Published: 02nd August 2018
SRM launches Women Empowerment Club, starts with helping their 'akkas' on campus
The club is currently working towards ensuring that their 'akkas' on campus make minimum wage and will also focus on health and well-being, gender equality and economic growth.
A lot of NGOs, campaigns, CSR initiatives, socially-conscious groups and individuals are always working towards the empowerment of women situated in places far and wide. But ironically, none of these 'activists' seem to consider the women that work in their own organisations, their own arena. That's where SRM Institute of Science and Technology's Women Empowerment Club stands out — they tend to their own.
The club is on the verge of tying up with with a menstrual cup manufacturer in T Nagar who is willing to sell cups for Rs 130, which is pretty cheap compared to the others in the market. A regular cup costs anywhere between 600- 1000, "I'm trying to collaborate with him so that we can provide the cups for free to women from low-income groups and educate them about the same. Most women don't know about the cup let alone use it. But when they find out how helpful it is and that it is cheap they would be more keen on using it," said Shagun Mathur, who is the founder of the club and a fourth-year Electronics and Communications Engineering student.
Starting Movements: Shagun Mathur, the founder of the Women Empowerment Club at SRM
Only three weeks old, the club which comes under SRM's Directorate of Student Affairs, has already successfully conducted an event, an anaemia awareness camp that provided free medical check-ups to over 500 women. Half of these women were from the institute's own campus, primarily their non-teaching staff. But this is not the only plan that the club has in mind to empower their faculty, affirms Shagun Mathur. Mathur is not the only brains behind the club though, she doesn't fail to mention her co-founder, Amit Singh Tanwar.
"This club is the first of its kind to be established on our campus. Students here have set up NGOs before, but as a socially-conscious club, we are the first," states Mathur. But what prompted her to set up a club like this one? "Reading the newspaper day in and day out and coming across stories of atrocities against women made me feel like I had to do something about it. So I wrote a proposal for such a club to the administration and they accepted it," she explains.
Giving back: The staff at the medical camp conducted on campus
The club aims to uplift women from low-income groups with regards to health and well-being, gender equality and economic growth. The club is currently working towards ensuring that their 'akkas' on campus make minimum wage. Since they are situated on the outskrits of the city, there's not much work they can do within the society, but all their focus is now on the village of Potheri where they are set up. "A lot of women here are small-time entrepreneurs, so we hope to help them grow their business and adopt sustainable means to keep it growing," says Mathur.
Besides these initiatives, the team is also planning on more events in the future, from self-defense classes to mental health care. "A lot of women do not have access to mental health care and there isn't that much awareness around it either. So we hope to take the help of psychologists on campus like our faculty to help us in this endeavour," she explains.