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wit_name transparent About WIT - Impact
 
 
About WIT
 
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  History  |  Faqs  |  Impact  |  News  
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  Reaching Out ...29, Year 2007  
 
 
WIT has been busy this past year recovering from the floods, consolidating it core activities and reassessing the growth potential of all its departments, with a view to becoming more self-reliant and less dependent on fund raising.
 
     
 
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  Kamila a Legend and a Legacy:  
 
 
Our Late Founder- chairman, Kamila Tyabji, is missed greatly by all the members of the Governing Body, the staff and the women workers, ever since she passed away two and a half year ago.

Not only has she left us a legacy of a vibrant and a unique NGO, involved with vital social issues, but she has also bequeathed her estate to the charity so dear to her heart, which she founded and natured from 1968 onwards.

We thank the Charity Commissioner and Kamila's cooperative family for making this possible.

It will now enable WIT to form a corpus, finance the long-delayed repairs of the building and upgrade the facilities at the Kamila Tyabji WIT Centre. It will be possible to professionalise our Management and Accounting practices and attract staff of a better caliber. We also hope to introduce new courses in time, such as a Computer and a Beautician's course, both of which will prove of direct benefit to women. The ultimate aim is our commitment and deep desire to greatly increase the number of women beneficiaries.
 
     
 
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  Governing Body News:  
 
 
Through president Anu Aga's invaluable guidance and input, we hope to place WIT's operations on a firmer footing and a more productive path. She is a great crusader for self-reliance and increased productivity.

Chairman Prabha Nair has been away since last April, on a Sabbatical abroad, but we hope to have her back early in the new year.

The Governing Body office-bearers have ably continued to steer WIT through the year, namely, Vice- Chairman Dolat Kotwal, Hon. Treasurer Vidya Ranadive, Hon Secretary Dhanoo Khusrookhan and Jt. Hon. Treasurer Abha Mundra.

Irmela Futehally joined the Governing Body a year ago and has proved indispensable. Her creative talents compliment Shama Phadke's designing expertise. Together they form a harmonious team.

We also acknowledge the support from Zakia Khatib and Aroti Hosali, both on the Board for many, many years.

Joining WIT recently, Dinoo Parakh, with her experience in administration, finance and event-management, is bound to be a key player in the future.

Shyamla Nath continues as the CEO, bringing dynamism and distinction to the organisation. Working hard to increase efficiency and accountability, she commutes to Panvel at least two or three times a week keeping an eye also on the renovation work going on there.
 
     
 
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  India Brand Summit Awards:  
 
 
The highlight of the year was receiving the Award for Social Marketing in the NGO category, from the India Brand Summit, Awards for Brand Excellence, at a glittering event in September. It came as a pleasant surprise and was happily accepted on behalf of our Late Founder-Chairman, Kamila Tyabji, whose vision and mission it was to improve the economic and financial status of unskilled and uneducated women. Through marketing the products made by such women she proved they were capable of producing quality products, such as furnishings and foods, which could compete with the best, and thus enable these women to join the economic mainstream.
 
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  On the Marathon run:  
 
 
Continuing the recent tradition of participating in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, WIT entered the Marathon last January with great enthusiasm. WIT's energetic chairman, Prabha Nair and husband Gopal, Dhanoo Khusrokhan, Harish Mundra and son, WIT Staff, Students of the Mumbai college of Pharmacy and Staff members of J.P. Morgan, all ran for WIT. In all, there were one hundred and sixty participants, including WIT's own Nursing Students.
 
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  Founder's Day:  
 
 
February 14, Kamila Tyabji's Birth Anniversary, is celebrated every year as Founder's Day. She is remembered fondly on this occasion by all the staff, women workers and Governing Body Members. This year, an inter-departmental competition for the best performance was held and prizes awarded. The high standards displayed were quite amazing. Mrs. Aroti Hosali, Member, Governing Body, donated an award of INR2000/- to the Best Nursing Students of the year.
 
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  Children's Day:  
 
 
At Panvel, Children's Day, Nov.14, was celebrated with great fervour, with all the children of the Balwadi and Day-Care Centre participating wholeheartedly. A Fancy Dress competition and several song and dance performances on stage were presented with aplomb.

Members of the Governing Body were present and gave away prizes in various categories.
 
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  Community Development:  
 
 
Shyamla Nath has been planning and steering the community development programme in the direction of growth and reach.

WIT has recently launched an Out Reach Programme in nearby villages and Mumbai to increase WIT's presence and to reach out to a wider network of women. In Jogeshwari, Vashi and Panvel, three groups of twenty women each are being trained in cutting, sewing and embroidery by WIT teachers. Sewing machines will be provided to 40 of these women after training at Vashi & Jogeshwari. Asha Handicrafts is supporting the programme in Jogeshwari and Vashi.

Similar projects have been started in Dhungi village, Dharavi & Bombay Central. Social worker Ravindra Chavan of WIT is now helping with these programmes. United Way Mumbai is the sponsor for these projects. All these centres have received a tremendous response.

VSNL sponsored the training of two girls in sewing and provided both of them with sewing machines too.

WIT has also joined hands with Jindal Steel, which is running a project to train women at Vasind. Two of their teachers were provided training in a Finishing Course by WIT, which enabled them in turn to impart training to their women. Now these women are successfully working for WIT on a piece-rate basis.

WIT also held a training programme in making newspaper bags for terminally ill AIDS patients by training two teachers. They are now making newspaper bags for WIT.

WIT is providing Zarodozi work to a group of rehabilitated commercial sex workers. Bags embroidered by them have been exported to UK also.

In association with Weaver's Service Centre from Mumbai, WIT held special training sessions at Panvel in designing and block printing, not only for WIT women but also for other women from the community.

A "Women's Rights Awareness Camp" was organised in association with the Women's Special Cell of the Government. The programme received a good response.

A LIC Camp was also held at Panvel. It generated very positive results as 11 women opted for their schemes.

An eye camp was held in Panvel where 143 persons were checked. Those requiring spectacles were provided with them on a concessional basis as a part of the Forbes Health Programme.
 
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  Forbes Health Programme:  
 
 
WIT is pleased to inform members that a Health programme for our staff and women workers both in Mumbai and Panvel has been working well since the past year thanks to an annual grant for five years from FORBES GOKAK.

This has helped greatly to improve the medical assistance provided to them by WIT.

Dr. Zainee Choudhary has been visiting WIT on a purely voluntary basis for almost two years, examining the women and recommending treatment. It is thanks to her efforts that this programme is being implemented. Prescriptions, medicines and vitamins are provided to women in addition to a range of tests that they may need to undergo.

The Shelley Tyson Staff welfare Fund of course continues to provide medical assistance to our staff members, when required.
 
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  Export orders and more:  
 
 
December 16 proved to be a profitable day for WIT as the representative of the German Alternative Trading Organisation, El Puente, placed another order for bottles of Tomato Raisin Chutney bottles of Mango Tomato Chutney for delivery next July. They will also order new flavours like Date & Tamarind and Papaya & Tomato Chutney alongwith our regular favourite, Mango Chutney .An order for assorted home linen products and bags was also placed, much to our delight.

During the year WIT also exported textile articles to the UK. Home linen was also exported to an exclusive outlet in Spain and embroidered scarves to Germany.

WIT has been fortunate to receive guidance in marketing food products from Mr. Uday Malik, a senior marketing expert; introduced to WIT by Mr. Astad Parakh, providing valuable assistance by studying the production pattern, costing and pricing of our food products to ensure not only adequate but also extensive sales of our products.
 
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  Panvel, Reshuffling of Departments:  
 
 
WIT recovered from the fury of the floods at Panvel last year within few months but the damage suffered made us seriously re-think the location of the different departments so as to avoid a similar occurrence in the future. Currently repairs and renovation are moving along at a fast pace. The Food Department is being shifted to the First Floor in accordance with the international standards laid down by HACCP. The Nursing Department will be on the Ground Floor and the Toy Department, on the third Floor. Fortunately, WIT has received a generous grant for the specific purpose of repairs and renovation and maintenance for the next two years from the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. Our sincere thanks to this Trust for their belief in us and their staunch support.
 
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  Tally Ho:  
 
 
For the last several months efforts have been made to change our method of accounts to the Tally system, under the direction of Kalyanwalla & Mistry, Chartered Accountants. We are getting there and wish to place on record our appreciation for all the valuable assistance provided by them.

We also thank Harish Mundra, M.K. Sharma and Mehroo Kotval for their professional help.

This year too, all the Nursing students passed the Maharashtra Nursing Council Examination, with five students receiving Honours.
 
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  Reaching out ....26, Year 2005:  
 
 
During the past year, the world experienced a series of unprecedented natural disasters from which survivors are still recovering.

Nearer home, the floods in July 26 resulted in much damage to the Kamila Tyabji WIT Centre at Panvel and even though the various departments affected became operational in a short while, the reconstruction of the collapsed compound walls, along with re-equipping the Food Department are still in progress.

Despite this serious setback, WIT has literally weathered the storm and has continued to progress in an impressive manner.
 
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  Founder's Day - Missing Kamila:  
 
 
Kamila's birthday on February 14th, coinciding with St. Valentine's Day, was celebrated with festivity and fervour at the WIT Centre, Panvel. This included a grand variety programme of fancy dress competition, dance and drama by the students of the Balwadi, and the Nursing School and by members of our staff. This occasion was also used to award a prize to the most promising newcomer amongst our staff. A best student nurse award was donated by our Governing Body Member Ms. Aroti Hosali.

We were honoured at this event by the presence of Ms. Shireen Mistry, Head - Press & Public Affairs, British Deputy High Commission and her colleague Ms. Chitra Iyer, Development Officer from the New Delhi Office. The British Deputy High Commission have been very helpful in sponsoring our Nursing Course first in 1993 - 1995 for 3 years and again in 2004 - 2005.
 
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  Marathon Wo-Man:  
 
 
WIT created history by participating in the second Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in January 2005. With the WIT banner prominently displayed, WIT's valiant members, Chairman Prabha Nair accompanied by her husband Gopal (who is a big supporter of WIT), Dhanoo Khusrokhan, Usha Shah and our CEO Shyamla Nath completed the Dream Run and collected INR 3.12 lakhs as pledges from large hearted donors.

For the 3rd Standard Chartered Marathon to be held on the 15th of January 2006, these same members along with 20 of our staff, 30 students from the Bombay College of Pharmacy, nearly 100 employees of J P Morgan Chase and Essar Oil will be running for WIT. We hope all of you will whole heartedly support and sponsor us.
 
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  Turning Pro:  
 
 
One of the most important developments this year, is the assessment and analysis of WIT's operations by the prestigious Management Consultants, Mckinsey, which is still in hand at present.

Thanks to our President Anu Aga's efforts, the Mckinsey staff are volunteering their time and expertise to help WIT improve its entire gamut of activities and to help deploy resources more efficiently.
 
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  Governing Body News:  
 
 
WIT has been blessed with dynamic Anu Aga as President. She has made special time for WIT, attending certain important meetings, visiting Panvel and involving Mckinsey. We look forward to her continued support and guidance.

Continuing to head the rest of the team are Chairman Prabha Nair and long time member, Vice Chairman Dolat Kotwal. The rest of the members are old hands Vidya Ranadive, Hon Treasurer, whose inputs and efforts are invaluable, Moni Hosali, Zakia Khatib, Abha Mundra, Jt. Hon. Treasurer, Shama Kulkarni and Dhanoo Khusrokhan, our acting Hon. Secretary.

During the year, Louise Evans, a member for more than seven years, a creative designer and of the Art-with-a-Heart fame, resigned as she will be leaving India shortly and has much to do.

Jan Pullan, during her short stint, has quietly succeeded in positively helping WIT with her organizational and designing skills and various inputs for our Balwadi from her background in the field of education., including the summer camp and toy library, Usha Shah, Hon. Secretary, resigned very recently, as she is pressed for time - renovating her house, globe-trotting and caring for her little grand-children. She wrote the Minutes in her initimable style. Dhanoo is now very capably doing this.
 
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  Visit of Hedy Ratner on International Women's Day:  
 
 
This year WIT was visited by Hedy Ratner, an interesting lady, who is the Co-President of Business Women's Development Centre (BWDC), Chicago. It is a non-profit organization established in 1986, to work with women to launch new businesses and strengthen existing ones. They provide direct services to women business owners and effect public policy changes which reflect the needs of women entrepreneurs and their families. She provided an interesting insight into the advancement of women and made several suggestions to WIT to expand existing activities and establish new ones.
 
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  Summer Camp:  
 
 
For the first time, a Summer Camp for WIT Balwadi children and other children in Panvel was held during the holiday months of April and May. It was spearheaded by Governing Body member Jan Pullan (who has since, returned to the UK), ably implemented by our CEO Shyamla Nath and conducted by two well-qualified, young volunteers Savitha Iyer and Sumi Chandrasekharan. More than 40 kids had a whale of a time and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The activities involved painting competitions, craft, games, sports, singing, etc.
 
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  Management Development Programme:  
 
 
A workshop for supervisory staff at Panvel was conducted by CEO Shyamla Nath in May. The response was extremely encouraging and a follow-up will be done again in 2006.

Shyamla Nath also attended a week's workshop for Fruit and Vegetable Processing held in March at CFTRI (Central Food Training & Research Institute), Mumbai. It was an extremely intensive and interesting course and has helped Shyamla with even more inputs for the Food Department in Panvel.
 
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  Asian Heritage Conference:  
 
 
Shyamla Nath also attended an important conference in September, arranged by the Asian Heritage Society in New Delhi. NGOs from all over India were invited to participate and some were to be short listed for special training programmes and help. We are pleased to announce that WIT has been short listed as one of the NGOs for their design inputs, export orders, etc.

Visitors from the UK have already visited Panvel in this connection and an order for various paper products like letter paper, gift bags, etc. was made. These items were then exported to the India Shop in the UK.
 
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  Exports to more destinations:  
 
 
Growing global competition means WIT has to continuously look for new outlets and new markets.

Continuing the trend of the last three years, WIT's exports of Food comprising Marmalade, Tomato Raising Chutney and Mango Tomato Chutney were dispatched to Germany in June.

Large orders for bags, linen, etc. can really help our women wage workers as, in a repetitive job the production is faster and this translates into more income for the women.
 
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  Shelly Tyson Staff Welfare Fund:  
 
 
Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Victor and Edna Tyson (Shelley's parents), a special fund has been created solely for the welfare of our staff, who were very dear to her. Through this fund, we have been able to help Vijay Ghadi (our sincere and hardworking peon of many years) with medical expenses towards a major surgery. We also financially helped Nayan of the Toy department, but unfortunately, she passed away last month due to kidney failure.
 
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  Cancer Check for women:  
 
 
In November, ninety-five women of the WIT Centre, Panvel, underwent a Cancer Camp conducted by the Cancer Patients' Aids Association and sponsored by the Women's Wing of FICCI, Mumbai also called FLO. Thankfully all the women were certified cancer free for the present. A follow-up will be held again in a few months.Thank you CPA & FLO.
 
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  Celebrating Children's Day:  
 
 
November 14 is not only Children's day, it is also the day the Kamila Tyabji WIT Centre was inaugurated in 1983 and opened its doors to needy women and children in Panvel and the Raigad District.

We used this opportunity to reward members of the staff who worked tirelessly to put our Panvel Centre back on its feet after the devastating floods in July this year. Their commitment to WIT has reinforced our belif that the women who we set out to help are equally committed to the welfare of the organization. The staff who were honoured are Nancy Pradhan, Harsha Beedalnath, Ravi Mahatre and Dinesh garg. Our thanks also to Mrs. Khilare, who stayed on the Hostel premises to look after and morally support the 30 nursing students who were marooned in the building fro nearly 48 hours.

Of course, CEO Shyamla Nath, Chairman Prabha Nair, Shama Phadke, Abha Mundra and Vidya Randive , Governing Body Members , deserve special mention fro their prompt and tireless action following the floods.
 
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  Women's India Trust ……Devastation  
 
Date: August 9, 2005

Nobody in Mumbai needs to be reminded of the devastation caused by the recent unprecedented rains on the 26th and 27th July 05. So many people have suffered so much and it will be a long time before the full costs can be accurately estimated.

The Women’s India Trust (“WIT”) is just one of many organizations to have been cruelly hit by this year’s monsoon, but few can have felt the full force of the damage or now be in such stark need as WIT’s production center at Panvel. It is here that so much of the work of educating and providing employment for poor and needy women takes place - our food production center, block printing, screen printing and toy making, the free nursing course for young girls, the kindergarten and the Day Care Centre for babies.

The flood damage has been nothing short of catastrophic. Most of our produce and material – fruits and fabrics – have been washed away; so have the gas cylinders and connections and inevitably, we have been without electricity and drinking water; the facilities in the canteen, the Balwadi and the Day Care Centre – babies’ cots, chairs, cooking utensils – are all gone; the retaining wall separating our premises from the creek collapsed as flood waters rose to 7.5 feet.

But it is not just the loss of plant and equipment that has had such a dire effect. Our lady workers, many of whom have lost their homes and are left with no more than the cloths they stand up in, cannot work until the premises are restored. They cannot work; they cannot earn. And in so many cases, they alone are the family’s breadwinners.

Our wage workers came from the surrounding areas and villages such as Shirdhon, Wadghar, Patel Mohlla and other parts of Raighad District. The women living in near the creek have lost all their household belonging and some are homeless.

WIT have been able to assist only few women and their families with immediate basic necessities which were required like stove, mats, bed sheets, towels, old and new clothes, water filter, rice, dal, sugar, oil and immediate preventive medication. This contribution is just a drop in an ocean. We still have many more to assist.

We have already started the process of ensuring that rehabilitation happens quickly .The WIT Centre in Panvel is being cleaned up and is partially functional since 8th August. This will ensure that their live hood is not hampered. We are providing one cooked meal and tea to all our workers for the next few weeks till they are able to fend for themselves. We are also conducting a survey of severely affected families, assisting them with the relief provided by various agencies, helping them to help themselves by supportive measures through counseling and medical aid whenever required. But there is still so much to be done.

We need 50 lakhs to repair our Panvel production center. And we need help. Your help. As an NGO we are obviously short of funds. Until and unless we can get our centre Panvel up and running again, our workers cannot work. The cost of this repair will be counted in rupees; failure to achieve this aim may mean the cost will be counted in lives.

Please help in whatever way you can.
 
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