Sadbhavana has been working with 50 slums across old Lucknow, in 5 areas and each area consists of 10 neighbourhood forums or mohalla manch. Our field mobilisers conduct feminist perspective building sessions with them that builds their awareness around patriarchal structures that pose as limitations in their everyday lives.
There are several activities planned out with them which build their understanding on gender roles and stereotypes, patriarchal power plays, and enable them to challenge the status quo that upholds patriarchal structures and barriers. Along with this they are provided with technical skill development courses on basic computer and social media management. Through different strategies we provide the most marginalized young women with the necessary skills, information and perspectives to become self-confident, leaders in their communities. Our program includes, collectivizing girls, interventions to build gender awareness interventions (training, campaigns etc.)
Part of the organisation's flagship programme, Lucknow Leaders has enabled young girls and women to create a digital media presence of their own. This platform uses social media to bring out neighbourhood stories, of the kind that mainstream media is typically not interested in. Thematic social media campaigns and competitions are organised, which include photography, videography, poster-making, developing newsletters, etc. Violence in digital spaces is also addressed through these online campaigns. A unique feature of this programme is that the young community leaders are drawn from the grassroots and are able to act as the voices of their community on social media.
"These leaders take the initistive in their communities for interventions related to gender-based violence issues, access to entitlements. liaison work with local stakeholders, conducting surveys and collecting stories from the community to amplify their own fived experiences. The leaders believe that all young girls or woman from socio-economically disadvantaged background can become leaders and decision makers, who can take charge of their own lives as well of their communities" Young girls" access at the community level to digital technology (data, computers, mobile phones) and digital content are enhanced by creating a pool of shared resources and by devising now offline and offline outreach strategies. Their feisty spirit and technical competence inspire other young girls and women to dream of becoming the next photographer, filmmaker, social media manager, radio jockey or field Journalist.
The Nazariya Leadership Centres were built in two of our field areas, Daliganj and Garhikanaura where the field mobilizers ran a basic job skills course for the community which included basic computer courses, soft skill development courses, along with feminist perspective building sessions. Through our Nazariya Centers we were able to increase our outreach in the community. Issues like gender identity, patriarchy, sexuality, gender based violence, individual choice were discussed in perspective building sessions that helped the participants look at the world of work through a feminist lens. The technical, digital, communications and soft skill courses that were run in the centers helped the girls plan for their future. The leadership centres engaged girls and women from these two areas who had the spirit of breaking patriarchal barriers to pursue their education and career but could not do so because of lack of opportunities presented to them.
The fact that a number of girls who had participated in the leadership development programme managed to get mainstream jobs through their own efforts, and others repeatedly expressed aspirations for jobs, led us to recently develop a leadership an employability programme. Our approach avoids using the term soft skills: which -typicälly reduces a range of critical empowerment: strategies and goals to limited, fragmented and ad hoc marketable, skills. Instead, we overlay skills that enhance employability on a foundation of holistic leadership and empowerment interventions that challenges power relations. This has enabled the girls to challenge various gender norms within the family (such as mobility, domestic work or decision-making) and enter the workforce. Earning an income has in turn enhanced their abilities to take decisions that further their interests,