Harmeet Kaur is 32 years old and lives with her husband and two young kids in village Ganeshgarh, of Ganganagar district, Rajasthan. She could only study until 8th grade as there was no school beyond that and her parents did not allow her to go to the nearby village for further studies, for which she regrets to date. She got married at an early age to Tarnem Singh who is a daily wage laborer with very uncertain income. After being the mother of two kids her life was ever busy than before, as see settle down in her new life her deep driving desire and an urge to support the family she took out some spare time and started sewing work from her home. She learnt sewing by seeing other women of the village and with practice and trial and error she gradually started stitching basic products such as Kurta, salwar etc. But this was not helping her much as she did not possess any expertise thus use to lack behind others expert tailors and it was tough to get decent work.
One day an EAP held at her village organized by ICICI Foundation, unfortunately Harpreet was not in the village on that day, the response was overwhelming and around 100 applications were generated for “Dress Design for Women” training. After returning Harpreet learnt about this and immediately applied. Very soon the training started but she was not selected, this made her very upset and she went to the training centre and tried to persuade staff to take her in training, seeing her keen interest the trainer told her that see can sit in class and after few days she was enrolled as a trainee.
The training came out to be very fruitful to her as before training she use to cut and stitch cloths on approximate basis, she didn’t had and any knowledge of standard measurement; However in the training she learned necessary required measurements, correct proportions, basic pattern making, cutting, stitching and quality aspects related garment construction.
According to her trainer “She was one of the bright students always eager to learn more; did her assignments on time, punctual and attentive, we could see a spark in her eyes. ” After training she started her work with new enthusiasm and gradually more work started pouring. As her confidence increased she also started teaching sewing to young girls, till date she has taught two batches of 5 girls each. Today her collective income both from sewing and teaching is around Rs.10,000 per month, she is also selling some products. With this new income she has also renovated her home a bit. In her words this training not only gave me a basic knowledge of sewing but also gave me the confidence to run an enterprise, now I can go to the city market of my own and do all the purchasing and negotiation, the training has changed the course of my life altogether.