Creative Diverse - Unique
WISH (Women's Independent Self-Help) Network
The WISH Network consists of an eclectic mix of mentors, community leaders, teachers, alumni, students, social workers and volunteers who work for the upliftment of poor and marginalized women. Grassroots India’s WISH Network provides scholarships for housing, food, vocational training, education, medical aid, legal aid, and counseling. Its vision is to build individual and group capacity for self-sufficiency, self-governance and service to others. The WISH Network approach to personal growth is multi-faceted and holistic, encouraging positive development of body, mind & spirit.
Hariharananda Vocational Training Center
The Hariharananda Vocational Training Center (HVTC) is a residential vocational & life skill training center for girls 18-30 years. Several classes and workshops, from one month - one year, are offered which enhance students’ ability to create the life they want. Life skills and personal growth through holistic development and self-exploration is emphasized with practical application of knowledge expressed through self-selected projects. Social service is a strong component of the program activities. Students may apply for admission through an ongoing application process, interview and case history review. Selected candidates will clarify goals and design plans to achieve them through learning and applying concepts of the creative process.
Linkages & Job Placement
Grassroots India continues to help students link with various educational and training opportunities and find suitable employment. Girls enhance their soft skills and are given assistance with college & ITI admission, creating CV’s, and establishing proper identification, such as adhaar and PAN cards. Those who graduate from First Aid and Home Health Aid courses are offered internships and job placement at hospitals & nursing homes. Tailors easily find self-employment in their village or jobs in the garment industry. Computer and small business students receive placement in offices and retail shops.
Grassroots India grants full and partial scholarships to under-privileged and meritorious students who want to continue their academic education. Grants for college admission, exam fees and textbooks are awarded to qualifying candidates. Our social workers guide students through online admission procedures and exams. In addition to individual scholarships, Grassroots India also provides textbooks to children through coordination with teachers and headmasters at high schools and contributes library books to partner schools and colleges in remote rural villages.
Medical Aid & Mental Health Counseling
Grassroots India offers a private ambulance service to the WISH Network for medical training and transportation. There has been an overwhelming need for rural women to access medical care, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. Lack of medical facilities in rural Odisha, coupled by housing and transportation difficulties, leaves many women neglected and in serious medical condition. Grassroots India provides comfort by assisting with hospital admission, home cooked meals, transportation, and temporary housing. Small grants are given for doctor visits and diagnostic tests to qualifying applicants.
Mental & spiritual health has been a Grassroots India priority from its inception. Professional mental health services are offered free of charge by trained psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. Individual and group sessions are interspersed throughout our program to offer opportunities for self-development.
Students participate in medical aid services and attend various health care classes as part of our curriculum.
Grassroots India provides preliminary consultations with lawyers and advocates for women who require legal counsel. Grassroots India has forged a good relationship with several individual lawyers and often utilizes the services of CLAP (Coalition for the Legal Aid to the Poor) who provide complimentary legal advice to those without resources. We routinely are referred cases involving domestic violence, sexual abuse, land dispute, abandoned women and baby girls, and various other women’s’ rights violations. Due to our professional mental health counseling program, we rarely need to pursue legal action. Resolution often can be achieved through diplomacy, but in cases where resolution is not possible, a strong legal team is essential.
Odisha has been subject to continuous natural disasters over the years leading to extensive environmental challenges. Inadequate drainage for water and sanitation leads to lost homes and disease. Inadequate medical facilities in the villages and a lack of health education leads to various emergency medical needs. Grassroots India routinely provides training, logistics, and aid to those suffering in times of emergency. Private ambulance service is offered through our WISH Network.
As part of the selection process for Hariharananda Vocational Training Center & the WISH Network, a social worker will visit the students’ native village within the first 30 days of admission. Subsequent follow up visits may be conducted throughout the girls’ training, and up to one year after graduation. Building a loving relationship with family, friends and key community members helps to establish lasting improvements while also documenting case histories. Programs have also been conducted in community centers and schools for healthcare, women's rights and vocational training workshops.
Infrastructure & Capital Assets
Hariharananda Vocational Training Center is located in a newly-constructed leased building at Plot No. 5D/1427, CDA Sector 10, Cuttack, Odisha. The neighborhood is safe & secure and the property has CCTV throughout. We can accommodate 18 residents and hold workshops for 60 students. The facility has three kitchens, 6 dormitory rooms, a computer lab, classrooms, WISH Shop, offices, five bathrooms, several verandas, and a large multi-purpose garage. Staff remain in residence at all times and social workers, with access to transportation, are available 24/7/365. The training center has all needed kitchen equipment, several computers, tailoring machines, display cases, office equipment, and an ambulance.