Women Social entrepreneurship is vital for our future. Collectively we can make a change by closing the gap between men and women in the workforce.
Entrepreneurs are those adventurous, daredevils who drive deep into the pressing problems of society and try to find solutions to them, not by leaving the responsibilities in the reins of the government or business, but by trying to change systems as a whole and persuading societies to take new initiatives
In our Inner Wheel Social Entrepreneur series in this episode we are introducing you a very dynamic and popular face of International Inner Wheel Dist. 321, who always believes in Women Empowerment and social entrepreneurship . Yes we are talking about Cinda Jojy District Chairman of Inner Wheel District 321, she shared her Inner Wheel Journey and Lockdown experience with Hello Womeniya.com Correspondent Priyanka Yadav
Brief Introduction of International Inner Wheel:
International Inner Wheel is an international women’s Social organization to create friendship, service and understanding. It has clubs in over 100 countries with over 100,000 members. IWC has very strong presence in India. It has more than 3000 thousands clubs in Urban and rural India. Since the Covid-19 Pandemic breaks out Inner wheel club launched charity campaign worldwide. In our Inner wheel Social entrepreneur series in this Episode we are introducing very popular face of IWC, she doesn’t need any kind of Introduction.
Hello Womeniya: Please share your first reaction and feeling on being District Chairman of IW District.
Cinda Jojy: Recalling about my feelings and reaction on being declared as the Chairman of this prestigious District- Inner Wheel District 321 it was a mixture of emotions.
I was overwhelmed with joy and a sense of responsibility and anxiety of whether I could do justice to this great post conferred on me. I knew I had to plan and work hard to bring about positive and far reaching change with projects suitable to the locality.
What I felt wearing the collar for the first time During my Assembly is not something I could describe in words. The sense of responsibility the collar brings with it is really great but at the same time it instills a level of confidence in you which helps you achieve the goals.
Hello Womeniya: What will be your priority in the growth of Your Dis.
Cinda Jojy: District 321 consists of 50 clubs of South Kerala & South Tamil Nadu. My priority would be an holistic growth starting with strengthening the clubs by adding quality members who are socially committed, adding more clubs, taking up projects according to the needs of the society and branding Inner wheel to the outside world and above all to protect environment for the benefit of our members and the world.
Hello Womeniya: What are the current challenges your Dist. is facing due to this post pandemic .
Cinda Jojy: Can we say post-pandemic, are we there yet? I think we are still passing through that stage.
The main challenge being the prevailing uncertainty, and difficulty of physical get together.
Well I must say considering the situation our Clubs have been doing extremely well, be it in lending a helping hand to the needy during this period in the form of medical equipment’s, medicines, groceries, vaccines or financial aid . We have been trying our level best to spread awareness about the protocols to be followed during this period and the importance of getting vaccinated to the not so educated session of the society. These challenges have made us stronger and more efficient as we had to learnt and find ways to overcome all this.
Hello Womeniya: What is your future agenda to solve these problems
Cinda Jojy: If the situation continues, meetings and projects will have to be carried on virtually. We may have to be cautious about stepping out whether it’s for projects or meetings. I must say the trainings and awareness sessions we have been conducting virtually had far-reaching effects and was in par with any such physical sessions. So considering problems and challenges as stepping stones to reach your goals, is the best way to solve these problems.
BE COVID NEGATIVE, BUT MENTALLY POSITIVE that should be our Moto.
Hello Womeniya: Share your Inner Wheel journey with us .
Cinda Jojy: From a very young age I was familiar with Rotary and Inner wheel as my uncle was a District Governor and few of my aunts Presidents in Inner Wheel.
In 2007 I too became a part of this great organisation Inner Wheel.
My home club, IWC of Alleppy, was my first classroom in IW, from where I learnt my basics about the organisation. The following year itself I took up the post as club ISO , it was a post I enjoyed very much. Being friendship ambassadors our main duty is to create a cordial relation between Clubs and get connected with ISO‘s from other Districts and countries. In 2012- 13, I led Inner Wheel Club of Alleppy as the Club President. With Radhika Ram as the club secretary and an efficient team of office bearers we were able to do so many fruitful service projects for the society, bagging the Award for the outstanding President and for the best Club along with award of excellence in all avenues of service. Club bagged 23 awards during my Presidentship. During my tenure as the President we conducted a mega sale – Shoppers Dhamaka in Alleppey for the first time, with stalls from different parts of the country. It was a great success and fun and the huge profit collected was used to build a toilet block for a school in Alleppey, conduct a mega cancer detection camp and form an FD, the interest of it is presented, yearly as Inner Wheel scholarships, by IWC of Alleppy, to deserving students.
I entered the District as District Editor in 2015- 16. As editor, the District souvenir, was completely designed and edited by myself, thus bringing down the souvenir cost by a considerable amount and the souvenir was given a name, for the first time ‘Sandesh’. As District ISO organised the ISO meet ‘Changatham’ with unique competitions and exchanged flags at the international and national level. Served as District Treasurer, District Secretary and Dist. Vice Chairman. By the grace of God I am blessed to lead District 321 this year as the District Chairman .As DC I am able to help and guide my Clubs to do wonderful projects. My journey in District EC, has taught me a lot and instilled a confidence in myself. Inner Wheel has helped to develop & better myself as a person and given me such lovely friends worldwide.
Hello Womeniya: Could you please share your lockdown experience and how your District performed during this difficult time .
Cinda Jojy: Actually in a way this lock down helped me to give my hundred percent commitment and attention to my responsibility as District Chairman, Right from charting down my plans to carrying on with it. I am happy that I could physically attend the Incoming Chairman’s Institute Saadhya at Coimbatore which is actually the first step as a Chairman. A three-day session of training and getting to know your Association leaders and your Co-Chairmen of different Districts of India, we even had leaders from Nepal.
At the District level , the District officers and club officers training was very successfully conducted virtually, which enabled us to give more time for each post, which would not have been possible had it been a physical one.
The only problem was the uncertainty that prevailed whether events could be carried out physically or virtually. But nothing could hold back the committed club Presidents from moving forward with their projects to help the society .
Clubs were always ready to support women and children impacted by the pandemic. Women empowerment is the theme of the year and we have been doing a lot in this field in the form of vocational training , Giving the needed missionaries, helping them in marketing, conducting classes in waste management , kitchen gardening, composting, even in the art of public speaking, counselling etc.
I have a set of District goals for this year. CREW aiming at all the members.
C- Combat against Covid-19
E- Earth Care- The five Rs, refuse reduce, reuse, recycle & repair
& Kitchen Garden & Composting
W- Women and children -Spread awareness on violence against women and children especially sexual assault and domestic violence and empower them to fight against this.
All these was planned keeping the present situation in mind.
Hello Womeniya: What is your appeal and message to Inner Wheel women .
Cinda Jojy: Friends, the lock down has definitely made an impact on all our lives, but do consider that, we in Inner wheel have been given a great opportunity to reach out to those needy around us , it is the time to act, to continue with the good work that we have been doing. We may have to focus on doing things in a different manner to balance with the present situation, but stay positive and spread joy and hope around you. May God bless us all and keep us safe during this period.
Hello Womeniya: Do you agree this pandemic brought a lot of changes in our personal and professional life
Cinda Jojy: Definitely. Not only our lives even our thought process has changed so much.
Before we could plan things well ahead of time and work accordingly. Nowadays we always have to keep in mind a Plan B. Even when we plan about a physical get together back in our mind we have to be ready with strategies of a virtual one too, whether in our personal or professional life.
I would say my routine or discipline in life has been affected so much by this pandemic. I was somebody who used to start my day with a morning walk, sadly Covid has put an end to it. Starting from the kids’ classes, schools, our holidays, weddings, visits to relatives and friends places everything has changed upside down. You need to think twice even to step out to get the essentials or visit even your closest relative or a friend. It has changed the meaning of freedom.
On the other hand the pandemic has taught us a lot. It has taught us not to take things for granted. It has made us more tech savvy, we became familiar with virtual meetings and learnt to make the best from the opportunity that is available to us even though we miss seeing our friends personally and interacting with them.
Thanks to these virtual meetings we were able to come together on several occasions, for example this year for the first time all the clubs were able to come together for Independence Day celebrations, International Inner Wheel Day celebration et cetera.
Hello Womeniya: can you highlights some important service projects you did during this pandemic
Cinda Jojy: So far our Clubs have done more than 1300 projects for the welfare of the society. Clubs have done excellent projects thinking out of the box. When women come together to uplift women there is no limit to what they can achieve. We have done many projects this year is to empower women , 478 project done so far in our District ) by providing vocational training, cooking classes, securing machines, marketing their products, educational support, mobile cart donation, obtaining micro loans, providing social platforms, financial help and awareness sessions provided on health and hygiene other help is being done for them.
IWC of Tiruchirapalli provided Doormat training, to empower the women sanitary workers provided them with the machinery and raw material and helps in marketing their products. A seven day workshop was conducted &A weaving machine costing 20,000/- was procured and two weavers were paid 10,000/- to train these women. Now the sanitary workings are able to earn Rs 300/ week apart from their meager income
Ladies were taught to make healthy home made soap making with natural materials. They came out with a unique idea of branding IW with our logo on these soaps. Now these ladies have made this as their business and our brand is spreading widely through these natural healthy soaps.
One club donated plastic wires to make wire bags ,the President herself visited the home frequently and trained them to make wirebags. Now the result is amazing, They also help them in selling the finished bags ..
Many clubs have been doing a lot to help the tribal, by conducting medical camps, giving them needed medicines, sanitizers and masks to protect themselves from the pandemic ,as well as giving them awareness session and even vocational training with materials easily available to them.
One project close to my heart was done by Inner Wheel Club of Trichy Malaikottai , were the Club President and a few members travelled around 12 km for a few months, to teach these ladies to sign. The tribal women were so happy that they could put their signature on a paper for the first time. Another club even took the risk of travelling on a small boat to cross the river to reach the tribal village, to give them medical facilities and cots. Many clubs have given sewing machines and carts to ladies so they can start their own business.
A great achievement was that a Video on hazards of Tobacco smoking was presented in 15ooo schools by IWC Trivandrum, through Victers Channel benefitting 15,ooooo students& telecasted in Harvest TV with a minimum viewership 0f 25million worldwide. If by seeing this if we could prevent kids from using tobacco that would be considered as a great achievement.
Clubs along with Govt hospital Healthcare department & Corporation conducted COVID vaccination camps. Almost all the clubs’ visits old age homes and orphanages on a monthly basis and provide meals, medicines, groceries and toiletries. Clubs have done a lot in spreading awareness on Cervical cancer and its vaccine.
We have given much importance to kitchen gardening, waste management, composing and planting trees from day one. On July 1st itself all the members of District 321 started their own kitchen garden, starting with at least one grow bag, which majority of them developed into a small kitchen garden in the backyard /terrace even balcony . In fact I am so happy to announce that all our District members have started their own kitchen garden, this year. An interesting project was Saving rainwater, for irrigation by IWC of Tirunelveli. During the rainy times, an emergency request arised from Vaachar kulam pond committee people to save excess rainy water and to divert it to the pond for irrigation purposes, to utilize the excess water for worthful service. They felt, Very blessed to be a part of that service , as they directly stood in the muddy &watery soil to supervise the work done…
Hello Womeniya: Being a Social entrepreneur what is your goal and vision about the upliftement of the society.
Cinda Jojy: Being a social entrepreneur my goal and mission is to empower women and being a lover of nature protecting mother earth for the generations to come by spreading the importance of planting more greens and effective waste management was always my vision. Under Earth care we are giving much importance to kitchen gardening, composting and 5 Rs’ reduce ,reuse, recycle ,repair and refuse. We are all familiar with the first three Rs but along with it repair and refuse is very important to control the waste produced . And this point has to be spread among the younger generation. Let us teach our girls to be independent and our boys to respect women. In Inner wheel we women work towards uplifting other women. As Mother Teresa said not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.