International Widows Day: Mukul Madhav Foundation, Finolex support widows in Kashmir and Maharashtra
Mukul Madhav Foundation and Finolex Industries have been working and supporting women empowerment in many ways. The United Nations observes June 23 as International Widows Day since 2011, to draw Global attention towards the voices of widows and to galvanise the unique support that they need. This day is followed at the Foundation to enhance and empower the lives of widows in our society.
Empowering widows and supporting their families also means addressing the stigma they face and to create an inclusion into our society. Supporting and empowering widows not only offer them new life to survive and educate their children, to be a good citizens of society.
The pandemic has devastated the condition even more for these women. They have been cut off from their social economic and family supports and rely on others for support. In this situation widows and lone women needs urgent attention.
The Foundation has been supporting widows over the last 22 years in Pune at the Mahila Sewa Ashram and Maher in Pune by enhancing their personal well-being.
A need assessment and survey indicated that widows are in high numbers in Osmanabad. This is due to the scarcity of rainfall, drought and leading to an increase in the number or farmer suicides. An estimated 312 widows have been identified in the Vashi and Kalam taluka in Osmanabad and were provided with Soya and Tuvar Seeds. The process began with identifying, helping with land acquisitions, training them with basic know how of farming through Krishi Vighyan Kendra and enhancing their marketing and pricing skills. The harvest was sold in the nearby market place. Around 60% of women were sele-reliant and has enabled them to pay their loans and send their children to school. In order to make this self-reliant seeds have been provided this year too to support them to be entrepreneurs on their own.
Alongside this the Foundation has spread its wings to support 60 women out of which about 12 are widows have been supported in Srinagar with grocery kit comprising of Sugar and Mustard oil.
Furthermore, 13 widows from Anusaya Mahila Ashram, Pawas, Ratnagiri have been supported with Kaftans, grocery and personal grooming kits. Even after the national law exists for widows there has been a dearth in the situation that they are in. To deal with this situation the Foundation strives hard to ensure that the sustainable development goals are addressed and accelerated.
Ritu Prakash Chhabria, Trustee at Mukul Madhav Foundation and Director, FIL said: ‘This has provided an opportunity to create awareness in communities to mitigate the pain and address challenges faced by these women. We at the Foundation will look at serving the women in our society and enhance their well-being.”
Finolex Industries Limited, headquartered in Pune, is India’s largest manufacturer of PVC Pipes and Fittings. Mukul Madhav Foundation (MMF) was established in 1999 as a Public Charitable Trust. Today it is renowned for its charitable activities in Healthcare, Social Welfare, and Education. One of MMF’s groundbreaking projects was to construct a 59 bed state of the art Neo natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Sassoon General Hospital, Pune. MMF also provides medical and financial assistance to the less fortunate in society who need various surgeries and rehabilitation.
It offers funding to educational institutions and also assists financially challenged students with their fees and living expenses. In 2010, Mukul Madhav Vidyalaya (MMV) an English medium school in Golap village, Ratnagiri was opened. The school has made the dream of getting a quality, all round, holistic education a reality for the children of rural Ratnagiri.
MMF has implemented many water schemes across rural Maharashtra & Gujarat, enriching the lives of thousands of villagers. The type of assistance given includes digging new wells, reviving old wells, installing electric pumps, and supplying water through tankers to the villages, as well as setting up water filtration units and water tanks.
MMF is registered as a charitable trust under the Bombay Charitable Act 1950. All donations are exempt from Income Tax under 80G Certificate. In April 2012 MMF obtained the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act Certificate (FCRA) which enables it to receive funds from abroad.