Only 43% of the women in the rural area of Villupuram district are literate. Many women are sole caretakers of their families. Many of them are agricultural casual labour or working as unqualified labour in factories. Women without a vocational qualification are vulnerable, but the parents invest little in their education and prefer to send them for work until they marry.
Auroville has been working for the last 25 years for the development of women under Auroville Village Action Trust. AIAT was founded by Auroville Village Action trust.
From the very beginning AIAT has also had its focus to qualify women by offering either government sponsored courses or by providing a stipend to young women or by giving special discounts on course fees to them. We have designed special skill programs to rural women i.e. computer literacy programs, short-term courses government sponsored i.e. masonry, accounting, DTP, etc. or one and two year government recognized vocational training courses in Draughtsman Civil or Computer Operation and Programming Assistant (COPA). As part of extra curriculum activities special classes on healthcare were conducted for women. The management of AIAT take care that female trainees are safe and supported by our female staff.
Many of our women alumni are working in Auroville and outside as receptionist, accountant, saleswomen, DTP expert or managing boutiques, guest houses etc.