By carving a unique partnership, Airbnb and Princess Diya Kumari Foundation are set to offer social impact experiences to travellers and promote micro-entrepreneurship among the women of rural Rajasthan. By Sushmita Srivastav
If you have been to Jaipur, you will have acquainted yourself with its royal history and the family that calls the majestic City Palace home. What you probably don’t know is the social impact of the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation (PDKF), helmed by the daughter of the last Maharaja of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singh. Now, the world’s leading community-driven hospitality group, Airbnb, has joined hands with PDKF to further the cause of women’s empowerment in the state.
On October 21, Airbnb announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PDKF. Through the partnership, the hospitality group will help PDKF’s members become Airbnb hosts by sharing their homes or passions with guests coming in from all over the world. The idea is to increase the network of homestays and unique accommodations in Rajasthan available on the Airbnb platform while also promoting micro-entrepreneurship among rural women by providing them skill-development training and turning them into ideal hosts. Moreover, Airbnb will support select PDKF initiatives under Project Shiksha Diya, including providing financial aid to its Digital Scholarship Program.
“Rajasthan has a legacy of strong women who have overcome societal biases to prove their mettle right from the medieval times. It is only fitting, in this context, for us to develop a programme that will help our women become entrepreneurs. We’d like to leverage the state’s immense cultural wealth of heritage, architecture, painstakingly beautiful crafts, and colourful festivals to create irresistible travel experiences that will draw visitors from all over India and the world while simultaneously benefitting women in local communities,” says Princess Diya Kumari, founder of PDKF.
In this unique partnership, Airbnb and PDKF will create two social impact experiences that promote local culture and the unique handicrafts that local women of Rajasthan create with meticulous attention to detail. Airbnb will donate all profits made from these two experiences to PDKF. Boosting Airbnb’s ongoing efforts to promote healthy tourism and provide economic empowerment opportunities to local communities in India, this partnership will also provide an additional reason to globetrotters to put India, and particularly Jaipur, on their bucket lists.
“It’s a pleasure and privilege to work with the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation to further empower potential female hospitality entrepreneurs in Rajasthan. This partnership perfectly embodies one of Airbnb’s core values of enabling local communities to benefit from the growth of tourism. PDKF has been instrumental in bringing Rajasthan’s artisans, culture, and heritage to a global audience, and we look forward to showcasing Rajasthan to the world,” said Chris Lehane, Head of Global Policy and Communications, Airbnb, who was in Jaipur to formalise this unique partnership.