Darchula women tailor their way towards financial independenceMost women are engaged in tailoring businesses that have enabled them to support themselves and their families.
Durga Joshi of Shailyasikhar in Darchula had undergone a 15-day tailoring training nearly three years ago. Now, she makes a good income from her tailoring business.
“Earlier, I would have to depend on other family members to meet household expenses. But for the past two years, I’ve been making my own money,” said Joshi. “There is a lot of demand for my services in the village.”
A decade ago, the involvement of women in the tailoring profession was negligible in Darchula. But today, a majority of the district’s women are involved in the profession.
“Women in the city area have been in this profession for a decade,” said Joshi. “We started here only a couple of years ago. The idea of economic independence among rural women was an alien concept, but we are slowly understanding the importance of earning our own money.”
Many women like Joshi, whose daily life was limited to doing household chores, are now running small tailoring businesses.
Nanda Bam from Simali in Duhun has been operating Raina Sewing and Training Centre in the district headquarters, Khalanga, for the past eight years. Her centre also provides training to other women.
“I have trained more than a 100 women from rural areas in Darchula so far,” said Bam. “Ten women who trained with me are self-employed in Khalanga.”
Besides training, Bam has given employment to three women in her tailoring shop.
“I earn around Rs 1,500 per day from my training and tailoring business,” said Bam, who started her tailoring business after it became difficult to sustain a living from traditional farming.
Ramesh Singh Thangunna of Naugada encouraged his wife to learn skill-oriented training, as his income was insufficient to take care of the household. His wife, Hema, is also happy to have received a tailoring training.
“I started my own business after receiving a three-month training,” said Hema. “We both now make enough money between the two of us to take care of our family.”
Self-employment and financial independence have also helped control instances of gender violence in the villages, according to local women leaders.
“Violence against women has decreased in the villages after women started earning their own money. Financial security is important for women since it makes them independent and empowers them to speak up against forces that threaten them,” said Yesdoda Tinkari, the spokesperson of Byasi Sauka Samaj Sewa in Darchula.
Pashupati Dhami from Malikarjun also tells of being able to support her family after receiving tailoring training.
“My daily life was all about household chores in the past,” Dhami said. “These days, I dedicate my afternoons to tailoring. I take orders and work from home.”
Dhami is adept at tailoring coats, trousers and scarves, and knitting woollen sweaters.
“Since I’m not educated, I thought I’d always have to depend on others to make a living. But now I make Rs 10,000-15,000 per month through my tailoring business,” Dhami said.