By Digital Empowerment Foundation
Published on: April 04, 2023
Under the Digital Sarthak program there are 200 Digital Sarthaks across 25 districts who have taken the responsibility of training Women Entrepreneurs in digital tools. Each has taken the responsibility of training 100 women. Here is a testimonial of one of the Digital Sarthaks helping to train women entrepreneurs.
Rekha Kumari is a Digital Sarthak training and mentoring Women Entrepreneurs of Ramgarh, Jharkhand sharing her story, “I have heard stories of inspirational women all over the globe through the means of newspapers or sometimes television channels. And the one thing that I find common with most of those stories is that each one of those women had to fight for their rights against the brutal patriarchal societies that they lived in. Only when they won the battle, could they conquer their right to be independent citizens of the country. That made me ponder a lot. As women we have to fight battles and these might seem very small and insignificant when it comes to global problems and issues, but we must remember that they cannot be ignored.
When DEF approached me and asked me if I could educate the women of my district about how to use the smartphone and its associated benefits, the first thought that struck my mind was that I got to fight my own battle. That’s when my journey as a mentor at DEF began. I took the first few sessions with the women very slowly and instead of teaching them the technical aspects straight away, I first taught them how to muster courage to stand up against the society and demand for their rights because I knew that once their journey towards education began there will be questions and judgements from almost everywhere. When I felt that the women were ready, I began teaching them about smartphone features like calling, chatting, Googling etc. Gradually we learnt about digital payments, government services and policies. As expected, their families questioned their need to learn about a smartphone that had no use for them. But these women, with courage, demanded that it was extremely essential for them to free themselves from the shackles of dependence.
Within no time, the women that I am addressing now became ‘Women Entrepreneurs’, smart, courageous and victorious in their respective battles. I am proud to have been a source to guide them all this way. I won the fight against patriarchy a long time ago, but today when the women entrepreneurs I had trained won this fight, I felt like I won all over again.”