A youthful organization called NriNam, established by Aishwarya Tandon from Gurgaon, has taken young girls from a jhuggi (a slum dwelling typically made of mud and corrugated iron) into its tremendous hearted grasp. Nrinam is an arbitrary name, a combination of Tandon’s parents’ name Started in February 2016. Nrinam prepared 17 young ladies (all above the age of 14) over a time of seven months in different specialties. The young girls have been trained in abilities like wrapping chocolates, weaving, sewing, adornments making, spoken English and science. Tandon wanted to start this organization in 2014 but due to insufficient financial conditions could not do it, therefore she did part time jobs with college, and then started taking tuitions, 2 years later in 2016, when she had enough money, started it in February.
“Because this Jhuggi is a very orthodox area, it took me a while to get the girls to school. Therefore, money was the only driving force. When we started, we were paying girls just to come and learn because they would lose money if they came and spent hours in school, as most of them either take care of small roadside stalls or beg,” says Tandon. The organisation’s work dynamic is very simple.
Generally, either her mother (Poonam) or her Grandmother (Kamal) teaches cloth techniques, like stitching, sewing, various forms of kadhai and appliqué. They also hire teachers if there is something specific she needs them to learn, for example block printing and she herself takes care of the chocolate making and wrapping. They want to give these girls a taste of life that they dream of and have a concept of wishes in the school, where girls save their money which they have earned, to buy what they want. With every product you buy from them, you get a little portfolio of who made the product and their wish.
While fighting for the equality and rights of the underprivileged women there were times when the organization was in financial problems.but the young girls collectively told me to stop saying them to come to school, and only restart once they start making products, “That by far has been a very happy moment for Nrinam,” says Tandon.Once the school started, there was no thinking back until the point when Tandon came up short on reserves. It was temporarily shut. Be that as it may, another young girl came with the expectation of learning here.
Little had the Nrinam people known that this new girl carried with her a tumult of societal issues. Strangely, the guardians of the other young girls began hauling their girls out of school on finding out about this new young lady.”The new girl used to spend a major chunk of the day alone owing to her mother’s job as a domestic cook. One of such days, they say her chacha (Uncle) came to see her and forced himself on her.
The girl didn’t complain to anyone until it became a regular feature and finally she broke it to her mother. The mother told her to keep quiet about it. However, in a weak moment with her friends she leaked it to them. The news spread like fire in the slum and the mother-daughter duo was asked to leave the colony.” The school set out to not relinquish this new girl and keep running with or without the other girls.
The other girls, however stifled at first, went on a hunger strike and their guardians in the long run yielded into sending them school once again.Her vision is to see Nrinam a fully fledged company run by the economically marginalised. By that she does not mean they become labourers to a commercial set up, but instead they run the managerial roles too. And therefore they need a commercial standing, hence a company. They also are against donation, and neither wants external help from the government. Since the enterprise aims to achieve social justice and independence for these girls, donations would seem negative.
“For them that is begging which is the life that they have come out of,” says Tandon