Astitva means identity in Hindi. Astitva is a community based organization that was established in May 2008 in South East Dehradun. Astitva strives to bring about gender equality and end gender based violence in its community. This is done by empowering women and youth through workshops, education, vocational skills trainings, job placements, assistance in starting businesses, rights advocacy and support services such as childcare and health services.
Astitva has emerged from a realisation that women’s’ economic status greatly determines their (& their children’s) opportunities & rights. Low incomes & poor economic control result in reduced decision making powers regarding health, education & money management. It also makes women & children more vulnerable to abuse & violence.
Typically these women work seven days a week without any scheduled days off & they are paid very low wages for hard manual work. Many of them earn less than Rs.2500 per/month for full time work, which is way less than the minimum wage fixed by the Indian government.
Astitva works with such low income women, mainly domestic workers in Dehradun with an aim to enable them to become self-sufficient and lead a better quality life. We believe that women are not victims; they are survivors and the ones who ensure that the family’s basic needs are met, often without support from their spouses. We strive to create a symbiotic relationship between women from varied socio-economic backgrounds.