Skilling women for better livelihood

Skilling women for better livelihood

Sravanthi has skilled more than 100 women in her village and is looking forward to training more women to empower them and make them financially...

Sravanthi, a resident of Gollapally village, Shamshabad, Telangana, is a hero with an inspirational story of becoming a successful leader and entrepreneur from a homemaker with the support of Amazon.

Sravanthi informs that due to financial constraints at her home she was married off at a very young age of 17. About six years ago Sravanthi lost her husband and the responsibility of raising two daughters came on her.

"Initially, finding an employment opportunity seemed to be a hazy dream. However, I was determined and found a way out of my adversities. I was constantly looking out for opportunities to learn and get trained in a skill," she shares.

After receiving foundational support from stitching and sewing for her community people, she received help from Amazon Cares READ India Centre in Gollapally village.

Here, she learnt she was given an opportunity to train the beneficiaries from the village. She accepted the opportunity, and that was the turning point in her life.

It helped her overcome her challenges and become a successful leader with her stitching and sewing skills. Within six months she trained almost 100 women. And the women beneficiary's from surrounding villages also started coming to the centre to take sewing training.

In the beginning, she started learning the basics tailoring from a senior member of her community. "I picked it up quickly and started experimenting with new designs and improved the quality of my work."

Sravanthi says that Amazon Cares Community Centre in Gollapally village approached her to train other women like her in the village.

"I accepted the offer and started to train women. After finishing training, I spent time learning new techniques and designs in tailoring. I also began experimenting with embroidery craft 'Maggam'.

Within six months, I was able to train more than 100 women from my village. Eventually, many women from surrounding villages came to know about the training quality and also started signing up for the same at the community centre."

Upon seeing the good performance of women in the community centre, Amazon India gave them a large order to make satin bags. Sravanthi organised 30 women into the production group and started fulfilling such orders.

"I was also taking small orders from friends and neighbours. I realised that I could start a better stitching unit at my home. I used my savings to get a good quality machine and started taking high-value orders from families who can afford costly designs.

Today, I earn between Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 per month through the training and other stitching orders," she says.

About the challenges as an entrepreneur, she shares: "In the initial days of my career, I was not confident and didn't get enough support. Also, after getting trained in tailoring I wasn't able to generate enough income to support my family needs.

The orders I was receiving from my village were very minimal and insufficient for a family of three. But after joining hands with Amazon Cares, I was able to enhance my skills, which also helped me to train more than 100 women in stitching.

Today, I can take large orders and this has improved my faith in my capabilities and helped me make more income."

As the responsibility of raising her children fell solely upon her she says that her circumstances have been her best teacher to manage both home and business.

"I realised that I had to work hard to be self-reliant and to bring up my daughters. My day starts at 5 am. I finish my household chores and send my children to school and to get ready for my work.

A good fulfilling day of learning, giving and interacting at the centre gives me energy. In the evening, I spend a few hours catching up with my children about their day and help them with their homework.

After cooking and having dinner with my children, I spend time working on the stitching orders. I have a busy day and have to work really hard to be the person I am," she shares.

She says that during festive seasons like Diwali, managing workload at the Community Centre and home is very difficult. "Because of this high workload, I cannot commit to orders that involve too much embroidery, even though they are very remunerative.

We live in the outskirts of Hyderabad and since our area is underdeveloped, people get less pay for their jobs. Hence, it's difficult for my customers to afford the payment. However, they understand the value of good skills."

Sravanthi states that many women have started their own stitching units after getting trained under her.

"After receiving this training some women have started their stitching units that take orders from the people living in the village and some are supporting me in working for orders in sewing and stitching shoe bags for their online orders."

Sravanthi informs that she does not have a boutique and she does most her work from home. "I have set aside some space in my small house to do the stitching work. I take orders from relatives and friends ones and fulfil them in my free time."

On the concluding note, Sravanthi says, "I want to create opportunities for other women like me.

I believe that all the good I do for others will be a blessing for my family and it will help my children have a good future.

I will do everything in my capacity to give my daughters a good education and to make them independent like me."

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