Despite making major strides to empower women in India, many women in remote areas and underprivileged communities are still being neglected. In a bid to create lasting change and empower these communities, RYTHM Foundation, the CSR arm of QNET, has undertaken two significant initiatives, each addressing unique challenges faced by girls and women in Delhi and underprivileged communities in rural North Bengal.
Safer Cities for Girls Project – Ensuring Safety Through Education and Awareness
The safety of girls and women in India has been a constant concern with gender-based violence and harassment remains rampant in the country. Delhi is even deemed to be India’s most unsafe metro city in the country despite efforts to address the issues.
In an effort to address these issues, RYTHM Foundation, in collaboration with Plan India, initiated the ‘Safer Cities for Girls Project’. The objective of the project being to strengthen advocacy for the security of girls in public spaces by uniting key stakeholders, including boys, men, community leaders, and caregivers.
Implemented by Plan India, the project spans a duration of three years (2022-2025), focusing on creating safe spaces for girls and women in Gautampuri, a resettlement colony in South Delhi with a populace of 38,000 people. Rather than merely addressing safety concerns through self-defence classes for girls, the initiative goes beyond, fostering leadership and empowerment among the youth. The achievements are remarkable – safety audits and community assessments were conducted in 16 locations, engaging 340 youth groups designated as “Champions of Change.”
The project doesn’t stop at identifying issues; it empowers these young leaders with skills and knowledge. Through orientation on the digital safety walk process, these champions become advocates for change. They actively participate in interface meetings with Urban Local Bodies (ULBs), addressing safety concerns and gender-based violence issues. By engaging with adults, leaders, and authorities of the colony, the initiative challenges discriminatory gender norms and address biases.
The project has already made a positive impact in the community by renovating 3 public parks to make them safer for girls and women. 16 out of the identified 19 safety concerns, including poorly lit corners, insecure streets, parks, and toilets, have successfully been addressed. The initiative not only transforms physical spaces but empowers young leaders to advocate for change within their communities.
Over the 3 years, the initiative aims to create a lasting impact on at least 12,000 people, primarily adolescents aged between 13 and 18, their families, and government officials. Safer Cities for Girls also works to influence policymakers to make laws more inclusive to girls’ safety and create a supportive social environment for a safer and brighter future for girls.
Enabling Foundational Literacy and Numeracy – Illuminating Minds in Rural Landscapes
Turning the focus to rural North Bengal, RYTHM Foundation, alongside Parinaama Development Foundation and The Society for Door Step Schools, launched the “Enabling Foundational Literacy and Numeracy” project. The primary objective is to enable literacy among underprivileged communities, with a duration spanning three years (2023-2026).
In its early stages, the project targets the Jalpaiguri district, aiming to enhance the foundational literacy and numeracy skills of both children and adults. The project intends to uplift the educational foundation of these communities.
RYTHM Foundation Recognised at CSR Times Awards 2023 for Empowering Girls in Maharashtra
The “Champions Youth Development” programme is a collaborative effort with Mann Deshi Foundation that focuses on empowering girls and young women in rural Maharashtra with limited access to education. Launched in 2019, the project combines education, hands-on learning, personal growth, and athletic training, transcending financial support by establishing five ‘Mann Deshi Champions Centres.’ With over 800 beneficiaries, including 30 securing jobs in law enforcement, the initiative challenges norms, promoting sustainable development and addressing poverty and gender inequalities.
RYTHM Foundation proudly received the Bronze Award at the 10th CSR Times Awards, 2023, for resounding success and lasting impact of this youth development project. The project has been a catalyst for change, nurturing self-reliance and guiding these young women on a path to a brighter future. Apart from boosting the academic performance, RYTHM and Mann Deshi’s collaborative efforts have also seen girls excelling in sports, helping participants break free from the cycle of poverty, empowering them to confidently pursue better futures and contribute to their communities.
This collaboration with Mann Deshi Foundation exemplifies RHYTHM Foundation’s dedicated efforts to empower individuals and uplift communities. By addressing social issues, this transformative partnership unlocks brighter futures for young women, enabling them to contribute positively to their families and communities.
A Beacon of Change through Impactful Collaboration
These initiatives underscore RYTHM Foundation’s dedication to creating positive societal change. The Foundation’s commitment to transformative initiatives remains unwavering. By collaborating with impactful partners, RYTHM Foundation continues to make significant strides toward creating safer, more empowered, and educationally enriched communities. As these projects unfold, they stand as beacons of change, promising brighter and more empowered futures for communities across India in the years to come.