award in the Livelihood category at the prestigious CSR Times Awards 2021.
The award-winning project, titled “Economic Empowerment of Women in Eastern India through Microenterprises,” launched by RYTHM Foundation in 2018 in partnership with the Parinaama Development Foundation, has helped close to 10,000 women in rural Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha.
The 3-year long project’s grassroots development initiative encourages women to improve their standard of living using social mobilisation and skills-building as strategies. Women identified by the Parinaama Development Foundation, which is the implementation partner on the ground, were trained in two areas to help them set up their own microenterprise.
Mushroom farming and cultivation which has served as a strategic income generating opportunity and also serves as a solution to improve nutrition for children and young mothers.
Training and promotion of Mithila Art from the Madhubani region which is helping under-privileged artistes make a living through their craft.
Women identified by the Parinaama Development Foundation, which is the implementation partner on the ground, were divided into groups comprising 2500 each, and were trained with the relevant technical and business skills needed to establish their microenterprise. Self-help groups were also set up in each state to guide the women in their journey to economic independence.
“This project is poised to sustain itself beyond the funding from RYTHM Foundation thanks to rapport building efforts with the community. Building a network of female entrepreneurs and clients ensures that the women will stick together to enable the efficient operations of the microenterprises in the long run. The programme has also established production spaces and marketing links to further assure the sustainability of their enterprises”, explains Santhi Periasamy, the Head of RYTHM Foundation.
The success of the programme is reflected in the positive impact it has had on over 10,000 women who have been able to establish their own enterprises or gain employment through the programme’s capacity building activities. Beyond the financial and economic benefits, the women in these communities have also reported a greater sense of self-awareness in managing themselves and their teams.
The CSR Times Awards encourage corporations, foundations, NGOs, government and public sector undertakings and individuals to deliver high impact CSR projects. The awards recognise remarkable projects across India in 17 categories.
Commenting on the win, Malou Caluza, CEO of QNET, said, “RYTHM, an acronym for Raise Yourself To Help Mankind, is ultimately about empowerment. At QNET, the mission of RYTHM is a part of our DNA. We are very proud of the work of RYTHM Foundation that has been working tirelessly on programmes that focus not just pm empowering women, but also contributing to a gender equitable, sustainable, and socially inclusive world.”