One Stitch at a Time

Mumbai, Maharashtra: The Diocesan Board of Social Service, Bomaby has been working with the communities of Palghar district, Maharashtra since 2015. Their intervention includes empowering the community by creating awareness on sanitation, education, clean drinking water and also enabling the community to bring improvement in their living standard through different skill development training.

In the recent survey conducted by DBSS Bombay in Palgahar district, it was observed that in a village called Manor, with population of approx. 8,500, the villagers primarily are dependent upon seasonal agriculture, which is not adequate to have decent income for the family for whole year. On the non- agriculture seasons people had no opportunity for income generation due to lack of skills and access to information. While conducting the survey in the village it came to notice that a Self Help Group named Mahila Bachat Guts comprising of 40 members was non-operational due to lack of guidance. But the SHG members expressed their strong desire to collectively work and earn additional income. They were interested to run a tailoring center, so DBSS took this as a challenge and an opportunity to empower the women.

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The DBSS staffs with support of other like-minded organization started a center with the first batch of 30 women on 1st February 2017. It was an exciting experience for the SHG to have their own tailoring centre and as an individual they were learning a new skill. While talking with the members of SHG the biggest challenge discussed was, “What is the scope of our work and how this training can give an extra income?”

The DBSS team started exploring opportunities in the locality and after much hard work, a garment company called Lata Garment Company agreed to provide employment to the trained tailors. The women were very happy as the company will provide the material at their home and will collect the finished product from them. And in return they will earn Rs. 5,000-6,000/- per month. The community members are now determined to take up such work and generate more income for their families and this income will give them the opportunity to spend in education of children, good health and asset creation.

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