The Telegraph
Thursday , May 10 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

A stitch in time to save and earn

Eldest sibling in her family, Riti Kumari (20) couldn’t afford to study after matriculation. Now, she is happy that she can stitch together a better life for herself.

Riti and 77 other women and girls in and around Baridih, including slums, attended their convocation on Wednesday to receive their certificates in stitching and beautician’s course under the vocational training and women empowerment programme, Tata Steel (urban services).

Of the 78, 46 women completed a 10-month stitching and sewing course, while 32 women finished a four-month beautician’s course. The fees for the courses were as nominal as Rs 50 a month.

All the students received their certificates from chief guest Srimanti Sen, the better half of Anand Sen, Tata Steel vice-president (TQM & Shared Services).

Clutching their certificates proudly, the students shared stories of struggle and courage.

“I had to quit my studies because my father, a security guard, could not afford to educate me further. I am the eldest in my family and two of my siblings are still in school. But as I have completed the sewing and stitching course, I can help my father by contributing to household expenses. Since people know I am trained, I can take tailoring orders,” Riti said.

Added Puja Sahu: “I have been a homemaker for 11 years. I never explored my talent beyond daily chores. But this stitching course has given me fresh confidence. I can stitch clothes for my children and husband and save money, and also see if I can take orders from a tailoring shop to earn extra income,” she said.

Students also displayed frocks, lehengas and salwar suits.

Those who had completed the beautician’s course can look forward to jobs in parlours and salons of the city, they said.

“We generally conduct the programme for needy women and girls so that they become self-reliant. There are many illiterate and semi-literate women who need to earn money but don’t know how. We help them stand on their own feet,” said Manju Mishra, manager, Tata Steel (urban services).