At the Women’s Cell meeting on 7th December 2002, it was decided that ICWA would work with the women from the slums of Mandiri and Chakaram to bring about a holistic change in their lives. These two urban slums were chosen because of the familiarity of the people of these areas with our other projects. It was felt that health care and hygiene, adult literacy and economic empowerment of the women would create a ripple effect and contribute to the uplift of the family in particular and the society in general.

It is not easy to overcome initial resistance to change. ICWA regularly conducted interactive seminars for them, to identify the problems faced by the women in their day-to-day lives. Most of the women expressed a desire to be economically independent and to acquire basic literacy.

In order to promote economic self-Sufficiency, ICWA strengthened the traditional skills which they already possessed cane weaving, basket weaving etc. for the women of Mandiri and tailoring and embroidery for the women of Chakaram. Along with this, ICWA trains women from the slums in the making of decorative'diyas', and candles. They are trained by Mrs. Chitra Sinha, who also imparts training in tailoring and embroidery.

Healthcare of the residents of the slums is a major concern of ICWA and so regular medical check-ups and health camps are organized for the people of the slums where visiting doctors treat them for various diseases and medicines are distributed free of cost.


  1. Dr. Shampa Ghosh.
  2. Mrs. Chitra Sinha.
  3. Dr. Vandana Datta.
  4. Dr. Sister Marie Jessie.
  • To identify women living below the poverty line.
  • To identify problems faced by them in their day to day lives.
  • To help them lead a life of dignity and self respect.
  • To promote basic health care and hygiene.
  • To make available free or low cost medicines for common ailments.
  • To train these women in income generating skills in order to empower then and make them economically self sufficient.
  • To help them establish viable small scale business.
  • To promote marketing skills among these women to enable them to market their products successfully.
  • To provide marketing windows to showcase the products manufactured by the women under this scheme.
  • To provide legal counsel.
  • To provide basic literacy to enable them to manage their daily affairs efficiently and independently.