What do we intend to do?
We plan to empower women by making them able to support their own as well as family expenditures. Apan Mithila Center in Khairba will be the techno-art center equipped with computers and tools to make mithila paintings. This is a project still in mind and not yet implemented. We are still waiting to hear from AEIF, the Alumni Engagement Innovation Fund. Six of us- Keshar Shahi, Pratiksha Sharma, Utsha Neupane, Anish KC, Nymsang and me (Deepak Shah) will together work with women and girls of mithila community to provide them resources to make mithila paintings and then sell it online. The income generated from the art sales will sustain family’s income for most families in Khairba.
What challenge we will address?
We aim to address the high unemployment rate of women. While most women have painting skills, it is confined in their house’s walls. In addition to the problem of unemployment, Dhanusha also has a low female literacy rate of 35% and has low technology reach to villagers especially women. Since the families have very low income, children have no access to quality education or some don’t have access at all. We will tackle these problems by empowering women through their own skill. This project will set up Apan Mithila Center (“Apan” is “ours” in Mithila language), which will provide training to women and girls to paint mithila arts in commercial way that can be sold to generate income. This computer equipped center will be used as a technology center from where the painting will be sold online and also women can learn computer, use internet, and communicate with their family members who work abroad by paying a small fee.
Approach to the challenge
- A general training on painting Mithila art will be provided to women and girls
- A village based team will be made who will make mithila paintings and help each other
- Website(www.apanmithila.com) that will allow these women to sell their painting in both domestic and international market will be set up
- An art and technology center will be built as the space for creating art, storing it and doing the business and
- With this art center, women will learn about computers and internet to sell their arts online, to navigate online educational resources for their children’s education, and most importantly to communicate with their family members who work abroad in gulf countries.
What will change after the project is implemented?
This project will allow women to share the financial responsibilities of the household, which has been a man’s domain for a long time. Women will develop artistic skills and also become financially independent. Instead of regarding women and girls as an economic burden, they will be looked as a source of income for the families and will also be respected more, paving the way for gender equality. Moreover, the sale from the paintings will help poor families women to send their children to school and also help them play an important role in family’s decision making process. Moreover, the computers will increase students’ interest in learning. In addition, women and girls by learning to use computers will have added employment opportunities for them. They will also be able to send emails and have skypes with their family members in gulf countries which will further promote peace and better relations within family members.
Who is our target group and how many people will benefit?
While the project will be open to all villagers, our target groups are women from different ethnicity who otherwise never get to know each other. By bringing women from different ethnicities and creating teams for them to work together, we aim to initiate conversations between women of different ethnicities which will further help women build better relations and maintain peace in the community. Our plan is also to target girls who have dropped out from schools because of economic hardships. . By bringing them at Apan Mithila Center, we intend to provide them the skills to make paintings and then sell them. The money generated from the sales can be used as their school fees to continue their interrupted education. For the first phase, we shall be giving the training to 2000 women and 500 girls by making different teams and training them during different days of the week. These women will further teach these skills to their family members and thus create a larger network.
(More details coming soon. Please send an email to email@example.com to learn more about this project.)