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Protsahan Singapore: Encouraging a better future for women

Posted By Sara Lewis, Tuesday, 3 June 2014


Most days, Tripti Bhadauriya volunteers six to eight hours a day as Director of Protsahan Singapore, a social enterprise dedicated to educating girls in the slums of Delhi. She tells Sue Mannering why volunteering is as rewarding for the volunteer as it is for the recipients.


Tripti Bhadauriya moved
to Singapore from India some years ago with her family, and wanted to get involved in an NGO that that could help Indian children.‘In India you can’t escape children begging by the roadside,’ she says. ‘These children are very smart. They’re just like your children.’

Eventually, Tripti met Shruthi Komandur, the Chief Operating Officer (now the Chief of Global Operations) of an organisation called Protsahan: a social enterprise in India dedicated to educating young girls in the slums of Delhi. Protsahan (which means ‘encouragement’ in Hindi) uses innovative and hands-on approaches to teach the girls both social and educational skills in a model that combines the study and use of five creative concepts: design and art, photography, digital stories, technology, and films. When basic training is complete, the girls attend government schools and are usually able to join the fifth or sixth grades directly, from where they can choose to concurrently attend Protsahan.


Having relocated from India, Shruthi was setting up a chapter of Protsahan in Singapore when Tripti first met her. Tripti was so inspired that within three months she visited Delhi to see the school for herself. It was on this trip that she met the young founder of Protsahan, Sonal Kapoor, who at 24 years old gave up her corporate job to fully commit to the Protsahan initiative. Both Shruthi and Sonal had a huge influence on Tripti, who now devotes her energy to the Singaporean chapter of Protsahan, where she is Director and works alongside Shruthi.


Team Protsahan with Indian High Commissioner Mrs Vijay Thakur Singh & IWA President Piu Lahiri.

 

AWARD-WINNING PROJECT

It’s not just Tripti who thinks Protsahan is an inspiring cause. Last year, Protsahan’s Creative Street Micro-entrepreneur Project was the recipient of the major award from Project Inspire, a joint initiative of the Singapore Committee for UN Women and MasterCard. Project Inspire awards a yearly prize of US$25,000 to young people setting up sustainable projects that empower underprivileged women in the Asia Pacific, Africa and India.

Winning helped Protsahan Singapore raise its profile. Protsahan Singapore aims to be a sustainable enterprise by selling merchandise such as necklaces, diyas (earthen incense burners), candles and cloth purses crafted by young women on the streets of Delhi. Protsahan Singapore also raises funds by holding events and workshops in Singapore.


Chelluvi, by Sarbani Bhattacharya (2013), which appeared in the Unbound fundraising exhibition.

 

ENRICHING FOR VOLUNTEERS

Protsahan Singapore is ‘entirely voluntary,’ says Tripti. Team members devote many hours every day to keep the organisation running. ‘It becomes your own baby.’

Other volunteers also help out at events. One such event, ‘Unbound: An Art Exhibition’ by Protsahan in March this year, saw seven artists come together and donate their art. The artworks were sold over two days in conjunction with workshops run by volunteers, with all proceeds going to Protsahan in India. Another 20 volunteers were busy with food supplies, hanging paintings and logistics. Tripti says that volunteers started painting at the workshops too, expanding their networks by meeting other people and connecting.

‘Once the money angle is gone’ she says, ‘[volunteering] connects you with humanity’.


How you can volunteer

To prospective volunteers, Tripti says: ‘if you are interested, we are interested.’ Anyone self-motivated who is willing to donate time is welcome to volunteer for Protsahan Singapore. Find Protsahan Singapore on Facebook for event updates or contact Tripti Bhadauriya on tripti@protsahan.co.in.

protsahan.co.in
projinspire.com

Tags:  art  charity  Delhi  India  Protsahan  Singapore  volunteering 

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