How tailoring has become a means of economic independence for Dhangadhi womenDurga Dahit’s dexterous hands work with different types of fabric every day. Her interest lies in sewing Tharu costumes, but she says she can sew almost anything—from a pair of pants to a kurtha suruwal to lehengas.
Durga Dahit’s dexterous hands work with different types of fabric every day. Her interest lies in sewing Tharu costumes, but she says she can sew almost anything—from a pair of pants to a kurtha suruwal to lehengas.
Forty-six-year-old Durga comes from a Tharu community, where she learnt tailoring at a very young age. And by the time she turned 18, she had already started working.
The job has given her independence and financial security, but defying preconceived notions—of women being fated to look after household chores—was not easy for this woman from Dhangadhi Sub-metropolis, Kailali.
“It’s difficult to go against traditional norms. But once you pull up the strength to do it, you will start earning and become independent,” she shared. “It also makes me more confident about myself.”
With the income she generates from tailoring, Durga has been smoothly running her home as well as successfully funding her son’s oversees education and her daughter’s bachelor’s degree. Durga has also been able to help empower other women, by employing three women at her shop.
“This profession requires tremendous hard work. If one works with dedication, a profit of around Rs 15,000 per month is guaranteed,” says Durga. In season, Durga said, the profit surges upto Rs50,000. She says one can rule out the scope of loss in the tailoring profession, if one pursues hard work persistently.
In Dhangadhi, tailoring, once pursued by those with little to no education, is slowly attracting many, even those with the benefit of an education, because of its lucrative prospect.
“In this profession, if one has skills, a good income is guaranteed,” said Parwati Thakulla, a local of Dhangadhi-9, who is an intermediate level student. “I make good money in this profession, therefore, I have decided to take it up as a career, while continuing with my studies.”