Last week Cherie traveled across Gujarat, India with some of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women's team to visit the women of the Self-Employed Women's Association's (SEWA) Rural Distribution Network (RUDI).
The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, with generous support from the Vodafone Foundation in India, has been working in partnership with SEWA to develop a mobile-based Management Information System (MIS) for RUDI's saleswomen. The service allows the saleswomen, called Rudibens, to capture sales orders as well as place orders for new stock using their simple features phone. Data collected in this manner is transmitted to a central database using basic text messaging, and the backend of the application stores information for RUDI's management, financial and audit requirements. The MIS generates several reports for the Rudibens on their phones to help them keep essential information about their individual businesses at their fingertips.
This technical solution is simple, user-friendly and is enhancing the efficiency of 2,000 women entrepreneurs who operate within SEWA's Rural Distribution Network. Alongside the development and roll-out of the customised mobile solution, the RUDI women will also be provided with broader business development and financial literacy training over a three-year period as part of this project. This will ensure that the women learn how to use the system effectively for their business and also expose them to a broader entrepreneurial skill base.
Cherie was also invited to a media event with the Vodafone Foundation in India to mark the end of the Red Rickshaw Revolution.
Three young women travelled 1500k from Delhi to Mumbai in a rickshaw and along the way met extraordinary women. More info can be obtained from:
Cherie made a short speech and presented the ladies with sashes and flowers.
Whilst in India, Cherie attended a "Curtain Raiser Gala Dinner" in advance of the Charity Run in Hyde Park on 23 June 2013 for International Widows Day. The event was organised by The Loomba Foundation and the dinner was also attended by the Honourable Dr Ashwani Kumar, Union Minister for Law and Justice.