By Yashika Choudhary:
We live in a world where being aware is imperative to move forward as a society. The struggle for gender equality is not a new one, but with passing time what equality means has changed, grown and even expanded. Team Enactus at Lady Shri Ram College For Women, University of Delhi consists of a group of dedicated and passionate young women who wish to revolutionise the sphere of gender.
One of Enactus LSR’s current venture, Project Auric, is a product of their ideation and zeal to uplift of the most suppressed section of Mangar village in Haryana, its women.
Auric is a government-laboratory certified dishwashing liquid produced by these women with an unparalleled entrepreneurial spirit. The LSR Enactus team assists the community in acquiring a client base and help them carry out their daily business by fulfilling requirements.
The traditional method of cleaning utensils in villages like Mangar is using ash, this has several health consequences and leaves the utensils unsafe for use. Auric is completely safe to use and has been approved by the government.
The vision behind this initiative is to accentuate the spirit of cleanliness and sanitation by effective training of the community and also to provide them a sustainable means of livelihood
The objective behind Enactus LSR’s initiative is multi-fold, on one level the team wanted to bring about a change in the lives of the women of Mangar by making them:
1) Financially independent
2) Helping them break the shackles of obstructive patriarchy.
3) Accentuating the spirit of cleanliness and sanitation
4) Devising a self sustainable model of employment
On the other hand, the bottles used for packaging the dish washing liquid are:
1) User Friendly
2) Using PET plastic, which is easily recyclable and reusable
3) Environment friendly
The students have been working on expanding the outreach of the project through a wide array of programs. In order to give school and college students an insight into the sphere of social entrepreneurship, they launched a Students Representative Program, a 10 day training-cum-competition to inculcate marketing and entrepreneurial skills.
In addition to that, we launched the Women’s Referral Scheme where women who work as househelps double up as a sales executive and sell Auric to a stipulated number of households. Furthermore, through The Auric Ambassador Programme, the students themselves market a stipulated number of Auric bottles.
After three years of its inception, Project Auric has taken huge strides. Apart from having a positive impact on the lives of the women involved, the project has recently expanded to cover another target community in Kolkata. The project operates from the Santiniketan NGO of Kolkata which believes in women empowerment and aims to replicate Project Auric in regions of Goalpara and Asansol. The expansion to Kolkata has added 15 women entrepreneurs to the Auric business. The unique aspect of the dishwashing liquid is that it’s cost effective and works towards a larger social cause, providing potential customers incentive to invest in it.
“The women entrepreneurs in Mangar village now contribute to their household income, educate their children, and are learning to venture into the world outside their village. They can place orders using phones and also enthusiastically participate in the decision making for their business model”, observes Yeesheshvi Bhadana, the Vice President of Enactus LSR.
The unique efforts by the team at Enactus LSR inspires and motivates us towards social entrepreneurship but makes us more aware of the social impact a small step can have!