Azad Foundation provides livelihoods with dignity for resource-poor women living in urban areas in India.
Our aim is to level the employment field for disadvantaged women by providing bold livelihoods options that enhance women’ economic status, dignity, and decision-making within their families.
To achieve this, our Women on Wheels programme empowers women with minimal economic and social capital to become professional commercial drivers. We help qualified women drivers secure employment opportunities in partnership with Sakha Consulting Wings Private Limited, the for-profit sister organization of Azad Foundation. Read more about this work in the Women on Wheels section.
By helping women acquire non-traditional livelihoods with dignity, we are ultimately developing a cadre of empowered women who become agents of change. These women carry values of inclusion, mutual respect and equality, and democratise the spaces in which they live, whether it’s their family or community.
To ensure the transformation we work towards extends beyond the empowered women and their communities, we influence the government and other stakeholders to make non-traditional livelihood options with dignity universally accessible to women in India. We also advocate for the social concerns being considered in livelihood programmes for women.
Through our work we contribute to achieving the goal of economic and social equality for women in India.
How we started
Our journey started in 2008 when we registered as an incorporated charitable trust in Delhi. The basis of our organisation emerged from the persistent gender inequalities in India and the sheer need of finding non-traditional, high-return livelihood options for poor women in urban areas.
We started our work with funds raised largely from family and friends as most young organisations do. This was an important part of our journey, which brought in the spirit of volunteering and commitment to the team.
Since our inception in Delhi, we have grown to other locations – Jaipur, Kolkatta and Indore. We also offer residential training to women from areas where we do not work through our Women on Wheels Academy, and hope to start Women on Wheels in new cities by working with partners.