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The Story: WERP-India, a brand founded from student internship project for Women Empowerment

By Mayowa01 ⊚

WERP-India story began in 2017 with Shitu's perspiration and desire to do an internship outside the four walls of his research institute in other to have a first-class research work experience in the real-world settings. Before this time, Shitu has been working for 3 years on his Doctoral research project at Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India. On 22nd August 2017, Shitu was checking through Victoria (his wife) official college email id to assist her to respond to her emails when she was busy with house chores. During the process, Shitu discovered an email post from one of the college student regarding a call to apply for internships from Internshala. This led to Shitu creating an account on Internshala and immediately applied for 2 Internships related to his field of research work.

Few days after, he got a message that he has been selected for one of the internships he applied for. The Internship was Women Empowerment Project of the Forum of Financial Initiatives (FFI), New Delhi, and was asked to appear for an interview. During the interview, the Managing Director of FFI, Shri R.K Tripathi shared the vision of empowering women and why it is must be the core of all sustainable development projects. Since Women Empowerment is directly related to Shitu Doctoral research project, he gladly accepts the offer to work as an Intern for the Women Empowerment Project. Shitu joined the Internship on 1st of September, 2017. The Internship was designed as an Internship Project for 3 months.

Shitu took up the project from scratch and started researching the issues related to Women oppression and marginalization in India society. During these days of focus tailored research work, Shitu discovered that Women Empowerment is a complex Social Issue and it can be solved by Social Research. "As a Social Scientist, I thought of adding Social Research Dimension to the Women Empowerment Project," said Shitu. The Project began in full force with the assistance of a few Interns hired by the FFI to work with Shitu, and Shitu became the Project Director for the project. On Wednesday, 27th December 2017, at the project office, Shitu discovered he can brand the Project with acronyms "Women Empowerment Research Project as WERP-India"…And that is how WERP-India brand came to being. Immediately Shitu took decision with his wife (Victoria) and they decided to buy the domain www.werpindia.org and started building the website for the new organization. Immediately, the hiring process began and Shitu took responsibility of Human Resource and manage the hiring process of more interns to work on the project, WERP-India. Several innovative projects were launched under WERP-India brand to facilitate finding a solution to the menace of Women and Girls suffering and marginalization. Among this was the launching of WERPTV, now rebranded as WomenTV to disseminate the WERP-India project research output and facilitate Women for self-propelling to empowerment through quality information dissemination. Many of such-like activities based project were innovated and manage from that time till date.

In August 2018, Shitu came up with the idea for upscaling WERP-India project during a brainstorming session with the FFI Managing Director on the way forward to achieving the Vision of Women Empowerment in India. It was decided at the meeting to close down WERPIndia project under FFI and start it newly as an independent organization to give the brand autonomy to run independently towards achieving the vision of empowering all Indian Women. On 25th August 2018, The MD FFI, Shri R. K. Tripathi signed documents of the closure of WERP-India project under FFI and No Objection for WERP-India to be registered as a private limited company, a research-based social Enterprise for empowering all India women through social research and volunteering.

On 15th January 2019, WERP-India was successfully incorporated. WERP-India has since then run as a student's initiatives for women empowerment in India. A research-based social enterprise for empowering all Indian Women through social research and volunteering.