Raj Kumar Foundation empowering one woman at a time
Besides training women, she also conducts free medical camps, food and clothes distribution drives with the help of her family and friends.
KURNOOL: Thanks to B Ratna Kumari, as many as 5,000 women from various parts of the State have become independent and are earning a livelihood for themselves and their families. A native of Manavapadu village in Jogulamba Gadwal district of Telangana, Kumari established ‘Raj Kumar Foundation’ in Kurnool district in the memory of her brother, who himself was a social activist, to help the poor, especially widows, and orphaned girls.
Through her organisation, the 41-year-old trains women in tailoring, making jute bags, matchboxes, incense sticks and paper plates, besides offering beautician courses, all for free. Her objective, she says, is to empower these women so they can stand on their own feet. She has also roped in as many as 15 trainers.
What sets her organisation apart is that she does not believe in accepting donations, instead she humbly requests her donors to help with either upgrading the equipment for training women, provide employment to the trainees or pay the trainers.
Soon after she completed Class X, her parents got her married, following which she settled in Chinnatekuru village, Kurnool district. However, she continued her studies and completed graduation in BA with the support of her in-laws. She was involved in social work since a very young age. After the untimely demise of her brother Raj Kumar, a technical officer in the government sector, in an accident in 2015, she established the ‘Raj Kumar Foundation’.
Besides training women, she also conducts free medical camps, food and clothes distribution drives with the help of her family and friends. Speaking to TNIE, Kumari stressed on the importance of making a woman self-sufficient and brave. “A gentle push is what it takes to boost someone’s confidence so they can achieve their goals,” she said. Kumari has been honoured with several awards, including the Gurram Jashuva Purashkaram and APJ Abdul Kalam Memorial Award. The State government as well as a number of private organisations have felicitated her for her work.