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Stitching a Better Future

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When Guddi Bai, is cutting the fabric to stitch it and create a garment, she is actually shaping her dream to create a better future.  An underprivileged woman from Palki village near Nagda in Ujjain district of Madhya Pradesh, feel self-confident when she earns Rs 500 per month to contribute her share to support her family by stitching clothes.

“I feel confident as my income has helped improve the lives of my family members, especially my children. Earlier, I had nothing to do except household chores once my husband left for work and children went to school. The stitching training has made me self-sufficient and confident,” says Guddi Bai.

Guddi Bai’s such initiative has also encouraged young girls in village. When Twenty-year-old Sona, holds colorful fabric in her hand one can see color of life in her eyes.  When with all her imagination she makes beautiful attire for someone her parents feel proud that she is self-employed and earns Rs 1000 per month.

“I thank Grasim for providing me the opportunity to learn sewing and tailoring training over three months. Such initiatives help women like me to become self-employed,” she said.

The female population of Palki village is 245 and like Guddi Bai or Sona over 200 other women have been trained in tailoring at the Mahila Stitching Centre, at Nagda in Madhya Pradesh.  This is a part of the wp initiative to empower women by Grasim Industries Limited, a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group.

Women getting trainingThe Mahila Stitching Centre is working towards women empowerment in and around Nagda where Grasim’s VSF plant is located. The three-month training programme imparts a simple skill to 15-20 women that redefines their social standing, giving them economic freedom and self-confidence. By imparting training in essential earning skills, the organization is helping these women evolve into self-assured, economically independent individuals. Consequently, it is bringing forth a transformation in the socio-economic landscape of the region.

Commenting on the success of the program, Mr. Siddhartha Banerji, President, Grasim Industries, Nagda plant (MP) said, “We had been exploring various income generation activities, especially for low income families, and after an in-depth discussion, tailoring was chosen as a good livelihood support activity. The idea was that the women from the remote villages learn to stitch clothes required for their families and neighbours. The Mahila Stitching Centre collaborates with Usha International which administers the exams and awards certificates to successful candidates.”  Grasim also provides them with sewing machines on part contribution paid by the stitching enthusiasts. “This help them in two ways – one, they sharpen their skills by practicing more, learn new dress design and secondly they can quickly eke out a livelihood by stitching clothes for the villagers”, adds Mr. Banerji.

Tailoring is a very old business in India. Still large number of people believes in buying fabric and getting it stitched. This wp initiative of Grasim Industries ltd has generated an opportunity for this creative and imaginative ladies to stitch a better future.