More than 65% of India’s population lives in rural areas and most of them are poor[1]. According to the 2011 census report, approximately 77.73% of the state of Uttar Pradesh entire population resides in rural areas. 

India primarily lives in villages, yet when we think about India’s progress, we only quantify the development of its cities. Development of villages depends on the ability of the rural population to access education and employment. Currently, there is a lack of facilities and work opportunities for them in their own rural surrounding. They are not able to afford a decent standard of living; their children do not have proper schools to go to and the youth does not have any sustainable employment. In patriarchal societies, rural women are victimised the most, as they are not allowed to venture out of their homes to study or work. This makes most of them financially dependent and vulnerable to abuse and unequal treatment at the hands of their supposed guardians.

Empowerment of rural India is the need of the hour and many organisations are taking up this cause. Mijwan Welfare Society (MWS), founded by the renowned Urdu poet, the late Kaifi Azmi, started with the vision to inspire, equip and empower rural citizens to bring about lasting change within their own communities. A small village in Uttar Pradesh, North India, Mijwan was a nondescript village before Kaifi Azmi decided to return to his family home there and start working with his fellow villagers. The primary objectives of MWS are employment, self-reliance and sustainable development. It also works towards women’s empowerment. The Kaifi Azmi Computer Training Centre, the Sewing and Tailoring Centre for Women and the primary and higher secondary schools for girls run by MWS promote these objectives. Today, Mijwan is well known around the world for the skills its people possess; the showcasing of the exquisite fabrics woven by trainees at the Sewing and Tailoring Centre for Women, Mijwan at fashion shows across India and abroad is an example of their success.

MWS identified key aspects of their work which required legal advice. iProbono provides sustained support to MWS through our lawyers from Mahindra and Mahindra.

“The success of non-profit organisations depends in large measure on handholding by like-minded associations. Mijwan Welfare Society has benefitted greatly from the support given by iProbono”
Shabana Azmi, Director, Mijwan Welfare Society.

Mahindra’s lawyers advised on some of the following legal requirements:

  1. Drafted and reviewed MWS’s service agreements executed with partner organisations.
  2. Analysed the By-Laws of MWS and provided legal advice on funding individuals to start their own small-scale business and on investing in a documentary film highlighting MWS’s work.
  3. Advised them on tax and labour law compliances.

Mahindra’s lawyers continue to provide relevant legal support to MWS in relation to a plethora of matters. MWS is transforming the lives of Mijwan’s women and youth by educating them and by creating viable livelihood opportunities leading to independence. It gives us immense pleasure to be able to contribute to this cause and we hope to continue this association in the future.

[1] India-Rural Population, Trading Economics. Available at:

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