ITC’s Vivel Mahila Leadership initiative and Azad Foundation commemorate the 7th year of Collaborative Transformation of Communities

March 21, 2024. Kolkata

Since 2016, ITC’s Vivel Mahila Leadership initiative, driven by its ethos of ‘Ab Samjhauta Nahin’, has been dedicated to nurturing grassroots champions of change. ‘Parvaz’, the leadership programme by Azad Foundation and Vivel Mahila Leadership initiative, now celebrates its 7th year of fostering empowerment and transforming communities. The intensive year-long training programme has helped build capability and personal effectiveness for the young women leaders. Pioneering progress through their transformative leadership, the young leaders are catalysts of change in their communities.

Equipped with feminist principles on gender and patriarchy, strategies to navigate gender-based violence, legal literacy, governance insights on social security schemes, and financial empowerment tools, over 130 leaders from resource-poor backgrounds have helped more than thousands of women with access to information. These young leaders have empowered women to assert their rights, access essential health and education services and pursue financial independence.

Graduates of the Mahila Leadership Programme have evolved into informed, empowered advocates, capable of addressing women’s struggles within their communities. Their relentless efforts and unwavering dedication have encouraged administrative reforms at the community and the local level. Many are now employed with the Delhi Commission of Women, Delhi Legal Service Authority Mahila Panchayat, Non-Government Organisations like Haqdarshak, Jagori, Josh, Chetanalaya, Shrimik Mazdoor Sangathan and Azad Foundation.

ITC’s Vivel Mahila Leadership initiative heralds a new era of community transformation by showcasing the inspiring journeys of these young women who epitomise self-discovery and independence. With the support of Azad foundation and a meticulously crafted training programme, these young women are enabling meaningful change and reshaping societal norms toward a more gender equality.

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Meenu Vadera, Founder and Chief Mentor, Azad Foundation, said, “We are proud to be associated with ITC Vivel who have been equally passionate in supporting resource poor women to gain livelihoods with dignity. Marking the 7th year of our beautiful and progressive collaborative journey, we embark on another year of training leaders and effecting change at the grassroots level. It is extremely heartening to witness the emerging change and nurture a community of young women leaders.”

Sameer Satpathy, Divisional Chief Executive, Personal Care Products Business, ITC Limited, added, “ITC’s Vivel Mahila Leadership initiative has been at the forefront of empowering change and celebrating progress at the grassroots level. Be it provoking thought or inspiring a journey or empowering women with knowledge, as part of the ethos of Ab Samjhauta Nahin philosophy, the pursuit has been relentless to enable a transformative change. With Azad Foundation, helming our training programme ground-up, in resource poor communities, the remarkable change and impact is profound. With this initiative, we reaffirm our commitment to empower more women leaders as champions of change.”

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