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INDIA: Women receive electric autos for businesses

Salesian-run Fishermen Community Development Program provides electric vehicles to fisherwomen


(MissionNewswire) The Fishermen Community Development Program, part of the Salesian Province of Bangalore, has begun distributing electric automobiles to fisherwomen in Kollam, Kerala, India. The Fishermen Community Development Program was started in 1979 to assist people who make their living from fishing in the coastal area of Kollam.

The Fishermen Community Development Program has been working to empower women through the development of micro-enterprises, skills training and with production of goods so that they are able to make a living. The new initiative is providing the transportation the women need to help run their businesses.

The Honorable Prasanna Earnest, mayor of Kollam, said in her inaugural speech that this new initiative is yet another step in helping fisherwomen develop their businesses and have long-term financial sustainability. A K Dilu, regional transport officer, applauded the Fishermen Community Development Program for its focus on environmental protection with the distribution of the vehicles. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Vincent Machado, vicar general of the Diocese of Kollam, appreciated the Salesians efforts and this project which is working to bring about a cultural shift among fisherfolk.

“This initiative is one among many Salesians have launched to help ensure that women have an opportunity to have success in business,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Salesians also know the local landscape because they live in the communities they serve and are able to tailor programs like these to ensure they are providing directly what people need most.”

Access to professional training and workforce development services is highly valued by youth in India. The country, which is home to 1.34 billion people (18 percent of the world’s population), will have overtaken China as the world’s most populous country by 2024, according to the World Economic Forum. While India has the world’s largest youth population, it has yet to capitalize on this, leaving some 30 percent of this population without employment, education or training.

More than 22 percent of India’s population lives in poverty. About 31 percent of the world’s multidimensionally poor children live in India, according to a report by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative. A multidimensionally poor child is one who lacks at least one-third of 10 indicators, grouped into three dimensions of poverty: health, education and standard of living.

Salesian programs across India are primarily focused on education. Salesian primary and secondary education in the country helps youth prepare for later technical, vocational or university study. Other programs help to support poor youth and their families by meeting the basic needs of shelter, proper nutrition and medical care.



Don Bosco India – Fisherfolk Women to Drive Electric Autos; FCDP Gearing Up Cultural Shift

Photo courtesy of Don Bosco India

Salesian Missions – India

World Bank – India

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