Pat from UN for women empowerment project

The ambitious women empowerment project of the Amrita Multi-Modal Applications Using Computer Human Interaction (AMMACHI) Labs attached to the Amrita University which trained more than 3,000 women in employability skills has earned the appreciation of the United Nations.

Addressing a function at the university campus on Saturday to mark the conclusion of the project which was partly funded by the UN, Lise Grande, UNDP Resident Representative in India, described the project as one of the most creative way of empowering women she had seen. She said that the UN would use it as a model project for the entire world.

“The UN scours the world looking for the best and most innovative projects which will have the highest impact. We intend to take it to the rest of the world so that they can learn from what you have achieved,” she said.

Governor Sheila Dikshit who inaugurated the function said that the UN chooses projects very carefully.

“This is a great honour for all of us, and for the nation,” she said. She said it is very creditable that the Amrita University has been able to empower as many 3,000 women from the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The nation needs institutions like the Amrita University, she said. The governor thanked Mata Amritanandamayi, the moving force behind the project, for initiating it and empowering women with confidence.

Many difficulties

Addressing the gathering Mata Amritanandamayi said that women face many difficulties and challenges in daily life. “It is good if we can help inspire them. The difficulties that women face in their family and society are not small. There are economic, family and security problems,” she said.

She said that women in such circumstances should be helped to be able to stand on their own. “When such women are provided with self-confidence, training and wise-counselling, their lives develop new meaning,” she said.

Over a period of 18 months, 3,134 women were trained under this project by setting up 18 Women Empowerment Centres and nine mobile training centres across Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They were then equipped to take independent and collective decisions in critical areas impacting their lives.

In the process, they set up 29 Self-Help Group, six small businesses and earned a collective income of over Rs. 10 lakh in 18 months, before the completion of the project. Flm actor Kunchacko Boben also spoke.

Vice-Chancellor of Amrita University Venkat Rangan welcomed the gathering. Bhavani B, Director AMMACHI Labs gave an introduction to the project.

“This is a great honour for all of us, and for the nation,” says the Governor.

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