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WIFF 2017 screens films on corporate initiatives to mobilize resourcefulness of women

WIFF 2017 screened two films, From Despair to Confidence and When Women are the Mainstay, presented by SHAPE, a not-for-profit organization.

Mr Karlekar from SHAPE

Ramna Walia

With its sustained focus on the issues of livelihoods and gender, the 5th Woodpecker Film Festival saw films by non-for-profit organizations like SHAPE (Society for Human Advancement and Progressive Education), that is dedicated to bring about development in the community. The organization has worked to create an advantageous environment for the underprivileged to uplift their lives and communities.

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The festival screened two films presented by SHAPE— From Despair to Confidence and When Women are the Mainstay. The films are a part of Indian conglomerate, ITC Limited, and its multiple social responsibility initiatives.

From Despair to Confidence, for instance, talks about Mission Sunhera Kal, a project under ITC’s Social Initiative Mission, that has changed lives of community members in districts of Bundi and Mindoli. The project has seen building of dedicated farmer groups working on a series of water harvesting structures, reclaiming waned pasture lands, buoyant water table leading to diversified crops with higher yields for the farmers.

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The steps helped create community work culture with particular interest in mobilizing resourcefulness of women. Women are assisted to acquire farm machinery and trained to run custom hiring centres that rent equipment effective in cost-cutting.

Targeting the hardcore initiative by ITC, SHAPE’s When Women are the Mainstay showcases ITC’s work with the NGO, Bandhan in establishing a grant based program for creating micro-financing skills and confidence for the most socially challenged group among the poor population — women.

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With the objective to break the chain of poverty among women in West Bengal, the initiative organizes skill-centric workshops where women are funded to start their own businesses in the fields of livestock, trading, or both.

Besides on-site support, the initiative helps organize camps and workshops to build solidarity that further helps women to focus on issues of education, health and sanitation.

At the screenings of the two films, Mr Karlekar from SHAPE discussed the role of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in sectors such as health, sanitation, vocational training, etc. and how ITC’s wide-range of work in these fields, particularly in argiculatural practices and organic farming, is helping the cause. He went on to say, “I know these are simple films because the idea, primarily, is to demonstrate method and help community institutions”.

Women and their stories form the bulk of these projects. According to Karlekar, “Around 50 million households are dependent on women’s income, whether they are single, married, or dealing with an aging or physically challenged family member. Our idea is to identify, motivate, and train them.”

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Woodpecker International Film Festival