CSSG has dedicated 2015 as the ‘Year of Women’. During this year, the organisation has successfully educated 450 young men and women in gender sensitivity and 53 young underprivileged girls as chefs.
There are few opportunities for underprivileged young women in India and the ones available are not always utilized due to the restraints many women face in their societies.
There is an ongoing need to raise awareness and for female role-models to change this perception. It is important to show young women that there are opportunities beyond the conventional roles in society; we need to create venues that will empower them to make choices that can dramatically make a difference in their lives as well as in their communities.
We hope that by providing them with these opportunities they will be encouraged to take a step forward in their lives, strive for new career opportunities, and become inspiring role models for future generations of young women.
40 Girls to 40 Chefs
Giving underprivileged young women a career in the food industry.
The initiative provides support to young underprivileged girls with education opportunities through a course at a culinary school, followed by mentoring by industry experts and placement at leading standalone restaurants, hotels and organization in the related field.
In 2015, fifty-three girls have completed a culinary training course of two months within IHM Pusa, known to be one of the top hotel management institute in the country. The girls have successfully acquired the basic knowledge which will allow them to move forward with their aspirations to make a career in catering (hygiene, knife skills, storage, dishes and recipes, etc.). The training was coupled with mentoring and cooking workshops with internationally acclaimed Michelin chefs in the nationalcapital. The young women then integrated the workplace through mentoring and on-the- job-training – the practical part of the programme.
In addition to these fifty-three participants, there are more than two hundred young adults waiting to participate in the coming year.
The young women that are participating in the course are at least 18 or older and come from extreme poverty; many of them have been abandoned by their parents. These children all live and study in the non-profit foster homes that we work with. We have placed individuals with a special interest in areas covered by the hospitality sector. The participants have at least completed 10th grade in their schooling.
AD Singh’s Restaurants, Diva Restaurants, Jaya’s Cakewalk, Lavaash by Saby, L’Opéra, Red Moon Bakery, Saurabh Khanijo – Welgrow group, Shreya’s Kitchen, Sweet Nothings by Avanti, Tres…
‘And Still I Rise’: Education on gender stereotypes, though art
The project “And still I Rise” tackles the issue of gender discrimination by working through art and literature. It aims to use creative expression to address the issue of gender stereotypes and to empower girls at a formative stage in their life.
CSSG initiated a pilot project in 2014 and 2015 in order to gradually undertake wider actions. It includes a two-part workshop series, followed by an art exhibition and the realization of videos with well-known personalities.
‘And Still I Rise’ is an initiative created by Creative Services Support Group in collaboration with several partner organizations such as Flow India (Delhi) and A New Direction (London) to run an international project, aimed to examine young women’s future aspirations and thereby educating children in India and around the world on gender stereotypes and inequality issues.
The project was launched with a series of creative writing workshops for senior school aged girls in Delhi/DCR that has also been replicated in other parts of the world (Abu Dhabi, Mexico, UK, USA).
Girls aged 14 to 18 have been invited to write to the world on their personal hopes, dreams and aspirations for the future.
Besides that, a number of contemporary artists have been invited to produce works reflecting gender and the power of writing. An art exhibition, the “Art Exhibition and Outreach Project”, presented a selection of the letters with the artwork.
The second set of workshops used the exhibition as a rich cultural resource to excite and engage children and young people, both boys and girls in order to consider the notion of gender in a new light.
The exhibition was supported by many respected personalities from a cross section of the society, who came together to recite the letters written by the girls. This was coupled with these women reciting the poem “And Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou.
- Banoo Batliboi (India)
- Eva Pacheco (Spain)
- Felicia Murray (USA)
- Katharina Poggendorf-Kakar (Germany)
- Louise Gardiner (UK)
- ManilRohit (India)
- Nandan Ghiya (India)
- Natalia Ludmila (Mexico)
- Pratul Dash (India)
- Princess Pea (India)
- Puja Bahri (India)
- Qamar Dagar (India)
- Saba Hasan (India)
- Sachin George (India)
- Samit Das (India)
- Vibha Galhotra (India)
The initiative was further supported by a short film and a call to action featuring some incredible female role models :
- Aarti Dham Jain (Company Director)
- Abha Adams (Educationalist)
- Aditi Kapoor (Entrepreneur)
- Aditi Mangaldas (Dancer)
- Aditi Rao Hydari (Actress)
- Anjolie Ela Menon (Artist)
- Anna – Marie Lopes (Communications Executive and Domestic Violence Victim)
- Anoushka Menon (Photographer)
- Dia Mirza (Actress and Activist)
- Girija Shivakumar (Journalist)
- Julia Carmel Desa (Chef)
- Konkona Sen Sharma (Actress)
- Kusum Haidar (Theatre Actress)
- Lushin Dubey (Theatre and Film Actress)
- Namrata Joshipura (Designer)
- Nandini Bhalla (Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan India)
- Nishat Fatima (Editor of Harper’s Bazaar India)
- Omkari Devi (Taxi Driver)
- Payal Pratap Singh (Designer)
- Poonam Muttreja (Executive Director, Population Foundation of India)
- Priya Paul (Hotelier and Business Woman)
- Riddhima Kapoor Sahni (Designer and Home Maker)
- Ruchi Sibal (Entrepreneur)
- Shabana Azmi (Actress and Activist)
- Sheetal Dewan (Counselor and Artist)
- Shefalee Vasudev (Editor of HT Mint India)
- Sonalika Sahay (Model)
- Sonam Kalra (Singer)
- Soniya (Beautician and Acid Attack Victim)
- Vidushi Mehra (Theatre and Film Actress)
To view the films please visit our Youtube page at http://bit.ly/1MyRgf2
The workshops in 2015 touched the lives of over 450 children (two age groups: 7-12 years / 14-18 years).
The initiative is supported by Amtek and their CSR initiatives, Instituto Cervantes, New Delhi, Hypatia / Club UNESCO in Mexico and the Spanish Ambassador to Delhi. Additionally CSSG has the support of a number of artists, who donated pictures to the exhibition.
“Creative awareness of gender is the need of the hour and hence I stand committed to this cause by CSSG. To uphold the voices of our girls expressing their aspirations, their dreams and their plans. To inspire them, to wipe their tears to give them the wings to soar I stand by them.”
Dia Mirza, Actress and Activist
“Amtek has continually focussed on Children’s Education & skill development of youth. By supporting CSSG’s outreach program we have taken a step towards providing skill based training to young adults of the marginalized segments of the society who otherwise have limited opportunities. We firmly believe that youth needs to be provided vocational training in various creative fields to give them diversified options of employment thus becoming empowered citizens of our Nation with equal rights & opportunities.”
Mr. Anubhav Dham, Executive Director Amtek
“The CSSG programme ….… appears to be well thought out and highly relevant in these times. Would like to congratulate you for such an initiative!”
Manil Rohit Artists
“I have known about CSSG since their first fund raising event in 2011. Over the years I have got to know them better. The work and dedication they have on providing opportunities to young men and woman is phenomenal. It has been an honour to be able to support such a powerful initiative and utilise the creative sectors to help those less fortunate than us. On a more personal note I have found Anand Kapoor to be one of the few people I know who is focussed, dynamic and determined to make a change through the charity. It is important that we support such initiatives as CSSG in any way we can as this has the potential to make a massive change to the way we view poverty in India.”
Gustavo de Arístegui, Ambassador of Spain in New Delhi
Underprivileged youth receive career exposure opportunities in the creative sector of their interest. Such support complements their individual development plan and strengthens their profiles to be strong candidates for better and related job positions.
The “Career Exposure Support” (CES) aims to benefit underprivileged youth that have already received support provided by CSSG (such as training, education or mentoring) and need exposure in the creative sector of their interest.
In that regard, the CES helps youth to build up their experience in the field of interest, providing them with more skills and abilities to be more competitive in the job market.
Several strategies will make the project the best preparation for the job placement project. Therefore each action taken in that sense will be based on the specific needs of each youth on a case-by-case analysis.
All underprivileged youth already receiving support from CSSG
Monthly Inspirational Talks
Monthly inspirational talks benefit underprivileged youth in areas of their interest thanks to creative experts and professionals.
One of the lessons that CSSG has learned since its inception is that youth (and specially underprivileged youth) do need leading roles to gain motivation and confidence. Therefore, it has been decided that monthly inspirational talks would be initiated with famous leaders, to bring motivational roles to our beneficiaries so they can listen to their experience and advice, as well as learning from them.
All CSSG beneficiaries in general, indirectly, it might also benefit other youth coming from the same homes or social environment of our youth.