ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT: A PATH TO SELF-RELIANCE

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Social awareness, Campaigning and Advocacy, Counselling and Legal aid; surely we do all of it. Of course we believe that raising awareness is the first step towards social empowerment. Income generation can only come later. However, our income generation wing has emerged beautifully over the years. If asked what is AWAG all about? Obviously the answer is that AWAG is all about women and empowerment, women and dignity and women and self-reliance. But that’s just not it. The organisation is also about ‘women and their skills’. A part of the organisation is all about stitching, sewing, handicrafts and hand embroidery.

After the riots of 1986, AWAG started intervening with riot-torn women and responded to their demand of generating income. Initial steps in that direction led gradually to registration of AWAG-EKTA Industrial Co-operative Society in 1992. To know more about AWAG EKTA and our work please follow: (A must watch 3 minute video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF56B0vxJAw

AWAG-EKTA had initiated its intervention in that area of Ahmedabad where Muslims and Hindus have lived in close proximity. This was done specially with the view to bring about harmony among the rioting communities. The co-operative therefore was towards that ideal and was called AWAG-EKTA, ‘ekta’ meaning unity, signifying the future of the communities.

AWAG-EKTA has had both Hindu and Muslim members and women of both communities have worked together. Their bonding has been such that it did not take them long to unite even after devastating riots of 2002.

More recently, the co-operative is also engaged with Fabindia for garment making.

Over the years, right from job work with Calico and then Modern Terry Towels, these women have acquired enough skills to become wonderful seamstresses. They can produce just about anything and have expertise in an assortment of fabrics – khadi, mangalgiri, ikkat, handloom, organic cotton and more. Our various designs have fetched us some very potential and promising collaborations such as Fabindia, Bandhej and House of MG. (Ahmedabad)

AWAG Ekta, is located in Bapunagar. The campus also includes counselling shelter and other projects including Mental Health for women and adolescent is run there.

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