Samar Khan, who lives in Bhopal, is providing free education and vocational training to poor and vulnerable girls. Besides, he provides shelter to slum dwellers and victims of domestic violence and also organizes weddings.
Samar has also helped many women get jobs and work assignments. So far, she has helped more than 10,000 women. Samar Khan, 35, has a master's degree in social work. After her marriage, she joined her husband who ran an NGO. She started by providing vocational training to women from poor families.
Samar Khan believes that the condition of women cannot be improved unless they are made self-sufficient.
Samar Khan narrates her experiences. It was about 10 years ago that a woman trained at her vocational center was married to someone in Maharashtra. “We supported her in organizing the weddings since her father had passed away. However, after the marriage, she was not treated well by her in-laws. “Even her husband beat her. A few days later she ran away and came to Bhopal. Her family was not ready to keep her.”
"We took the matter to the police, but no avail," she said. It was a desperate situation since the woman had nowhere to go.” This prompted the idea of creating a shelter for such vulnerable women within the premises of their training center.
Women being trained in vocational skills
The NGO did a campaign to publicize the provision of shelter for women. Even the police would shift such women to the NGOs shelter home.
Samar admits that at times, there is too much workload. “It is difficult to handle so much for us,” she said. ‘However, the incident of Narbhaya in Delhi in 2016 stunned us. Then I realized that this work needed to be further expanded. I should do it with strength instead of weakness. And after that, we changed the name of our organization to Narbhaya Foundation.”
Samar says the number of women training and shelter, called Nirbhaya Home, with them has grown rapidly since 2016. Besides economically weaker women, young girls from slums also come for training. The Nirbhaya Foundation now trains the slum dwellers in vocational skills on a large scale and links them to potential employers. The NGO trains women in making agarbati (Incense sticks), sanitary pads, sewing, and beauty parlor. Most of these women have become self-reliant.
Samar Khan also provides rations and vegetables to women in need. The Nirbhaya Home accommodates victims of domestic violence; they get free lodging and boarding and are also given training in skills.
Besides, they are also provided counseling and in case of the need to get police, help is needed. At present, 30 women are lodged in the Nirbhaya Home. The NGO also arranges marriages of girls and victims of domestic violence.
So far the NGO has got 5 women married. She also works to educate the children of poor women.
In addition, Samar wants to make Narbhaya village where women can live as a community.