There is never a shortage of issues that we can speak about. One such issue is empowering women and ensuring equal opportunities for them. Thankfully, we live in a time where there are groups, organisations, and individuals who are not only aware of the issues but also trying to make things better. Obviously, these efforts are sometimes countered with apprehensions and resistance but there are a few out there who are even going the extra mile needed to improve things. One such story that is a classic example of this positive beam amidst all the negativity is that of 'Project Auric'.
Project Auric is an initiative to help village women set up their own detergent business. The first venture of this project began a little over a year ago in Mangar village located on the Gurgaon-Faridabad expressway. The people behind this project are the student members of the Lady Shri Ram College group of Enactus. Enactus is a global non-profit community of student, academic, and business leaders using entrepreneurship as a powerful tool to improve lives.
A second-year student of LSR and the vice president of Enactus LSR, Amisha Patel, while speaking to Daily Hunt, said,
"We came across Mangar via Sukarya, an NGO that has adopted the village. We were concerned with issues of sanitation and health, and realised that the women in the village used rudimentary means of cleaning utensils."
When these students arrived in this small village, knocked on the door, and asked the man of the house to introduce them to his wife, he was a little taken aback. The village folks were even more shocked when the students told them that they were there to empower their women and families by conducting workshops. Speaking to the DNA team on how the men eventually came around to the idea proposed, Kanupriya Raman, team lead of Project Auric said,
"Once we reasoned the financial advantage with them, they let go of their apprehensions. Moreover, the men themselves hardly earn anything. So, this was an inviting proposition for them."
Amisha also elaborated on the detergent business while speaking to Daily Hunt,
"Making soaps is relatively easy. Once we taught the women, they managed to do it even without prior experience. We source the raw materials for them in Delhi, from areas like Chandni Chowk, and send it over to them. The women manufacture the liquid, package it, and label it themselves. Some of the bottles are sold by Sukarya at their outlet while we take charge of marketing and distributing the rest."
The entirety of the profit is either given to the working women or for the business. One out of every five bottles produced is given to the women. Now, the team is working on making the project more sustainable by reaching out to more individual owners as well as big outlets and small stores for this business.
The project has liberated the women of this village and has made them more self-reliant. A considerable change is even visible in the way these women conduct their lives now on a daily basis.