Sustainable Skills in Tailoring
Project name: Threads of Life (ToL) at Hennur and Kannur
This Project is in partnership with India Collaboration and RRK Foundation.
Threads of Life is for those women who are from very poor backgrounds and work either as domestic maids or as home makers. Some are emotionally disturbed because of domestic violence and want a way out in their economic and social life while others are gripped with generational poverty and seeking a sustainable livelihood to break away from the spell of this poverty.
These women were trained in basic and advanced tailoring skills for a period of 12 months. In addition they are also trained in designing and pattern cutting, sewing machine maintenance, spoken English, numeracy, card making, pot painting, basic computers, teaching in health and hygiene, cooking and inputs in personality development. This holistic input has also scaled their outlook to better social living and economic empowerment.
While the trainee women love the new environment of training and looked forward to a sustainable skill being developed during their training, the challenges of coming to the center each day is what they have to overcome. They have to face undue family demands of meeting domestic chores before getting to their classes and post the days training lot more other chores awaiting them. They have had other domestic challenges that they had to overcome in-order to be present every day. Their deep desire to break away from their present life environment and to see their children progressing they have persevered and pressed on to successfully complete the course. The basic and advance training was imparted through internal resources. Some of the other value added training and information was outsourced through volunteers and agencies.
The highlight of the one year training is the gift of a sewing machine that each successful trainee gets on her graduation day from YuvaLok. She begins to earn her livelihood through this new found skill in tailoring the day she graduates.
Success stories of the past
Determined to Succeed
Jayanthi approached our TOL instructor in June 2013 to be admitted for the course in tailoring. On discovering that Jayanthi had discontinued her Pre University Course, she was advised to pursue her studies. Her eyes began to swell with tears and she expressed her present domestic plight wherein she couldn’t continue her studies and being married and blessed with a girl baby (1 yr old) she couldn’t work either. Her husband being a painter would get jobs for about 12 – 15 days a month. The financial situation was grim. Jayanthi knew that if she completed her training at YuvaLok , she could become a full-fledged tailor in a year’s time and she could start earning from home and also take care of her child.
She did very well in her training and with the sewing machine that was presented to her at the time of her graduation in April 2014, she began a new life. Today she has built a good contact with the community, has plenty of orders to work on, earns about Rs. 10,000 pm and also helps other women who are new to this skill. Each year she recommends women for training in tailoring to Threads of Life. Just one year of holistic training has empowered her economically and socially.
Jayanthi has plans of opening a shop and employing couple of women and scaling up her business. She is saving money for the shop’s advance and for infrastructure. Her determination to succeed has given her the taste for being a successful entrepreneur.
Language of skill
Lucky, a mother of 3 children migrated from UP along with her husband Vijay a carpenter to Bangalore as they had no source of income from their village and schooling too was not within their means. They located themselves in the year 2012 close to YuvaLok School premises. In order to admit her children to school, she approached the office for admission. Lucky could only speak in Hindi which was very accented and difficult to understand. On seeing her situation and the family plight, husband without job and she willing to do odd jobs, her children were admitted to YuvaLok School. Later on she heard about the tailoring project and was determined to learn this skill which in turn would surely bring a change in her family life. Lucky had no knowledge of the local language or English. She convinced her instructor that the language of skill was more important than speaking a language. With that determination she successfully completed her one year course and in the process learnt to speak Basic English and can manage in the local language.
Equipped with an employable skill, she joined a garment factory and presently earns Rs.7500 pm. Her husband does odd carpentry jobs at YuvaLok and in the local community. On Sundays she spends a few hours stitching for the neighbors and friends and earns additional income. 3 years post her graduation; she is economically and socially better off and expresses her gratitude to YuvaLok for equipping her and transforming her life.
Trained to Train and bring about change
Jyothi Deepa was a student at YuvaLok School for rescued child labourer’s. When she was admitted it was noticed that she was very insecure and depressed over the incident of her mother who committed suicide by self-immolation when Jyothi was very young leaving her with six siblings to take care off. Her Father did odd jobs and brought in some money. With so much of domestic pressure on her, Jyothi did not do well in her studies; she was lagging behind though extra help was given to her to do better. At age 15 in 2010 she decided that tailoring would be a better option and requested that she be moved to the vocational training center for tailoring at YuvaLok.
This training brought cheer to her. She was quick to learn and soon started to outdo her peers. After her successful training she started to earn a livelihood from the sewing machine presented by YuvaLok during the evenings. During the day she was an assistant instructor at the YuvaLok ‘Threads of Life’. In 2013 she got married and moved to Salem. The wholistic training that she got from YuvaLok got her to start a small tailoring training center in Salem. Today she trains 3 women and is loaded with tailoring work brought to her from the community. Being a rural place the salary is low but there is no complaining. She is happy that each year she is able to teach 3 – 5 women an employable skill and do her part in transforming few families in the village she lives in presently.