To mark International Women’s Day, we are featuring a series of impact stories on how Societe Generale GSC’s CSR sponsorship has sparked social change in the lives of our women beneficiaries. This week, we share the extraordinary journey of Sindhu who took charge of her life and moved towards financial independence and livelihood with dignity.
Family Background: Sindhu comes from a humble background in Bangalore and the only daughter of a family of five. While pursuing her per-university college studies, her parents decided to get her married. She recalls,
“At that young age, all I wanted to do was study and enjoy life. However, my parents had other plans for me. I was married into a family of eight and forced to grow up quickly”.
Post her marriage, Sindhu’s life moved from that of a care free young adult to a homemaker and mother. She felt she had nothing to look forward to and saw every day pass-by. Her financial situation was also not very stable as her husband was a labourer in the construction industry, where wages are low.
“But I was determined to provide a good education for my son even though I didn’t know how or from where to start”
Sponsored Program: Societe Generale GSC has been sponsoring a unique livelihood program called ‘Steer to Change’. The program launched in partnership with Reaching Hand NGO, aims to empower and generate employment for poor and marginalized women by equipping them with driving skills and encouraging them to take up employment and be independent.
When Sindhu found out about this program, she wanted to join it because this was different from the other skill-development/ livelihood program. But, she faced a lot of resistance from her in-laws, which made her reconsider her decision.
“I wasn’t sure if the society or my family would accept this profession”.
However, having met other women from the program who were doing very well, she was motivated to join. She smiles and adds,
“My mother also encouraged and pushed me to join this program”
The participants of the program beaming with pride post their graduation.
Skills Acquired: After joining the Steer to Change Program, she learnt basic computer skills, using applications on her phone and communication skills. She also learnt how to manage her time and money. She recalls, “Initially, I found it so difficult to learn these topics as I hadn’t studied for so long. However, over time with the help of the trainers, I was able to learn faster and cope.” The program also offers self-defense lessons to the women to help them cope with any issues.
After three months of intense training and hard work, she passed her driving license test.
“I think this was the greatest achievement for me. However, it didn’t stop there, I cleared the job interview too”, she smiles.
Impact: Sindhu joined Bimal Maruti Auto Agency as a driving school instructor. She is able to contribute to her family expenses and also has gained respect of her in-laws and family.
“If it wasn’t for this program, I would have been still at home and always dependent. I’ve never been happier as I know I’m capable of achieving any goals now. I forever grateful to Societe Generale and Reaching Hand”.
Feedback from her employer: “Within this short span of time, she has learnt her role well and started delivering desired results. We found her to be quick learner, team player and willing to take additional responsibilities. She is an asset to our organization and we are happy to work with her.” – Bimal Auto Agency
Find out how Societe Generale GSC sparks social change through its various initiatives with this video. #SparkSocialChange