Mumbai: While Interacting with Hello Mumbai News Correspondent Neha Singh, Dr. Sonal Rochani said that “ You can not sit in an AC room, travel in cars and hope to work for rural people. You need to meet them in person and develop trust and confidence to understand their problems.”
Many a times when the conditions of the tribal community were slated down, it has gone unseen and gets shoved back in the list of things that need our attention. It takes bold blood and grit to actually witness it in the locus and do something about it.
Dr Sonal Rochani, a social entrepreneur and founder of Shakti Foundation, works to help the underprivileged and reaching out to them.
She has graduated in PhD in English with a background in mass media for eight strong years. It was while working as a journalist with leading newspapers like Gujarat Mitra, Divyabhaskar and as Crime Reporter with Samna that facilitated her to get in touch with the harsh realities of the underprivileged section of the society. The distressed condition of the women and the high level of corruption involved in the usage of the central government funds dedicated to the tribal community inspired her to reach out to the underprivileged section of the society.
She floated her own NGO “Shakti Foundation” in 2011.
The NGO focuses on tribal women and their children who have no source of permanent livelihood and source of income. The NGO has joined hands with the government, communities and other key partners to help these tribal communities understand the importance of health, hygiene, education, skill development and livelihood. Illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, indebtedness, malnutrition, early marriage, gender discrimination which were recognized as major problems amongst others.
Shakti Foundation, which has been working for nine years towards the upliftment and empowerment of tribal women, took the initiative after coming to know of the problems being faced by them.
Amid Covid-19 they helped sex workers in providing ration.To generate source of income, Shakti Foundation started skill training.Sex workers were trained to stitch masks, bags, raincoats and other items.
Apart from ration and other essentials, the NGO also ensures that the sex workers earn their livelihood in a more respectful manner.
To provide this tribal women sustainable means of livelihood the Foundation is focusing on two flagship project .To support a self help group to start their own unit of sanitary napkins manufacturing through which will help the tribal girls and women to lead a sustainable livelihood and get access to low cost good quality pads.
Guddi Comedy is the second project that sensitizes people on how women can protect themselves amid difficult circumstances.
This comic book has a 12 year old protagonist named Guddi, who along with a Gang of girls fights with the evils if society. Like it explains good touch, bad touch, how minor and adolescence girls can defend themselves from rapes and molestation etc remain free and safe.
Her main aspiration is to work for the betterment of the society.She has done many projects for the Welfare of the people.
Meanwhile, she proved that “ACTION SPEAKES LOUDER THAN WORDS”
News Input by : Neha Singh
News Edit by K.V.Raman