‘When you invest in women, you see the well-being of their entire community grow’

May 1, 2018

‘Indian business tycoon Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata once said it very strikingly – I do not want India to be an economic superpower. I want India to be a happy country. Although, apparently, financially India as a country is doing very well, it also has a different side. A small part of the population possesses all the wealth and inequality is growing.’

‘The states in which The Hunger Project works, like Odisha, score insufficiently on many development indicators. Think in terms of infrastructure, mobility, the status of women and malnutrition. A recent health study showed that 53% of women in India suffer from anaemia. That is exactly why we do our work in those poorest states. Because when you invest in women, you see that the well-being of their entire community grows.’

Money end up in the right place

‘The money that our government has, often remains in the upper political layers. By training women at the local village level to learn how they can claim these subsidies, and teaching them how to fill something like an application form, means the money ends up in the right place, where it is needed. We show these chosen female leaders their possibilities and opportunities. We learn to persevere and work together. After 5,000 years of oppression it is time for women to claim their place in our society.’

Invest in local female leadership

‘Just like big players like Google and Microsoft, we have a strategy at The Hunger Project. By investing in local female leadership, you can bring about real change in the long term. That road is not easy to walk, has many layers to get through that are very challenging. But what I have seen with my own eyes: after the training the women really feel that they have been seen and heard. They are proud of what they have achieved. There is no database that can measure those invisible changes in our society.’

Do you want to support The Hunger Project’s work in India? Donate to one of the competing teams. Or sign up for the Fi Global Odisha Challenge and start fundraising yourself!

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