SEATTLE — Nicki Minaj is a world-renowned superstar. As of 2018, she is the most charted female artist of all time on the Billboard Hot 100 and one of the most viewed people on YouTube, with 16 billion accumulated views.
The American rapper, singer and songwriter who is known for mega-hits like “Super Bass”, “Starships” and “Anaconda” quietly helped build a village for women in rural India. Money sent via The Pearl Foundation to India has provided two computer centers, a tailoring institute, a reading program and two water wells.
Delivering resources and making them accessible to women in this impoverished village has had a significant impact. “We complain about the most ridiculous little things when some [people]don’t even have clean water. Blessings to India. Our work is far from done,” said Minaj on her Instagram account.
For two years, Minaj donated funds to build the village. According to the India Times, the community is now fully developed. Around 50 children visit the computer center every day to learn Microsoft Office, C++, Photoshop and Tally. The tailoring unit has already taught 60 women how to stitch, and the foundation is expanding to cover tuition costs for underprivileged children.
Poverty-stricken areas of India tend to have magnified effects on women. India’s long-standing patriarchal system makes it increasingly hard for women to secure loans, purchase land or even get medical insurance. Melinda Gates once said, “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.”
Centers like the ones opened by Minaj and The Pearl Foundation that help train women in rural India in subjects like finance, nutrition and agriculture can empower them to be financially independent. Enabling women produces positive returns like better self-image and confidence, which is enhanced as they learn about social and political issues, ultimately uplifting women’s roles in developing a sustainable economy in India.
One of the most common problems faced today by these communities is a lack of access to clean water. Women and children in rural India are forced to travel far from home in search of drinking water, and more often than not the water supplies are contaminated.
Contamination of rivers and groundwater is a severe issue for rural communities in India who, despite considerable investment by the government, still have no access to clean water. The water wells Minaj helped fund will save these women time and energy while also improving their personal hygiene, helping them maintain their livestock and ultimately increasing harmony in the community.
Investments like the one made by Minaj help shift these villages out of poverty and into consumerism, supporting increases in the pool of consumers accessible to American and foreign companies, and is therefore advantageous to the growth and scalability of the global economy.
– Hector Cruz