Dream Weavers

WITH IN­TER­NA­TION­ALWOMEN’S DAY AROUND THE COR­NER, SIM­PLY DELHI TRACKS THE JOUR­NEY OF SOME WOMEN WHO ARE LIV­ING THEIR DREAMS.

India Today - - INSIDE - By Ekta Mar­waha

SIM­PLY DELHI tracks the jour­ney of some women who are liv­ing their dreams.

I worked as an in­vest­ment banker for two years but I had an urge to do some­thing mean­ing­ful for the so­ci­ety.

TOUCH­ING LIVES| GAURI GOPAL AGRAWAL, 27

Un­til a year back, no one re­ally knew that a beau­ti­ful lake with clear blue wa­ter ex­isted around Delhi- NCR. And if some­one needs to be cred­ited for putting vil­lage Sirohi and its lake on the map, it is Gauri Gopal Agrawal, Di­rec­tor and Founder, Skilled Sa­mar­i­tan Foun­da­tion. A fi­nance grad­u­ate, Agrawal tells us, “I worked as an in­vest­ment banker at Deutche Bank for two years un­til I de­cided to do some­thing mean­ing­ful for the so­ci­ety. I be­gan re­search for set­ting up an or­gan­i­sa­tion that would fo­cus on em­ploy­ment gen­er­a­tion in the eco­nom­i­cally weaker parts of the coun­try.” She got in touch with some stu­dents of the Na­tional Power Train­ing In­sti­tute, Farid­abad and to­gether they reached Sirohi. This lit­tle vil­lage on the out­skirts of the city has no agrar­ian land, no in­dus­try or of­fices, only one pri­mary school and a pop­u­la­tion of over 30,000. “We were stunned by its beauty and shocked that some­thing like this ex­isted,” she says. That was when they came up with a struc­ture for eco- tourism and de­cided to or­gan­ise monthly walks there. The lo­cals were trained to con­duct the walks that were fol­lowed by a home­cooked meal. Dur­ing one of her vis­its, Agrawal no­ticed the colourful char­poys here, which were made from re­cy­cled tof­fee wrap­pers and car­tons. The cre­ativ­ity was put to use and the char­poys be­gan sell­ing like hot cakes. How­ever, the most re­cent achieve­ment of the group has been in­stalling so­lar lights. “The lo­cals com­plained of the power fail­ures so we con­tacted an or­gan­i­sa­tion called En­gi­neers With­out Borders, who helped us,” says Agrawal. The Sa­mar­i­tans plan to cre­ate sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in other such vil­lages.

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