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Meet Priyanka: Indha’s 20 year old junk-jewellery maker!

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Priyanka, 20, was born and raised in Liluah Howrah. Her grandfather was a manual scavenger, who spent his day cleaning toilets for a living and could barely make ends meet. None of her family members attended a proper school and were caught in the vicious cycle of poverty.

However, a happy-go-lucky and creative young girl, Priyanka was determined to bring a change and support her family.

It was in May 2015 that she learnt off Literacy India’s skill-development initiative and enrolled with great enthusiasm. She joined the tailoring course and received vocational training in stitching, embroidery, paper making, jewellery designing etc. Through practical work, the course brought out her innate creativity, helping her to design various items such as blouses, bags, bracelets, neck pieces etc., with ability and confidence.

Today, Priyanka is a regular employee with Indha Craft and also plans on starting her own business set-up in women’s wear & accessories. Her journey with Indha, enabled her to stand on her own feet and gave wings to her dreams.

Defying oppressive traditions: how Razia found her niche with the help of Indha

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RAZIA BEGUM, 27, has come a long way in life. A native of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, she was forced to drop out of high school due to financial problems at home. Moreover, being the eldest amongst her siblings, she had to undertake household responsibilities at a very young age. She wasn’t allowed to step outside her home, without being dressed in a burqa nor was she given the permission to work or pursue her dreams.

However, these arduous experiences gave her furthermore determination and perseverance to stand on her own feet.
She joined Literacy India’s women empowerment project, Indha, against her family’s wishes and began working with our organization as a Sales agent. Her job provided her with the opportunity to her visit various corporate companies & NGOs to hold exhibitions and receive hands-on-training in Computer Applications, Tailoring and Marketing. She learnt how to stitch, close business deals, source raw materials, negotiate with clients, prepare sales reports and correspond through e-mails.

After which, we connected her to boutiques, where she now sells her own products and has her own personal clientele. We also encouraged her to complete her education and she is studying for Higher Secondary through open school, simultaneously.

Today, Razia is the head of Sales Department at our Indha centre in Kolkata and has her own bank account with United Bank of India. She has also applied for a loan grant to purchase her own tailoring equipment and plans on aiming higher. She quite aptly, illuminates the thoughtful saying- “Where there is a will, there is a way.’’

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Rinku, a mother of three, had to drop out of school after class VIII, as her family would not allow her to study further. A native of village ‘Chanau’ in Bihar, it is a common custom in her society, for young girls to leave school at an early age, to be married.

However, once she had children, her husband could not manage the household expenses all by himself. With the family barely being able to make both ends meet, Rinku decided to find a job. It was in 2012 that she joined INDHA, a social enterprise that enables young and women, to earn sustainable wages, through handicraft and embroidery skills.

“Indha has helped me improve my creative skills and given me the opportunity to earn well. Today, I can stitch various type of handbags, in a short span and with a refined finishing,’’ said Rinku, with a beaming smile.

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