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The roles and responsibilities of many of the women from these families have changed overnight.

In a bid to help women from families that have lost their breadwinners to Covid-19 in the recent surge in India, the IC3 Institute, a U.S. non-profit, will enable them with training and employment opportunities. These women will be trained as career counsellors and connected with full-time employment opportunities within IC3's global network of high schools, says the Institute.

"The battle against Covid-19 is far from over as communities grapple with the socio-economic aftermath of the diseases such as hunger, poverty, and unemployment. One such challenge is the loss of the breadwinner in many families. The recent mortality analysis of Covid-19 deaths indicates a higher number of male deaths than females. This results in the possibility of the death of a male member of the family, who in the case of traditional Indian families, is often the breadwinner. Women have lost their husbands, daughters have lost their fathers and parents have lost their sons- perhaps the sole earner of the family. We came across countless stories of such women and their unimaginable suffering because of the pandemic in India. After losing loved ones, they now stand at the brink of imminent poverty, a cycle it will take them a couple of generations to come out of.

"The roles and responsibilities of many of the women from these families have changed overnight. With no breadwinner in the family, these women need to find employment and provide for their families or else the family will be pushed into poverty. Interim relief measures provided by the government and community organizations can provide temporary comfort but is nowhere close to being a sustainable and long-term solution. Without any employable skill/training or a livelihood opportunity, how will these women provide for their families in the long run," the Institute told IANSlife.

According to Ganesh Kohli, Founder, IC3 Movement and Chair, Board of Trustees, IC3 Institute, through the initiative, women from distressed families will be provided financial aid and welfare, training and education to become career counsellors, upskilling to prepare them to join the modern workforce, and socio-emotional counselling and life skills training, and will be linked to schools in their region to ensure sustainable employment opportunities.

Covid Survivor Without any employable skill/training or a livelihood opportunity, how will these women provide for their families in the long run? Photo by Unsplash



"As the second wave raged through the country, naturally, the focus for most funders and SPOs (Social Purpose Organizations) was directed towards providing relief. But, dialogues and a changing narrative on how to provide sustenance and ensure sustainable livelihood to the affected families must begin," he says.

"The training will be provided in a blended learning format, with a mixture of online and in-person learning. The cost of their travel, accommodation and food for the week of in-person training will be covered by the IC3 Institute. As the training proceeds, we will connect them to schools in their region to ensure sustainable employment opportunities," says Kohli.

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The IC3 Institute is currently raising funds to mobilize this initiative. The goal is to enable and empower 500 such women from underserved backgrounds that have lost their family earners to Covid-19.

"We plan to achieve this number over 2 years. We have already identified 50 such women with the help of our Advocacy Partner Covid Widows (#RiseAgain). We are starting the training program from September 2021 with the first batch of 150 women. Parallelly, we are also speaking to school stakeholders to create and offer full-time employment opportunities in their schools for these women," says the non-profit. (IANS/AD)


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