Running for a cause

Motivated and determined not by the spirit to compete but to help improve lives of many underprivileged women, supporters of Kamalini participated in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon held in November, 2014, inviting donors to sponsor their run. An active Kamalini volunteer, Marian Duran completed the 21K run in 2 hours while Wayne Andrady was the youngest of individual runners who was applauded for dedicating his time towards a noble cause despite his studies. Wayne gathered classmates from Mount St Mary's School to form a Youth Challenger team and garnered support from their past students' association. Some Kamalini students and volunteers of Housekeeping, Computers and Cooking also fielded a Youth Challenger team for the 6K run. Dr. Vero Dinand exceeded her target as Dream Maker running the 21K in her third appearance on behalf of Kamalini. Another individual runner, Claire Komives grabbed a spot among the highest fundraisers in the I-Pledger category. Though it was a test of physical strength for the runners, they knew it would result in positive change for countless people less fortunate than they are. Thank you, Kamalini Dream Team, and thank you, donors!

A day with the Capital IQ team

As a part of its community impact month project, McGraw Hill Financial partnered with Protsahan to extend support for the training activities by providing a grant for equipments and materials for Kamalini Centres. The volunteers from Capital IQ (a venture by McGraw Hill Financial) also conducted a small event for our beneficiaries to formally donate the equipments purchased and hold an activity based session.

Fast food and sweet dish making competition along with embroidery competition in the parallel were the initial activities of the day. The volunteers relished the dishes prepared by students and judged them in their different categories as winners and runner ups. They also showed their keen interest in learning few of the prepared items. Looking at the finesse, design and neatness of the hand embroidery, the participants were judged in their category for the prizes. The winners of the different competitions were awarded certificates and a gift hampers. After a small interval, the volunteers performed a street play thematised on various discriminatory practices and forms of violence against women and the girl child. The aim was to bring out a strong message about gender equality and importance of educating a girl child. Confidence building activity for the students in marketing and entrepreneurship was the following activity where the students displayed and presented products made by them, as a manifestation of their creative learning at Kamalini sessions.The guests actively purchased few items from the students and placed orders for some of those that encouraged the students to promote their skills at a higher scale. The programme ended with a vote of thanks to the volunteers and a small souvenir to them on behalf of Kamalini.

Kamalini Fest with the Alumni

The last weekend of April 2014 witnessed an exciting event at Kamalini Shahpur Jat centre with the former and present students participating in various competitions and bagging winner prizes. Embroidery, singing and dancing were the competition categories in which each participant gave their best performances, showcasing their skills and talent to the audience. The event was witnessed by other Kamalini students, its staff members, some local employers, boutique owners and the councilor of Shahpur Jat, Meenu Panwar, as its guest of honor. Not only the winners were distributed with the prizes, all the participants were gifted Kamalini apparel set as a token of recognition. The vigor of the event instilled a sense of belongingness within the Kamalini students and the alumni.

25th to 29th March 2013: Visit of Ana Luz Huete, Chairperson of Fundacion DASYC

Kamalini was pleased to welcome the second visit of Ms. Ana Luz Huete, Chairperson of Fundacion DASYC (Spain) last week to evaluate the implementation of several projects that DASYC has supported along with the support of Bancaja for the student Production Centre and the Ayuntamiento de Valencia for the construction of the new campus. Ana Luz was really pleased to visit the construction site and the surrounding villages, to see how Kamalini has grown since her first visit in 2008, to meet the students and teachers, and to lead a brainstorm session with the Kamalini team. Thanks for your time and insights, Ana-Luz! All of us at Kamalini are so grateful for the hard work of so many volunteers and staff of DASYC to raise funds and awareness about Kamalini!

24/01/2014: Outstanding Performance by Kamalini Students

To upgrade the skills of our students to meet the industrial needs, Kamalini entered into a partnership with NIIT foundation for certification of the Basic IT course at its Delhi centres in July last year. A total of 24 students enrolled in the first batch of this programme and took an exam for certification in October, 2013.
This year’s Republic Day was chosen by Kamalini as an occasion to celebrate the success of its students who as the first batch of NIIT certification outshined in their performances. 40 certificates were distributed for different courses, out of which 24 NIIT accredited certificates were given with 2 students being awarded in the category of ‘Outstanding Performance’. Mr. Paramananda commented that this was the first time that NIIT has awarded students with ‘Outstanding Performance’ grade. The event was graced with interesting dance performances by small children and several Kamalini students and the programme concluded with the National Anthem.

Students of the first batch of the NIIT programme with their training instructor

Shivangini, a Kamalini student with Mr. Paramananda Santra, NIIT Foundation, NGO Partnership manager

11/12/2013 - Another Kamalini batch appear for Government Certificate Exams

The ninth batch of students enrolled under TECOS for cutting and tailoring and cooking courses took their exams for government certification. A total of 40 students attempted the TECOS exam for the out of which 11 students for cooking course and 29 for cutting and tailoring course. All the students were attempting exams for the first level of their course: Basic Sewing Operator and Assistant cook. The exams were in conducted parts of theory and practical assessment.
For the cooking practical exam students were asked to prepare different Indian cuisines and desserts.
For the cutting & tailoring practical exam, students were asked to draft and cut dress patterns as well as showcase different types of stitches.
All material and ingredients for both cutting and tailoring and cooking practical was provided by Kamalini.

05/12/2013 - First outstation session imparted by Kamalini

A five day workshop was organized by Kamalini for women working as domestic workers in the city of Ranchi, Jharkhand. Kamalini was invited by The National Domestic Workers’ Movement (NDWM), an organization working with domestic workers, children in domestic work and migrant domestic workers for the past 27 years. The participants had to be trained in housekeeping and some traditional Indian cuisines.Along with a Kamalini team member, a volunteer from Spain accompanied for the session, who consistently assisted in photo coverage of the entire workshop, bearing her own travel expenses.Training began at 10 am everyday and would end by 3-3.30. The morning sessions comprised of inputs on housekeeping (theory and practical) followed by a 15 minute break after which the cooking session would commence. The entire training was conducted in Hindi language. To make it more participatory, the trainees were divided into groups and each group was involved in activities related to what they learnt to enhance their understanding of the concept.On the last day of the training, 35 women who had attended the training received certificates of participation.

29/11/2013 – Deloitte conducts workshop as a part of their CSR

A workshop on ‘Importance of personal hygiene for women & adolescent girls’ was conducted by Deloitte on the occasion of their annual Impact Day and as a part of their CSR activity, at Kamalini Kishangarh centre. Six volunteers from Deloitte imparted approximate 5 hour session to 21 Kamalini participants. The workshop began with an introductory session followed by a quiz contest related to aspects of hygiene, for the participants. After a short refreshment break, a ‘let’s draw’ group activity involved in the form of drawing, poem, slogans etc. and the winning teams were rewarded with token prizes. The HR manager also visited the centre to understand about Kamalini and its work. They also saw the products made by our students (bags and Barbie dresses) and were very impressed with the work.

28/11/2013 - Kamalini team conducts survey in rural villages around Sohna

In order to study the demographics and educational needs of the people, entire Kamalini team visited different villages adjoining the new campus site, around Sohna in Haryana. Interesting statistics were the implication out of the interaction with 47 people in Haryana villages and 40 women in the urban villages of Delhi. Out of the total, 20% happens to be self employed, 18% are employed outside and 30% are unemployed. Around 21% of the women have higher education, 37% have technical/vocational skills and 12% reported no schooling at all. People narrated different reasons as obstacle to their aspirations like financial constraints, early marriage, gender discrimination, lack of opportunities, lack of awareness, lack of family support and other factors like safety concerns. There were women who had immense artistic skills but had no market knowledge as to how they could use their skills as a means to their improved livelihoods. Mixed nature of families, joint and nuclear, poor and well-to-do, all reported difficulty in managing household budget and minimal savings. Most of them had hopes with the upcoming Kamalini training centre in their vicinity that would help improve their lives and knowledge with education and skills training.

09/10/2013 - Third International Cooking exam with a renowned jury

A Main Tendue volunteer, Isabelle Lenseigne has been imparting International Cooking lessons at Kamalini Shahpurjat centre and the day for examining the students had arrived. Six students attempted the exams that were divided into two groups and were given a test to prepare the dishes - tapenade, cookies and Bolognese sauce. The judges' panel consisted of Ms. Ceri McGregor from British High Commission, Ms. Pascale Pécheur-Jacquet from Main Tendue and Mrs. Frances Chowdhary from American Women's Association. The judges had a pleasure to see all 6 young women performing confidently in the exam. They examined their team work as well as their individual knowledge. They evaluated in terms of their skills - organization of things, time management and team interaction. In the end, all the students cleared in their exam of preparing foods that are different from what they are accustomed to.

19/09/2013 - Kamalini Gathering!

A get together was organized by team & trustees of Kamalini to share with friends and well wishers the progress and future plans of Kamalini. Presentations were given followed by serving of refreshments and dance performance by Kamalini students. The gathering concluded with interactions between the guests and the Kamalini team members (staff, trustees and volunteers).

07/09/2013 - Awareness session for Kamalini students

An informal awareness workshop was conducted by Mrs. Annie Moraes at Kamalini Kishangarh centre. Annie Moraes newly appointed as the new Member (Finance), Telecom Commission. She is the first IP&TFAS officer to become Member (Finance), Telecom Commission. The 1979 batch officer of IP&TFAS had been serving as Senior DDG (WPF) in the rank of Additional Secretary. She is also a consistent donor and supporter of the Kamalini project. The main Objective of this workshop was to spread awareness about some of the rights amongst the girls and women of Kamalini. The session began with few queries about the problems faced by the participants and informing them about few government schemes that could be helpful in fetching benefits. The students were explained about the importance of ID proof, Ration card and Adhaar card and how to apply for these credentials. They were told about the facilities provided by the government like treatment facility provided to the physically disabled and the facility of regular pension, bus passes Facility provided to all the school-going and college-going students.

06/09/2013 - Wrap up workshop for Kamalini trainers

After 5 group coaching sessions that were held over a period of 5 months earlier, a wrap up workshop was held to build up on the learning's and the improvements among the members. The workshop was divided into few sessions and involved activities and tasks which had to be performed either individually or as a team. An introductory session followed by few other development sessions and a group activity was conducted in the workshop. The participants were also made to prepare a product and make a presentation of the same. The workshop ended with the coach summarizing the learning and experiences and how the participants could further evolve as individual selves.

17/08/2013 - Annual Kamalini Function on the 66th Independence Day

Another auspicious year and another great occasion to celebrate Kamalini's success with not less than 281 Kamalini students receiving their certificates (78 Kamalini certificates and 203 government certificates). Kamalini once again had its annual celebration addressing the Independence Day '13 and conferring the course completion certificates to its students. Mrs. Veena Kumari Bhutani, Administrative Officer (Training) - Directorate of Training and Technical Education, government of NCT India and Dr. Sanjay Kumar Managing Trustee, SEWA (Self Employed Women's Association), Delhi were the guests of honor, inaugurating the event. The students and staff actively participated in decorating the venue and perform at the event. A welcome song, cultural & folk dances, a classic parody, patriotic songs and fashion show, were active schedules of the function to showcase the creative talents of the participants.

16/08/2013 - Kamalini students appear for TECOS exams

The eighth batch of students enrolled under TECOS for cutting and tailoring and cooking courses appeared for their exams for the government certification, a total of 63 students (33 for Cooking and 30 for Cutting & Tailoring).

The exams were in conducted in two parts, theory and practical. For the cooking practical exam students were asked to prepare various Indian dishes and for cutting & tailoring, students were given to draft few dress patterns and few stitches.

31/07/2013 - Kamalini steps ahead to support the cause of Domestic Workers

Over five crore domestic workers, face vulnerable and unique work conditions, with no defined rights and privilege that any profession should get. Organizations working for domestic workers, trade unions and non-government organizations, have come together on a common platform to take up the campaign for the enactment of a comprehensive central legislation for domestic workers, based on the Constitution of India and the ILO Conventions for domestic workers No.189. The protest was held near Jantar Mantar where Kamalini representatives were present to support the cause. Folks of domestic workers gathered from every corner of the country, to voice their needs of defined rights and secured work conditions.

01/06/2013 - Life Skill Session at Ghamdoj Village by EY

As a part of the CSR activity, Ernst and Young conducted a life skills session for young girls and women at Ghamdoj Village in Haryana. There were 10 volunteers from EY and 14 students who were a part of the life skills sessions. The session began with a street play highlighting the prevalent social evils such as alcoholism and problems arising out of it, preference of a male child and discrimination against the female child.After the play, the participants were asked about their learning's and to identify a sense of right and wrong from the session.

They were also given a brief about the importance of budgeting in smooth functioning of a household. They were also given an activity to narrate their aspirations either towards their career or smooth functioning of their household.

29/05/2013 - Kamalini Outreach Programme at Ghamdoj Village

A one month outreach programme was conducted from late April to end of May 2013, at Ghamdoj village located in the proximity of new Kamalini campus. By the end of the programme, the students had given a presentation of what they learned and gained skills. They were taught Cutting and Tailoring, mainly to prepare their own clothes. There were 22 students in total who enrolled for the programme out of which 8 were married. The teacher Ms. Rajni was a native of the village and has been teaching C&T for over 12 years. The learners learned how to stitch clothes such as blouse, salwar kameez and small baby frocks as well. They were also taught 5 different types of neck designs.

24/05/2013 - Fundraising Dinner in Spain for Kamalini

Maria Luz and Esperanza, two Kamalini fans, organized in Madrid a fund-raising dinner for Kamalini among their friends. All the participants shared the enthusiasm for collaborating with the carrying out of this amazing project that will culminate in the completion of the new campus.

"We are convinced that Kamalini is not just a project that contributes to the improvement of social conditions of women in India, but also is a life project, a project for change that will mark the beginning of a new society, where the core values of ​​human beings will be respected. To see Kamalini is to understand that everything is possible, that what began as an idea is now a reality with a unlimited future."

17/05/2013 - Painting Workshop at Kamalini

Painting classes were conducted by 'Nayi Udaan' at Kamalini centres under the guidance of the art teacher Kajal Panwar, a renowned artist and the owner of Creative Solutions, who taught 'warli art' to our students. It was a two-hour session based on the theme of 'Women Empowerment'. There were seven volunteers from Nayi Udaan and twenty students from Kamalini Kishangarh centre who participated in the session held on 26th April, 2013. The session at Kamalini Shahpur Jat centre was conducted on 17th May, 2013 with 24 students attending the workshop guided by 3 volunteers and the art teacher.

Check out Nayi Udaan here

07/05/2013 - TECOS exams for 7th batch

Kamalini students enrolled in the 7th batch under TECOS for Cutting and Tailoring and Cooking courses appeared for their exam after completing their second level of the respective courses: Indian Cuisine (Cooking) and Tailor's Ladies (Cutting and Tailoring). A total of 65 students appeared for the TECOS exam for the government certification.

The exams were conducted in two parts, theory and practical. Students in the cooking course were asked to prepare few Indian cuisines whereas; the Cutting and Tailoring course students were asked to draft and cut out few dress patterns and show sample of various stitches.

01/05/2013 - Art Exhibit in New York for Kamalini

American Initiatives for Social Development and Artist Maria Jose Puerto are conducting a spring fundraiser art exhibition for Kamalini scheduled for May 8th - 12th, 2013 in New York City.Inspired by nature and sentiment, Ms Puerto's works include abstract profiles that make the landscape, light and colors a new lyrical image. The proceeds from the exhibition support the construction of the new Kamalini campus on Sohna Road.

Ms. Puerto said "with great excitement we collaborate with the Kamalini project, which is turning out to be a clear example of vision and support for the future of women in India. It has been my pleasure to work for the May exhibit in New York and for such a humane and generous cause."

The work of Maria Jose Puerto begins in the objectivity of the horizon, the countryside, earthy colors, the effects of shade or afternoon light from the waters of a lake, the sea, the sky, the mountains and hillsides glowing, or wild mystery lens. Her works resort to a friendly, less aggressive, tamer and sweeter format to trap our eyes and emotions.

We hope all our friends in the New York area can visit the fundraising exhibition, and take this opportunity to purchase beautiful art and support our cause! For more about Maria Jose Puerto and her work please see here

08/03/2013 - Women's Day Celebration

A day set aside to celebrate women, and what could be grander than Kamalini that aims to Empower Women! On this auspicious day, H.E. Mr. Francois Richier, Ambassador of France to India, Ms. Caroline Cayeux, Senator of Oise, Mayor of Beauvais, Member of the Senate Social Affairs Commission and Secretary of the Senate Delegation for Women Rights and Equality Between Men and Women, and Mr. Rodolphe Monnet, the Counselor for Social Affairs, Health & Labor Issues celebrated International Women's Day with Kamalini members and beneficiaries at the ShahpurJat centre.

The guests of honor visited the training rooms of the Kamalini centre; saw the creative works of the students, tasted the snacks prepared by them and later treated their eyes with the exotic cultural dance performance of the students. The beneficiaries were given a chance to interact with the French delegates and narrated their journey through Kamalini. The French Officials spoke few words of motivation for the students and also promised for a cooking session for them at the French Embassy.

All Kamalini members were enthused from the success of the event.

08/05/2013 - Group Coaching at Kamalini (Session V)

The final group coaching session was commenced after assessing the learning of the participants from the earlier sessions. The coach observed and analyzed drastic improvements in the perception, attitude and overall personality of the participants and then framed the fifth session based on the theme of conflict resolution and management.

An activity was undertaken wherein the participants were divided into 2 teams and each team had to identify some conflicts or challenges they face when they come to work at Kamalini on the basis of Personal, Work related and Future. The participants were then asked to find solutions to these challenges on their own so that they would be more determined and not be scared about facing challenges.

5 key points were focused upon to overcome challenges:
Finding the right balance
Having self esteem and confidence
Understanding the laws/rules to exercise one's rights
Networking and communicating sharing

The participants also had to enact the two-faced personality, i.e. a conflict in one's mind and were taught about balancing the facets of critical and creative thinking.

17/04/2013 - Group Coaching at Kamalini (Session IV)

The fourth session was designed and prepared after taking feedback and suggestions from the participants to discover or explore themselves as individuals and as team members. The session dealt with aspects of personality and how it affects the team.

The coach explained the characteristics of personality, the pros and cons of every positive trait and the factors affecting the personality of an individual. The participants were given different tasks of narrating and enacting to illustrate the traits in an individual. The session concluded by few points, advice and suggestions that would help improve their individual personality and behavior towards their work.

13/03/2013 - Group Coaching at Kamalini (session III)

The third session of the group coaching was based on the theme "Team Building and Motivation".

The participants were asked to share their experiences and changes they have felt in themselves post the two coaching sessions. They were later divided into groups and were asked to prepare a list of teams they had been part of in their lives and also cite an incident where they experienced something good or bad being a part of that team. The session also dealt with challenges in a team and some of the issues put forward by the participants included clash of interests, lack of communication, ego issues and alike. They were given a puzzle game to complete which showcased the way a team works and functions.

The session concluded with summarizing some of the key issues that needed attention amongst the Kamalini Team - more facilities / resources, more defined roles and responsibilities, delegation of tasks and duties.

21/02/2013 - Kamalini offers vital tips for Women's safety and security

Within our overall objective of empowering women towards a thriving future, Kamalini has stepped forward to help empower women against crime!

With collaboration of G4S India, Kamalini offered two-hour sessions on personal safety and security of women, to its students at both the Shahpurjat and Kishangarh centres on 21st and 22nd February, 2013 respectively. About 80 students attended the sessions conducted in Hindi by the experts of G4S. The students were grateful to learn techniques to minimize risks and avoid danger. Some tips on physical self-defense were given, but the focus was on personal awareness of potential threats:
Identifying situations where women are in most danger
Self-defense strategies
The risk triangle and how to minimize risk
Profile of attackers
How to avoid being attacked
Identifying emotions of others and use emotional language to de-escalate situations
Safety tips for everyday activities

The students and staff of Kamalini are sincerely grateful to G4S India for making these sessions possible.

20/02/2013 - Group coaching at Kamalini (session II)

The second group coaching session highlighted "My Positive Self" that began with each participant narrating one incident that made them glad, mad and sad that morning. This was done in order to make them understand the concept of emotions and feelings and how these govern the behavior and in turn affects the desired performance of the individual. The participants were given various tasks to prepare a vision board conceptualized on appearance/ identity/ image and determination revealing the emotional, health, mental and spiritual aspects. The session concluded with summarizing the day's activities and the learning's from the same.

30/01/2013 - Group coaching at Kamalini (session I)

Kamalini began with its first Group Coaching Session, out of its series that have been planned with Ms. Neena Luetz, a certified Life Coach. It involved the teachers and staff members of Kamalini focusing mainly on the goals and aspirations of "My Kamalini" and self awareness of "My Positive Self" amongst the attendees. The session held at Kamalini Shahpurjat Centre was conducted in multiple rounds where the participants had to perform various artistic activities like creating posters, advertisement, slogans, short play etc. that eventually concluded with the theme of the session.

The session helped to showcase the strong connectivity of each member with Kamalini and their commitment towards fulfilling its goals. The coach announced of an additional hour on Individual Coaching along with the Group activities in the next session.

17/01/13 - Outreach programme imparted by Kamalini

Kamalini, with the help of Bancaja, is conducting outreach classes in the villages of Haryana that fall in the proximity of the new Kamalini campus. The recent one month programme was held at Hariyaheda village where the number of beneficiaries reached out to was about 68, enrolled for the courses in basic cutting and tailoring, embroidery, basic education and micro business.

After the completion of the training, the students learned how to cut and sew garments at basic level. They were also imparted with lessons on some of the key topics i.e. what is business and factors affecting the same, concept of banking, how to open a bank account and the different types of bank account.

17/01/13 - Kamalini participates in Tour & Travel Event at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

January 16-17, 2013: Thanks to the organisers of the South Asia Travel and Tourism Event, 2013 Kamalini had the opportunity to present its activity in preparing women to work in hospitality to participants in the trade fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Among the transactions and business at the event, exhibitors and visitors were amused and pleased to find a non-profit exhibitor, Kamalini, asking support of attendees and informing them of the kind of training we are imparting in our centres. Some attendees contributed towards the cause, while the others were inquired how they could collaborate with in-kind help, or arrange tourists to do some volunteer work, or to sponsor Kamalini beneficiaries in some way or the other. When people asked what we were doing in a business trade fair, we also explained how Kamalini is inviting tourists to visit our centre to see in a practical way how they can help people in need, as well as to have the chance to learn some Indian cuisine and see the historic ruins nearby in the Siri Fort area.

13/12/12 - Award for the 'highest number of pledges'

The day had arrived when the marathon runners and the donors were given recognition for the 5th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, 2012 at Le Meridian Delhi. Among them was Veronique Dinand, applauded in the category of 'highest number of pledges raised by an individual' with a total of 50 pledges. She run the 6K Great Delhi Run for Kamalini
"When I heard about the possibility of running to raise funds, I got really enthused. I am a regular twice-weekly jogger, and I loved the idea of helping Kamalini more, by getting colleagues and friends to give a hand! After registering for Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, it became easy to approach any known face in my hospital and explain about the event and about Kamalini's wonderful ways of empowering underprivileged girls and women. I also took advantage of various Department meetings to give a 5 minute presentation of Kamalini and of how to sponsor my run, before asking each of the attendants individually for a donation. There were very few NOs, some vague and empty promises and lots of real YES! Thank you to all my pledgers, and be ready for next year, as I'll run again for Kamalini!"

9/11/12 - Ground breaking new campus

Kamalini broke ground for the new vocational training facilities for women on the Gurgaon-Sohna Road. Kamalini promoters and staff celebrated this important step on the five-acre site owned by Educational & Development Initiatives (EDI). The civil contract for the project has been awarded by EDI to HBS Constructions Pvt. Ltd. LKS India guided the tender and contractor selection process. Mr. Eash Pradhan of Studio 4D has designed and will oversee the construction. Mr. Harsh Bhalla of HBS invited the Kamalini trustees to break ground, and then to cut a cake to celebrate.

After the Ground-breaking Ceremony, the Kamalini staff stayed back for a picnic and spent time enjoying the quiet and serene environment talking to each other and exploring the area. It was then followed by games – dumb-charades and "antakshari" - a singing game - and a delicious lunch prepared by the teachers at the centre. Everybody left the plot around 3:30 in the afternoon. This outing brought out the playful side of everyone and was a smashing success!
  • >>

30/09/12 - Sheila Dikshit congratulates Kamalini Team

We had the opportunity to meet the Chief Minister of Delhi, Sheila Dikshit and tell her about our project. She was pleased to hear about Kamalini's work for the empowerment of women and encouraged us to keep on doing "a good job".

Congrats to an outstanding job to all our runners! Thanks to all of our cheerleaders and special thanks to those who pledged support of the Kamalini team in the 2012 Airtel Delhi Half Marathon! Nicholas Pilgrim did the 21K in a pretty good time after a tough and constant training and Marian Duran completed the 6k in 30 minutes!

5/11/12 - 95 students give exams for Govt. Certificates

The students of Kamalini gave the examination for TECOS, a project sponsored under Delhi Govt on Monday, November 5, 2012. The examination centre allotted to Kamalini was Veer Savarkar Basic Training Centre, PUSA Campus. More than 90 students gave the exam for the 2nd Quarter of 2012-13, in courses - Assistant Cook and Basic Sewing Operator. Buses were organized to take the students to the examination venue and the students contributed towards the travel expense in a major way. Owing to the large number of students, 2 buses were arranged and 5 of the staff members including 3 teachers, a coordinator and a driver accompanied the students. Since the examination time was slotted at 9:30, the buses left the centers at 7:30 am. The examination as always was divided into theory and practical. All the students reached back home by 5:30 pm.

4/11/12 - Showcasing the talents of the Kamalini students

Kamalini joined 22 organisations in Shahpur Jat in a Sunday afternoon community Open House on 4th November 2012 to introduce our work to a wider public. To welcome the visitors, students performed folk dances, displayed vegetable carving, offered to apply of mehendi (Henna) artwork on the hands of those interested, and sold home-made butter cookies.

6/10/12 - Organized by volunteers of Ernst & Young life skills and career orientation workshops at Kamalini Centres

Kamalini students from both Shahpur Jat and Kishangarh centres participated on life skills and career orientation workshops organized by EY Cares. The sessions made quite an impression on the women and girls as almost all of them expressed that not only were they going to try and put everything they had learned in to practice but they would also teach their family members and children the same.

  • Session 1 & 2: Raising awareness creatively
  • Session 3: Helping make wise choices
  • Sessions 4 & 5: How to make ends meet
  • >>

12/09/12 – Lunch for a Cause.

This fundraising event was promoted by Claudia Dantas, a Brazilian Chef, at her residence in South Delhi on September 12, 2012. While raising awareness of Kamalini’s mission of upgrading its existing facilities into a structured campus in Gurgaon, the idea was to invite proceeds from the individuals, corporations, companies and organizations.

The Kamalini promoters displayed a presentation on the upcoming Gurgaon project. They focused on various aspects of Kamalini’s programmes for underprivileged women’s opportunity and ways to empower them for holistic development. The event then featured live entertainment with dance performances by two of the Kamalini students. Neha performed freestyle on a devotional song, whereas Sunita swayed on Rajasthani folk. Both Indians and foreigners were amongst the audience to have enjoyed such spectacular performances, which proved the success of Kamalini’s sincere and continuous efforts towards women empowerment initiatives.

6/09/12 - Kamalini participates in the 5th Global Skill Summit organized by FICCI

In a significant initiative, FICCI in collaboration with Ministry of Labour and Employment, Govt. of India, NSDC (National Skill Development Corporation), partner country Germany, led the global inauguration of 5th Global Skill Summit on September 6-7, 2012. The event highlighted upon the 'Learners First' subject with the objectives to explore and debate Government initiatives to create synergies and partnerships, debate on the Industry perspective for issues and challenges in filling the demand-supply gap, deliberate upon the various overseas collaborations that have created an impact in the skills space in India. The Summit was graced by eminent speakers including Kapil Sibal, Hon'ble Minister of Human Resources Development; S. Ramadorai, Adviser Prime Minister NSDC; and captains of industry and training institutions not only from India but from across the globe.

27/07/12 - Ritu Dalmia training the trainers

Ritu Dalmia, chef and restaurateur, conducted Cooking Sessions for 10 Kamalini trainers on Saturday 14 July and Wednesday 25 July, 2012. The venue of the cooking sessions was the Café DIVA at the Italian Cultural Centre. The classes were held from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The sessions began with light snacks and soft drinks. During the sessions many authentic Italian recipes were shared. In the first session salads and appetizers and finger foods were taught and in the second session main courses were taught. Notable among the recipes were pizza and ravioli. Ritu shared the history of pizza and how its origin can be traced back to Nepal. She also informed them about the basic types of pizza- with cheese and without cheese and shared secrets about making a good pizza. Ravioli was taught that is an Italian dish made from eggs and flour. The Kamalini members were not just shown the recipes but they also participated in making the same. After the session the trainees were all asked to practice the recipes at home or at the Centre once. At the end of the sessions, the dishes were tasted and indeed they tasted very good!

11/07/12 - Au revoir, Anne Frederique!

The Kamalini team bade “farewell and see you again soon!” in July to Anne Frederique Dayaut who has been an invaluable volunteer and tireless promoter of Kamalini for the last two years. She is now based in France where she will be our Public Relations Delegate and keep gaining supporters for Kamalini to help more women gain employment skills. Special thanks as well to Claudia Dantas for hosting the farewell, in which we also welcomed Preeti Sachdeva as our Main Tendue liaison for the International Cuisine course at Kamalini for domestic workers.

20/06/12 - Cooking with Google

Kamalini students enjoyed a unique cooking class with two Google employees, Meghna and Parvati. In the first session, the students were taught a novel method of making fruit pulp. Parvati helped the girls try the technique with watermelons. The second session was taught by Meghna. She showed the students how to make a cake without the use of any electrical appliances. The highlight of the class however, was when the girls learnt that the cake did not have to be baked but could be cooked in a pressure cooker. Google provided the material for the class and their volunteers the recipes. They interacted with the girls and shared their tips and tricks.

11/06/12 - International cooking class exam by jury

On June 11, Kamalini conducted the first formal assessment of the International Cooking Class that has been running since October 2010. The judges for the exam were Ms. Aurélie Gillmann-Rignault, President, Main Tendue, Ms. Claudia Dantas, Chef from Brazil and Mr. Mousim Sidana, Chef, Diva restaurant. For the exam, 13 students put in their hard work and artistic skills to cook three international recipes in an hour and a half. The jury judged them on various factors of technique, hygiene and appetizing presentation of their results. Mr. Sidana lauded their efforts and was left impressed at the professional standards of the dishes made by the students, most of who work as domestic workers. He has agreed to assist further by teaching some of the International Cooking sessions in September.

24/05/2012: Pullman opens its doors to Kamalini students

Eleven Kamalini students along with some of the staff members were invited to Pullman Hotels on a tour. The students examined their operations and facilities to understand the applicability of whatever they learn at the Kamalini centres. They learned about their hotel chains and were also given a presentation by the Pullman team. They were taught about the various scopes to work with the hospitality sector and the exposure to their housekeeping skills, which the students had much interest in. It was then followed by a successful interview session of the students by the HR team of the Accor Group (Parent company of Pullman).

7/05/12 - Visit to Indo British Garments, Faridabad

A four member Kamalini team consisting of trainers and staff visited the Indo British Garments factory of uniforms for G4S security on 7th May 2012 to observe the factory floor and determine the level of proficiency and training required for entry into jobs there, and how Kamalini training can be brought to that standard. Raj Khamboj, VP Manufacturing at IBG gave a detailed explanation of the various functions at the factory floor and the opportunities for work at the garment factory for Kamalini students. The team from Kamalini came away from the visit with ideas such as setting up a production line at the future training campus centre with machines comparable to the factory installations, training students in soft skills, and introducing them to the technicalities of the garment factory. After a month of relevant industry specific training at the production line, the students can be employed not just in their factory but in most garment manufacturing units.

16/03/12 - Enthusiastic support for the Kamalini Campus Launch Event

Amid a garden setting hosted by the Trident Gurgaon, Maria Mendes, President of Educational & Development Initiatives, presented the vision and plans for the new Kamalini campus. Kamalini campus patron, Ritu Dalmia, a celebrity chef, author and entrepreneur of Diva Restaurants, gave a compelling appeal to "write big fat cheques" and to partner with Kamalini. Master of Ceremonies Charushilla Narula, Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs of the Indian School of Business and Finance, delighted everyone with her rendition of a ghazan about how there cannot be flowers without thorns. At the end of the evening, guests went home with cookies baked by Kamalini students following a recipe of Ritu Dalmia.

16/03/12 - Ritu Dalmia appeal for Kamalini during the Kamalini Campus Launch Event

"All of us love to say "I wish to do this, and this are the changes we need", "things should be done for the betterment of society, community, women..." but when it comes to actually doing it, whether it's lack of time or whatever it may be, we don't really put our two penny bits in. So, my two penny bits that I'm committed to it's to train the trainers… and I have also roped my publisher to give a part of the proceeding of Traveling Diva as well as the next book to Kamalini. So… that's my bit! But, now let's come to the crux of the matter: your bit! Because you are here -it's very obvious- you care about this project, and if you care it's time to show some support. So money, cash, kind or your time, the choice is yours… but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do support. Thank you!"