About Disha

About Disha

Disha is a partnership between the India Development Foundation and UNDP, supported by IKEA Foundation, that aims to support one million underprivileged women in India learn marketable skills and connect with income opportunities. The Disha project helps women become economically self-sufficient through training, employment and entrepreneurial skill development; it tests innovative models of public-private partnership for scalability; and establishes a continuum that connects education with skills, jobs and growth.

In today’s world, where we are so strongly trying to propagate the ideology of no gender bias, shouldn’t we also try and reach out to all the women entrepreneurs in the rural regions of Maharashtra? With this in mind, Kruti came to life. Disha Kruti, both Sanskrit words, literally translate into direction and action respectively. As these words clearly suggest, the initiative of this platform is to provide direction to women, so that they are able to take actions for themselves and their livelihood. Women are just as integral to the society as men, hence it is essential that we encourage them to take up governance roles and run their own enterprises.

Women coming from the rural regions in the interiors of Maharashtra, have to struggle to break through the restrictions that are put on them, to be able to start a venture of their own. Even in this digitized world where everything is just a click away, they still seem to lack the market outreach and efficiency while running their businesses. Through Disha Kruti, we are trying to bridge this gap that exists between their venture and the large market that is out there. Kruti will provide hundreds of women from small villages in Maharashtra a platform to sell their products.

These women entrepreneurs are additionally being given training, help and support via an amalgamation of various organizations such as the Maharashtra State Rural Livelihood Mission (MSRLM), Khadi and Village Industries Board Maharashtra  (KVIB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Tisser Rural Handicrafts. The artwork of these women entrepreneurs is being refined to compete with other big players established in the market. Through this intervention, not only are the women entrepreneurs going to be directly benefitted, but also all the other women in the village, who will be working under the entrepreneur’s guidance will also get a chance to generate livelihood for herself. This approach will eventually lead to an overall cluster development and progress of the women in the society.


  • Touch the lives of 1 million women over a period of three years and establish a model for broad-based replication.
  • Provide women and girls with the skills and knowledge that will help them secure employment or start their own businesses.
  • Support the Government of India’s flagship skill development initiatives through policy, research and development support services.