Anoothi was Co-founded by Jaimala after she worked intensively with orphaned and abandoned children through Vatsalya for eight years. (www.vatsalya.org). Vatsalya began taking care of orphaned and abandoned children in 2001.
It was observed that most of the children Vatsalya took into its residential care program came essentially from families where the father was absent. He was absent because either he was dead, alcoholic, abusive, unemployed, disabled or simply not interested in supporting his family. That responsibility in such cases fell upon the mother who, like most girls raised in poor families in India, was neither educated nor skilled to be self-sufficient. This made these women and their children vulnerable to the risk of starvation, abuse and exploitation – physical and emotional.
Thus, Anoothi was created in 2008, a social enterprise for women, of women, by women. Anoothi’ means Unique and Extraordinary in Hindi. The goal of Anoothi is to make these women aware of how ‘Anoothi’ they are. We aim at and work for TRUE empowerment of women from marginalized and oppressed communities. This means that Anoothi provides Direction, Support and Training in vocational/life skills to these women so that they can live a life of dignity, gain financial independence and provide for their families. The marginalized women that Anoothi reaches out to and works with are from remote villages and the smoldering slums of Jaipur. Most of them used to work as daily wage casual laborers, digging roads, weeding farms, etc., until Anoothi enrolled them in their livelihood and economic empowerment program. Over 500 women forced in the sex trade in order to feed their children also comprise of Anoothi work force. Together, over 4000 women are trained by Anoothi so far and over 600 work directly with Anoothi earning anything between ₹4000 to ₹ 12000 per month. When we began in 2008, these women could barely say a straight sentence about themselves. Today, they hold positions as Trainers, Senior Artisans, Supervisors, Managers, Community Mobilizers, and so on. Most importantly, they MANAGE their own lives!