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AWAKE : Association of women entrepreneurs of Karnataka

Updated on October 4, 2011

What a Life

In India women are still to find their footing financially. Even today well educated women sit at home to raise a family rather than continue working. For the majority of the middle class husbands it is still a matter of concern that the woman wants to leave the comfort of the home and work.

The man feels he is an inadequate provider if she insists on working. The younger generation is taking it in their stride in urban areas, but in the rural regions its another story. Perhaphs the history of this lies in the fact that India was primarily an agricultural society. Every one had to toil in the fields. So as soon as the family was prosperous enough to hire some help the first thing was to take the women out of the fields.

To work was unnecessary for these more fortunate women. Then came industrialization and men went to towns to seek work. The women were left behind in the villages to take care of the family, the land and any other issues. The man would send home money from the city and visit once a year. Women were again required to stay at home and keep an eye on things.

Then educating the kids became an issue. Most rural youth was put into hostels in urban areas to continue their learning. This became an exposure to the outside world and few wanted to return to the village. The girls included. So many opted for jobs in towns. Unfortunately getting the daughter married is still a major issue with most parents. So this girl would choose to marry into a relatively urban society.

There she would be expected to be the traditional rural wife and stay at home. Naturally it was something not acceptable. Yet most of them conform, have babies and adjust as well as they can. Then when they have some spare time, they start up little buisnesses from the home. These side buisnesses is what AWAKE helps and supports women with.

Financial Independence for women

AWAKE is the association of women entrepreneurs of Karnataka. Bangalore based, the institute was started by 7 visionary women in 1983. They were Ms. Madhura Chatrapathy, Ms. Kiran Majumdar, Ms. Lekha Chand, Ms. Shandrila Naidu, Ms. Indrajeet Sahani, Ms. Aban Minochar,and Ms. Supanya Datta.

What started out as a small venture is today a state wide organization. They are not only helping women learn new skills, they also help set up businesses for them to gain financial independence. AWAKE now has a number of projects on in the Indian state of Karnataka. They provide training for mushroom cultivation, agarbati making, food retailing, and many other similar projects.

Women can attend the training workshops and set up shop in their own homes. Many have progressed well with their enterprises. The sucess stories on their website tell their tale. A number of case studies are available for motivation.

Here is a list of some success stories


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    • profile image

      Natalie 8 years ago

      This is a fantastic initiative and the success you've had to date is excellent. Can't wait to read more about it

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      Glad I was able to inform you about something you did not know.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      An interesting article. It made me rethink my pre conceived ideas about how woman are treated differently in other cultures and the reasons why. Thought provoking. Thank you for sharing these details.

    • Philipo profile image

      Philipo 8 years ago from Nigeria

      The issue is not peculiar to India. I think it is a global thing. I wish you success.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 8 years ago from India

      Was it on TV too? I got to know about them from a friend who is doing her PHD on women entrepreneurs. She used their data and had them fill out some specific forms of her own. I helped her sort out all the material. It was enlightening what all schemes these ladies have come up with.

    • kiran8 profile image

      kiran8 8 years ago from Mangalore, India

      Excellent info, I was watching a local news programme on this just the other day :)