Vodafone M-Pesa self-defense umbrella initiative aims to empower women


M-Pesa is a mobile money transfer service from Vodafone that allows millions of migrants in big cities like Mumbai to transfer money conveniently to their families back home through the mobile. The loved one receives the money straight in their mobile. They can then visit a nearby M-Pesa agent and show the receipt SMS and an ID proof to get their money instantly. This saves them both time and money in traveling many kilometers to the Bank, as most of these villages are in interiors of the state.

This time around Vodafone M-Pesa decided to educate these women who receiver their money from their husbands or sons on self-defense. The tool used is an Umbrella which has self-defense pictures painted on it as most of these women are not educated and hence cannot read or write.

Take the example of Mrs. Urmila Devi, a lady in interiors of Jaunpur district in UP-East who regularly receives money from her husband who works in a factory in Mumbai through Vodafone M-Pesa. When she visited her nearest M-Pesa agent for cashing-out the money her husband had sent, she was also gifted the Self-defense Umbrella which she can use as a tool for safety while traveling long distances and also learn self-defense techniques through the pictures on the umbrella.

200 such umbrellas were distributed to women in the Azamgar&Jaunpur districts of UPE. Vodafone M-Pesa plans to scale this to other states in the future such as Bihar, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and others.

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