When the going gets tough, the tough indeed gets going. Nothing makes this clearer than tribal and impoverished girls from remote villages in Madhya Pradesh who are training to be automobile and motorcycle repairers, hitherto strictly a male bastion. Yes, you heard that right! Girls from remote villages in Madhya Pradesh are training to become accomplished garage mechanics and are none the worse for it!

The brainchild of Madhya Pradesh Khadi and Village Industries Board, it is a one of its kind women empowerment program in India in the field of automobiles. The board decided to start a 3-month free residential training programme with a stipend for rural, tribal, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe girls. The success of every program depends on innovation of the idea, its proper implementation and requisite training and skill enhancement for the same. Seeing a tribal girl repairing her brother’s bicycle all by herself, the then managing director of Khadi conceived this idea of starting a vocational training programme for rural girls to gain expertise in two-wheeler repairs.


The challenges were many: Will the girls themselves be willing to learn this vocation that is strictly dominated by men? Will their families and society accept and send the girls for this training? Will the girls be mentally and physically capable of this training? Will they be able to complete the training in the specified duration of three months? Will they be confident enough? Do they possess the required energy levels? Will they be able to stay in the hostels alone leaving their relatives and family? Will the trainers genuinely take interest and be capable enough to train them? Will the girls be prepared for entrepreneurship?

First of all, Centre for Research and Industrial Staff Performance (CRISP) was selected as a training partner. A total of 39 nominations were made from 15 Districts. The girls, who came from the most interior regions of Madhya Pradesh, had no clue about the business of automotive parts. They were very shy, lacking in confidence and had never stepped out of their village till now. After completion of the first week, all the trainees were capable enough, fully confident but still not well versed with English. So, the trainers started working on their English as well as on complete personality development with skill enhancement. Within one month, all the trainees were well versed with the nomenclature used in the automobile industry. It is expected that most of these trainees might get a job in the automotive industry or workshops. Some trainees were also planning to avail loans under the Government Schemes and start their career as entrepreneurs.


Today, these girls are far more confident, less shy, full of energy, and are getting full support from their families and society. The training itself has become a huge success that has motivated the entire team to work harder not only to meet the targets but also to fulfil a social responsibility. These girls will soon be ready to enter into a new era of their lives, empowered, enabled and full of enthusiasm. This is what women empowerment is all about.