The Women’s Safety Accelerator Fund (WSAF) and the Assam State Rural Livelihoods Mission (ASRLM) have formalized their commitment to a transformative partnership. On December 1, 2023, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that aims to bring about positive change in the lives of tea garden women workers and the broader tea communities.
The collaboration between WSAF and ASRLM is strategically aligned with the ongoing initiatives of ASRLM within the tea gardens where WSAF operates. This partnership holds immense importance for WSAF as it endeavors to leverage the unique opportunities provided by the State Livelihood Mission to uplift and empower tea garden communities, particularly women workers.
One of the primary goals of this collaboration is to bridge the living income gap and enhance the overall well-being of tea garden communities. The initiative focuses on developing essential life skills among women, ensuring their access to government services, entitlements, and support. By addressing the economic and livelihood needs of tea garden women, the partnership aims to create a positive and sustainable impact on these communities.
The core strategy involves equipping tea garden women and girls with crucial skills and innovative technologies, enabling them to adapt to the evolving trends in the tea industry. This empowerment initiative encompasses various facets, including capacity-building programs for women and adolescents. Key areas of focus include marketable skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, digital enablement, and business development.
ASRLM’s role in facilitating linkages to the market is pivotal, as the joint initiative strives to raise awareness and create avenues for women to access productive resources. The Tea Estate Management (TEM) is set to play a crucial role in creating an enabling environment within tea gardens, supporting economic empowerment among tea garden women workers and adolescents. The initiative places specific emphasis on developing alternative livelihood options to enhance the socio-economic prospects of these communities.
WSAF is actively engaged in a convergence agenda with relevant departments of the state governments of Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The aim is to establish models of excellence in women’s safety and address Gender-Based Violence. By partnering with key departments and tea associations/tea-producing companies, WSAF is working towards creating a safer and more inclusive environment for women in the tea industry.