Jaipur Rugs in association with British Council and Diageo Foundation, conducts management and leadership skill trainings to women of age group 18-35 in order tap into their natural leadership ability. In 2014 108 women were trained to confidently take responsibility. This is the first step towards absorbing them into managerial positions.
What is key in this intervention is to understand that most of these women have never been to school and have spent the greater part of their life being told their only purpose is in executing domestic chores. One of the challenges the first recruits had to face was their own peer group taunting their efforts. A large part of this programme thus focuses on confidence building activities that help these women take on leadership roles in their village. The young women social development programme in that sense subverts traditional gender imbalances within rural societies.
A spin off from this programme is the Bhunkar Sakhi and Katwari Sakhi (Weaver Companion and Spinner Companion) initiative. These programmes identify women to promote to managerial roles in the Jaipur value chain. These programmes have helped a better connection with our women weavers and spinners because of the comfort they feel in dealing with other women from their own village.