Anju Disha2“The word Naukricomes from Naukar,” says 30-year-old Anju Bala. “Today I am confident enough to provide livelihood options to several in need and I thank the DISHA project for this encouragement,” she adds.

Anju is referring to the Hindi word for labour, while suggesting that self-reliance is very important for all.

“In the villages, no one blinks an eyelid when men go out to work, but as soon women start doing the same everyone appears to have their two bits to say. This needs to change,” she says with an infectious vehemence, her clear bright eyes reflecting the passion she holds within.

 Anju is a resident of Alduka village located in Nuh tehsil of Haryana, and is one of the several women beneficiaries of the UNDP’s DISHA project being implemented in the state by HPPI. Her husband works as an AC repairman while Anju works as a home-based tailor and plans to soon start a beauty parlour at her home as well.

“The DISHA project provided all of us women with a great deal of confidence. Earlier we had trouble speaking a word to anyone, but today we don’t just express our concerns but also know how to demand what is rightfully ours,” she says, again with a forceful fervour.

Following the three-day start-up training under the DISHA project, Anju felt motivated to follow her life-long passion of opening a beauty parlour. She shared the idea with her trainer who guided her to a free skill-development course being conducted in the district by a nationalised bank.

“I can’t thank her enough for the guidance and support that didihas provided me all through the training and even after it got over. It is only because of her constant motivation that today I can sit across you and answer all your questions confidently,” says Anju about her DISHA trainer.

Anju Disha

Following the month-long course, Anju recently received a certificate in beauty parlour management and has now made a concrete plan of setting up the business.

“During the training, we were informed about the importance of making a detailed budget. The initial investment in starting the beauty parlour is going to be around 10-12 thousand rupees. I can easily save that much in three months and start the work. I already have a couple of my friends from neighbourhood who are interested in joining the work,” she says.

Despite her bubbling confidence, however, Anju is battling her own issues at home. Her husband is unsupportive of her starting the beauty parlour, but Anju is not the one to take it sitting down.

“I convinced him of the tailoring work. I’m confident I will convince of the beauty parlour as well. My mother-in-law supports me fully and with her by my side, he has little chance of winning this one,” she says. 

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About HPPI

Humana People to People India is a development organization registered as a not-for-profit company under section 25 of the Companies Act, 1956 as of 21st May 1998. It is a non-political, non-religious organization. Its mission is to unite with people in India in order to create development in the broadest sense through the implementation of the projects that aim at transferring knowledge, skills and capacity to individuals and communities who need assistance to come out of poverty and other dehumanizing conditions.

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