Nari-Dana during lockdown

During the COVID-19 lockdown, women living in the slums across India have faced tougher challenges, in addition to the daily struggles they already experience. For many, the restrictions on their livelihood has seen an adverse effect on their family’s income. Praise God, these women did not give up. The hope they’ve found through the launch of the Freedom project has enabled them to look forward fearlessly.

Just a few highlights include:

  • The Nari-Dana project has been operating for two days a week since the beginning of the pandemic. Many women are continuing to work from home when they can’t attend the production centres.
  • The women have been busy producing masks for various big buyers including Larsen & Toubro and SASHA amongst others.
  • Transport and food allowances have been provided to enable the women to attend centres during the lockdown period.


Training in legal affairs

Ten members of the Women’s Empowerment Group at Pally Mangal received valuable training in legal affairs in May.

Ms Susmita Mallick, a government advocate, made the group aware of what free legal support they are entitled to from the government and also gave helpful information about how to file different types of issues and offences with the police.

New project at Brace Bridge

CRS has added a new urban location to its portfolio of projects: Brace Bridge. Beside the railway tracks at Brace Bridge station is Naya Bustee, a slum community of about 700 predominantly Muslim families.

CRS is partnering with a community based organization called Right Track to support this community. So far an education and women’s programmes have been started with the plan to add a health programme in due course. Find out more

Training sessions for Mahamaya women

CRS has been working in Mahamaya, a small village in the 24 South Parganas district of West Bengal about two hours’ drive south from Kolkata, since 2012.

A training session was held recently on garment making, giving women who attend the CRS women’s empowerment programme in the village, new skills and the chance to practice making clothing items on sewing machines.

A group of women subsequently travelled into the city for a day’s training on quality control. At the Nari Dana Production Centre they learned how to sew and embroider products with precision, and how to ensure conformity of quality and style.

CRS is currently raising funds to complete construction of a multi-purpose building in Mahamaya and expand activities there.

The ground floor is already in existence, used as a school in the morning and by women’s groups the afternoon.

The vision is to have three floors to accommodate the school, a medical clinic, and a workspace for the women to make products