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Women Empowerment

The situation of women in Tamil Nadu: where do we stand?

Still very conservative, Tamil society encounters social issues that negatively affect the daily lives of populations. Many taboos are still anchored, in particular the question of AIDS, the role of women in society, arranged marriages, incestuous relationships, illiteracy, etc. The status of women in Tamil society is defined in relation to men: they are only mothers, daughters or wives of. They have to take care of their entire family, taking care of all the household chores.

In terms of financial independence, women do not have the same opportunities as men. They are less educated, depend on the income of their husbands and are forced to lend them a hand in their agricultural activity, without deriving any social recognition. This lack of financial autonomy places them de facto in an extremely difficult situation if their husband abandons the family, dies or a conflict breaks out with the in-laws.

OFI's approach to promote women's empowerment


It is impossible to change the mentalities of an entire society in a snap. This is why OFI and its partners in the field, in an effort to promote the social and economic role of women in Indian society, give women the necessary tools to access more resources through professional training. Women can thus acquire a certain autonomy vis-à-vis the husband and the household, which gives them a completely different social status. They can thus take part in the decisions of the household and assert themselves within their community.

Empower women economically to improve their social position in Tamil society.

To do this, OFI favors the creation and formation of self-help groups or Self Help Groups (SHG). 12,000 groups were thus created.


OFI-SEVAI: Women full of resources

Located on the east coast of Tamil Nadu, on the edge of the Indian Ocean, this project offers women in rural and isolated villages opportunities to emancipate themselves through two programs:

  • a professional training program in computer science, sewing and nursing aid. They allow young women to then follow professional internships, improve their employability in the labor market and they can emancipate themselves financially,

  • a training program for 100 Self Help Groups aimed at creating economic activity in the region. This involves bringing together 12 to 20 women living below the poverty line so that they have access to government microcredits at very low rates allowing them to launch an economic activity. As part of this program, many training courses are provided, both on the skills necessary to run an economic activity (accounting, management, vocational training, etc.) and on personal development (awareness of the role of women in society , hygiene and health, etc.).

Thanks to this project, women acquire knowledge and skills enabling them to work and gain social recognition from this work. They can either start their own business thanks to SHGs or find a job.

OFI-SEVAI: A power for tomorrow

The objective of the project is to promote the empowerment of women by creating 100 new SHG groups in the Trichy region . It aims to provide marginalized women with the tools necessary for their social emancipation and economic independence. Through women, this project aims to promote food security through sustainable agriculture.


To support these programs, OFI is funding the renovation of four training centers.

Some past achievements

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Benjamine Oberoi, vice-president of OFI and our local partner SEVAI, have encouraged the creation of more than 11,000 Self-Help Groups. 150,000 households were thus able to exceed the poverty line.


OFI has participated in the federation of more than 4,050 self-help groups (SHG) with SEVAI and GRAMIUM and in the financing of 68 professional training courses. In all, nearly 64,410 women were impacted by our projects.

What impact do our projects have on women?

65% of beneficiaries have succeeded in increasing and stabilizing their income.


Spending on education increased by 125%, food by 80% and health by 40%.


98% of SHG members now have a real impact on the social problems of the community allowing the reduction of alcoholism, the improvement of waste management and hygiene in the villages.

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They were convinced by our actions in favor of women

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OFI won the Raja Women Award 2018 in the “Education and Social Action” category

Since 2013, the Raja Women's Award has rewarded organizations in France and around the world for actions having a concrete and lasting impact for the benefit of women. The Raja Danièle-Marcovici foundation encourages their empowerment and the improvement of their living conditions. It supports projects in the fight against violence and the defense of women's rights, education and social action, training and professional integration, environmental protection and the fight against climate change.


OFI has been supporting projects for the empowerment and economic independence of rural women in Tamil Nadu for 15 years now. Benjamine Oberoi, vice-president of OFI and our local partner SEVAI, have encouraged the creation of more than 11,000 Self-Help Groups. 150,000 households were thus able to exceed the poverty line.


For this, the entire OFI team is honored and proud to have received this award from the Raja Danièle-Marcovici foundation. This award motivates us to continue our projects and expand our field of action.


This price is also yours. Without you, these projects would never have seen the light of day. Thank you for your support. Small steps can make all the difference and it's great to be able to take the right steps together!


Discover the video presenting the finalists in the “Education and Social Action” category of the Raja Women Award 2018

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