The Gauravi One-Stop Centre in Bhopal supports women who have survived patriarchal violence. We have been running it in collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development, Government of Madhya Pradesh, since 2014. Besides providing emotional support and legal assistance to survivors of gender-based violence, Gauravi has been promoting their socio-economic rehabilitation and advancing the message of feminist justice.
To strengthen the agency of women and to make them self-reliant, with support from Mukul Madhav Foundation, Gauravi has started vocational training programmes for women survivors of violence. These programmes seek to equip women with skills that enable them to earn a livelihood while also challenging gender stereotypes. As part of this initiative, we ensured the training of 15 women in driving a car. It’s heartwarming to note that several of them had never even ridden a bicycle in their life, and now getting behind the steering wheel of a car and learning to drive has put them on the road to empowerment. During the training, women learnt the essentials of automobile maintenance and repair to enable them to manage any inconvenient situation encountered on the road on their own. All trainees have now applied for a driving license.
Gauravi didn’t stop there! It is also supporting these women to get employed – as drivers at valet parking, with taxi services and helping them buy their autos or taxis. We are happy to share that two women from this batch have already received a job offer from Maruti Training School. Efforts are underway to identify women for the next set of training. Going forward, we plan to create a cluster of women drivers in the city of Bhopal.
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