These 2 words hold much more value than we realize. Why?
Because, we live in a male-dominated country where women are constantly intimidated, discriminated and attacked.
While women living in tier 1 and 2 cities may have become a part of the modern world where they are treated with equality, women and girls living in underprivileged areas are nowhere close to the happy-and-safe-for-women world we’ve “claimed” to build for ourselves.
One such example is the women living in the rural areas of Rajasthan. If you dig deeper into the roots of the land of royalty, reality hits you hard.
That’s when you start to realize how crucial it is to pull them out of a patriarchal social structure and provide them with a platform to support themselves without being dependent on anyone.
That’s what exactly PDKF (Princess Diya Kumari Foundation) is doing!
Founded by Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur, PDKF is the perfect example of “Women Empowering Women”.
The foundation runs five centers across the state that provides support, advice, and education to underprivileged women and girls.
Here’s everything you need to know about PDKF and their initiatives that have helped thousands of women in rural Rajasthan to build a livelihood for themselves.
What Is PDKF?
Established in 2013, Princess Diya Kumar Foundation, also known as “PDKF” is a non-government organization that works towards the upliftment of disadvantaged women and girls by focusing on skill-building, creating sustainable livelihoods with the help of different community programs, promoting heritage crafts, and providing the underprivileged girls with scholarships, digital literacy, and academic assistance.
The Woman Behind PDKF: Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur
A rising star in the BJP state cadre, Princess Diya Kumari is a modern businesswoman who heads various business ventures, schools, trusts, museums, hotels, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Her contribution towards the betterment of society has been remarkable.
She established PDKF (Princes Diya Kumari Foundation) in 2013 with an aim to empower women and girls through vocational training, education, and livelihood generation.
In 2013, she also became an elected Member of the Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan from the Sawai Madhopur constituency (comprising Sawai Madhopur city, founded in the 18th century by her ancestor, Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I, surrounded by vast underdeveloped rural tracts, and the Ranthambore National Forest and Tiger Reserve).
A true connoisseur of art and culture, custodian of her regal lineage, a nurturer of history and heritage, and a modern business leader, princess Diya has excelled in every sphere; thereby inspiring every woman who wishes to make a difference in society.
Her achievements are not limited to social work. In January 2017, she also received an Honorary Doctorate from Amity University, Jaipur, for her contribution in the field of philanthropy and leading role in heritage management.
Here’s an in-depth view of the programs launched by PDKF that have helped women and girls to gain courage and build confidence in themselves to live a better life.
Initiatives By PDKF:
Women Empowering Women
PDKF focuses on the financial independence and stability of women.
It hosts Financial Literacy workshops to help women learn about basic banking, saving options, and various Government schemes that ultimately empower women to become productive members of their families and community.
PDKF has also received recognition from UN Women National Committee Canada for its outstanding contribution to Women’s Economic Empowerment.
Educating Underprivileged Girls:
With an aim to support girls’ education, PDKF has developed the Shiksha Diya Project which means Giving Education.
This program provides underprivileged girls with scholarships, material support, computer education, and tuition.
With such influential initiatives, PDKF is not only empowering girls but also engaging in community awareness with the aim to influence public perceptions about women’s equality and empowerment.
Skill and Livelihood Building Programs
Since its inception, Princess Diya Kumari Foundation has worked towards supporting disadvantaged women by providing them with the opportunities to create livelihoods.
With the help of different skill-building and livelihood programs, PDKF has been able to increase the annual household income of the women who participated in these programs by over 42%.
These programs feature various skill-building training such as stitching, embroidery, heritage crafts, and soft toy making.
PDKF also provides them with the whole value chain including everything from infrastructure to design, materials, machinery, tools as well as links to commercial outlets to sell their crafts and products.
PDKF has showcased their collection of garments (crafted by women artisans) featuring the traditional ‘gotapatti’ work of Rajasthan at the prestigious Rajasthan Heritage Week 2018 and at the Bombay Times Fashion Week 2019.
As a part of their flagship program CoAid, the women of SPKF came together to support the community by donating face masks to frontline medical providers.
Princess Diya Kumari Foundation has also been distributing nutritious meal packets, sanitizers, and other medical supplies to COVID-19 patients across the state.
PDKF donates water tanks to ensure access to safe and clean water in the areas with the problem of water scarcity.
PDKF also supports the ‘Save Water’ campaign run by the Government of Rajasthan.
PDKF X MYNTRA: Empowering Women Through Sustainable Fashion:
Princess Diya Kumari Foundation has joined hands with Myntra to empower women artisans in Jaipur and the District of Sawai Madhopur.
Taavi (Myntra’s sustainable fashion brand) has come up with an exclusive collection of sustainable apparel in collaboration with PDKF, featuring applique, a craft of ornamenting with needles and pieces of fabric.
The embellishments crafted by the women empowered by PDKF are incorporated into the garments made by Taavi. The entire collection features designs inspired by Rajasthan’s heritage.
Such initiatives by Princess Diya Kumari Foundation have helped the less-fortunate women of rural Rajasthan to become financially independent and make an identity for themselves.
PDKF X AIRBNB: Empowering Women & Promoting Local Culture
PDKF has partnered with Airbnb to empower potential hospitality women entrepreneurs in Rajasthan. This partnership allows women to share their homes or their passions with travelers from around the world.
Airbnb has also identified and increased the network of homestays and unique accommodations in Rajasthan and created two social impact experiences, which highlight the state’s artisan treasures, heritage architecture, and local culture.
The proceeds collected through these initiatives go back to disadvantaged women and local communities associated with Princess Diya Kumari Foundation.
Through this partnership, Indian women hosts earned over Rs 100 crore ($14 million) on Airbnb in 2019, now, isn’t that amazing?
How Can You Contribute?
Shop At PDKF Online Store
Princess Diya Kumari Foundation has launched an online store that features exquisite products showcasing the culture and heritage crafts of Rajasthan.
Designed by Princess Gauravi Kumari (Princess Diya Kumari’s daughter) and French designer Claire Deroo, their collection features garments and accessories crafted with old techniques adorned with modern designs.
Their collection is a true amalgamation of Gotapatti embroidery, fine needlework, and Rajasthan’s famous block printing that are taught to the foundation’s women artisans at its centers.
This store aims to not only engage and help more women in Rajasthan but also expand the reach of the foundation; thereby, inspiring more people to connect with PDKF.
Here’s the link to PDKF Store: https://www.thepdkfstore.com/
You can support the women of Rajasthan by purchasing their work.
So, go ahead and have a look!
And if you want to do more, you can donate too!
Here’s you can connect with PDKF
Connect With Princess Diya Kumari Foundation :
Do Your Part (Get Involved With PDKF):