Women Empowerment is another major thrust area of Ramky Foundation, which began in November 2006 with the capacity building of rural women in Dundigal Thanda for the formation of Self-help Groups (SHGs). Today, the Foundation’s achievements in the area of economic empowerment of women include - vocational training of rural women in tailoring and embroidery and women entrepreneurship development training programmes. Such programmes have been bringing a ray of hope into the lives of thousands of rural women. The Foundation also conducts awareness programmes for rural women in the areas of food and nutrition, health and hygiene, financial literacy, rights and duties, law and government entitlements.
In 2006, Ramky Foundation took the initiative of creating awareness and imparting training for rural women in food and nutrition in collaboration with the Food and Nutrition Board, Govt. of India. As part of these programmes, women are taught the importance of nutritious food and are trained in the different methods of preparing low-cost nutritious food at home. Till date, these FNB training programmes have been held at Hyderabad, Dundigal, Pharma City Colony at Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Garalpadu and Vinukonda across Andhra Pradesh. Around 500 women have been empowered under this programme.
In collaboration with the Central Board for Workers Education (CBWE), Ramky Foundation has been imparting training to women in financial literacy, domestic safety and environment, health and hygiene, HIV/AIDS, food and nutrition, etc. The first CBWE training was conducted for 60 women from 13th - 15th February, 2007 at Ramky Enviro Engineers Limited’s Hazardous Waste Management Site in Dundigal, Andhra Pradesh. The Foundation was awarded CBWE’s certificate for "Best Cooperative NGO in the Implementation of Workers Education Scheme" for the year 2006-2007.
During 2007-2008, 600 rural women were trained through ten training sessions conducted at Gorijavolu, Thanam, Garalpadu, Champapet, Musapet, Dundigal, Thadi, Piduguralla and Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh. In 2008-2009, nearly 300 women were trained at Lingamguntla, Machavaram and Piduguralla in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh. On 29th & 30th March, 2010, CBWE training was provided on "Quality of Life" to 20 worker couples at Ramky Sewage Treatment Plant, Nagole.
With the strong belief that financial empowerment is at the core of overall women empowerment, Ramky Foundation launched livelihood enhancement programmes for rural women. In 2008, the Foundation started two coir yarn production training centers in Dachepalli and Guntur. Till date, around 500 women have been trained in these centers in coir yarn production.
The programme aims at creating economic self-reliance among the women by helping them start small-scale coir production units. Training socio-economically backward women in tailoring and embroidery by setting up Fashion Design Centers in rural areas is another popular programme of Ramky Foundation. Efforts are made to ensure that post training, they are able to establish tailoring units on their own and thus enjoy a sustainable income.
On 30th May, 2008, a Sewing Center was inaugurated at Narasaraopeta in Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh with 18 sewing machines and 85 trainees. Today, the number has risen to 30 Fashion Designing Centers across Andhra Pradesh. Ramky Foundation has also conducted awareness programmes for the protection and security of women. In Thadi and Thanam villages near Ramky Jawaharlal Nehru Pharma City, Ramky Foundation conducted Mutually Aided Cooperative Thrift Society (MACTS) training to 2,000 women. The ultimate aim of this entrepreneurship development programme is to turn every woman into an entrepreneur and help her lead a self-reliant life.