Indian women spend about 352 minutes a day doing unpaid domestic work, according to OECD data. This is 577 per cent more than men who spend just 52 minutes.In a patriarchal society, women, especially from underprivileged backgrounds often face abuse and harassment. Suffering from low self-esteem and bound by various family issues, women feel trapped. If these women are empowered by making them self sufficient they can find new hope in living life. One such effort is being made by social worker Jayalakshmi along with the help of Bengaluru Political Action Committee or BPAC.
Two years ago when social worker Jayalakshmi K got to hear several pleas for a job from housewives, she decided to do something about it.
Having worked with women, especially those from a poor and abusive household, for over half a decade, Jayalakshmi had many housewives coming up to her asking for any kind of job, to stay away from the abuse and sustain themselves.
“These were often women who were being abused, harassed or even abandoned by abusive husbands and in-laws. In an absence of any option to sustain themselves, they would often come to me for jobs. I have helped a lot of them, with help from Bengaluru Political Action Committee (BPAC).”
While working with women, Jayalakshmi noticed that many of them were not able to drive a two-wheeler and had to depend on public transport for commutation. “Imagine a woman working as a domestic help at one house, if she has the means to travel fast and safe, wouldn’t she be able to work at a few more houses and earn more than what she is earning now?” That was it. Jayalakshmi found a way to save their time and also give a boost their confidence at the same time.
And that’s how she came up with the idea of two-wheeler driving schools for women. “With help from organisations like B.PAC, started with a batch of 60 students. We have trained 35 of them and all of these women now hold a drivers’ license.”
Jayalakshmi helped five of these 35 women to get two-wheelers at zero down payment. Additionally, a few of them are undergoing training with delivery giants like Amazon, Swiggy, to become delivery partners.
“These women often suffer from low esteem. They think since they are uneducated and do not have the knowledge, they can never come up in life. We aim to shun such beliefs and make women self-sufficient,” says Jayalakshmi.
From the last 7-8 years, Jayalakshmi has been working in the space of women safety and women empowerment. She has helped at least 5,000 estranged women get counselling, legal help and a new lease of life.
The Logical Indian salutes Jayalakshmi for the amazing work she is doing.