In India, a farmer commits suicide once every 32 minutes. Since 1995, over 3,00,000 farmers have committed suicide leaving behind distraught wives and children, many having no roof over their head. To help such farmers’ widows to get back on their feet, Habitat for Humanity India has been helping the widows to build a home for their family.
As part of a wider humanitarian effort, 50 women from the world of business, industry and Habitat for Humanity India’s Women Build India members came together to spread awareness and support the families of farmers’ widows in Maharashtra.
“It is time to adopt a gender-sensitive approach to the problem of farmer suicides in Maharashtra that has reached unprecedented scale and proportions. Our Women Build India strives to help such women gain respect and dignity in their community. Today’s meeting was one such initiative to empower women to come forward and help more women in need,” said Sheila Kripalani, Chair, Women Build India, Habitat India and Managing Trustee of Grace International and Board Member of Terry Fox (India) Committee.
“We need to recognize that women form a key part of the rural economy and social ecosystem. Efforts need to be expedited to ensure their sustainable development and empowerment by providing them a strong social security net and long-term livelihood measures,” said Raell Padamsee, Managing Director and CEO, Ace Productions and Founder, Create Foundation.
“I am really happy to be here today. I’ve heard about Habitat’s Women Build India and today I am understanding the extent of good work of providing shelter for marginalised women in the country,” said Zeba Kohli, chocolatier, philanthropist and entrepreneur.