The Road Not Taken.

Kherwadi is one of the many areas in Bandra east where women can be found limiting themselves to doing domestic chores. They sweep houses, run family kirana stores, cook food and look after their kids while male counterparts are the bread-winners.

Amidst this setup lies Kherwadi Social Welfare Association where women can be found to outnumber men and are more proactive participants of the lot. And so was the case in the session highlighting entrepreneurship benefits.

Participants in the session

Driven by the initiative to become young entrepreneurs, women assembled at Balwadi in Kherwadi Social Welfare Association to become independent and not limit themselves only to households. Some were housewives, others students, but all driven by one motive-to become successful. And I Create India mentored them.

This is where it all begins.

I Create India is a not for profit, non-governmental organisation determined to develop entrepreneurship endeavours at grassroots level by holding seminars on entrepreneurial programmes for underprivileged population.

“Unemployment is one of the root causes of poverty in India. With this initiative we want to create employers not employees who are underpaid or disguisedly unemployed.” said Mr. B.R. Venkatesh, director of I Create India.

This interactive session on entrepreneurship was meant for young minds to think and make use of myriad opportunities that come their way.  And chocolates played a major role in make the audience. Every response deserved a Dairymilk. Thus, began the interaction.

Mr. Venkatesh began with emphasising the importance of an idea in any business venture. “It is necessary for every entrepreneur to think of an idea one wants to execute.” he said. And then followed the chain of homework, opportunity, planning and execution to make a business venture successful, which can be well abbreviated to I HOPE. Yes, many of the young minds present there hope to start a venture of their own.

While many took down copious notes, others listened to him intently as not all of them had completed their schooling. Yet they were all determined to cut through the rampant economic inequality existing in our society.

Jyoti interacting with Mr. Venkatesh

Jyoti Purshottam was one of the active participants in the programme who had dropped out of school after passing tenth standard. “I am doing a vocational training course in tailoring and want to start a venture of my own. I want people to know my boutique and earn well to support my family.” she said.

She wasn’t the only one. Rajkumari, who never got to study beyond seventh standard, was very keen to start her own beauty parlour and support her ill mother.

Many of the participants have now enrolled for the five-day entrepreneurial programme which begins September 10 and will give all an insight into entrepreneurship and its benefits. Participants will also chalk out their project proposals and present it in public.

“We have previously received an overwhelming response. Many participants have now begun their own start-ups and earn a decent sum of money. More than what their recruiters would have paid them” says ma’am Tejasvini Venkatesh.

Interestingly, on the last day of this workshop is when I Create India’s relationship with its proactive participants begins, when the organisation aims to help active participants to initiate their venture. Support extended is in all spheres.

And previous success stories still keep their spirit alive, afresh, anew. For a better tomorrow of the grassroots.

-Niharika Pandit

TYBMM Journalism