MJAS in collaboration with HAQ centre for child rights and Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT) started its first Digital Empowerment (Tech) Centre in Ajmer in 2016.
In 2018, another centre was opened in Kekri Block with the support from Digital Empowerment Foundation and Child Rights and You (CRY).
Ajmer district situated in central Rajasthan is a geographically beautiful region of Rajasthan. It is a religiously touristic place along with its rich culture and tradition. Numbers of special communities live here are Cheetah – Mehrat; Kalbeliya; Rawat Gurjars etc known for its beautiful handicrafts, the colour and its culture. But, behind this beauty also lies children away from education, child marriage a social epidemic. Not only girls but boys also suffer from this epidemic. There is deep rooted casteism and patriarchy that controls girls to dream and aspire. MJAS believes in holistic development of upcoming generations hence it started tech centre for Adolescent girls in 2016, to technically empower adolescent – young girls.
The girls show resistance and question the structure. MJAS support them to challenge the norms and empower them to take charge of their own life. Many girls are delaying their marriage and “gauna”. The tech centre gave them a space where they can be themselves and learn not only about computer but also to face challenges that life throws on them. The courses also include life skills, gender sensitisation and citizenship rights. It has given a hope in girls’ life to conquest the social norms and create a better world for themselves.
Tech-Centre started with three main objectives: Girls becoming Informative – Knowledgeable – Employable
1. Empowering girls through the use of technology: “Digital- Kishori Bane Saksham” aims to empower girls by building awareness and participation in technology. So, that they can challenge social norms confidently. It works toward encouraging and enabling girls to feel capable and comfortable in working with technology and collaborating with other networks.
2. Building safe space for girls – Building safe space for girls – A support and resource centre for girls, the tech centre provides a safe space for girls to explore and share their thoughts and desires. Discussions and activities are based on values of justice, equity, inclusiveness, and sustainable development. The program addresses the important issues of gender and sexuality as it impacts the development and lives of young girls. A non-judgemental and fearless space is built for sharing friendship & solidarity amongst girls.
3. Leadership amongst girls: Through capacity building it helps girls to become leaders who are able to take decision of their own lives. Girls start raising voices for equality and against violence, accessing rights and entitlements. They are also become economically empowered by using technology as a medium for livelihood.
Profile of the girls: Adolescent girls of age group of 14-22 years belonging from socially and economically marginalised groups are the main beneficiaries of the tech centre. These girls are either pursuing college, completed school and dropped out of school after completing grade 10th. Since 2017 so far 200+ girls have completed computer courses at the Ajmer and Kekri centres.
Mahila Jan Adhikar Samiti
EP 1 Vidhyut Marg, Shastri Nagar, Ajmer, Rajasthan-305001 INDIA