| The Free Press Journal
17 June 2014
Ujjain: Guddi Bai, an underprivileged woman from Palki village near Nagda in Ujjain district, earns Rs 500 per month stitching clothes during her free time. Like her, over 200 other women have been trained in tailoring at the Mahila Stitching Centre, at Nagda in Madhya Pradesh as part of the CSR initiatives of Grasim Industries Limited, a flagship company of Aditya Birla Group.
The Mahila Stitching Centre is working towards women empowerment in and around Nagda where Grasim's VSF plant is located. By imparting training in essential earning skills, the organization is helping these women evolve into self-assured, economically independent individuals. Consequently, it is bringing forth a transformation in the socio-economic landscape of the region.
"I feel confident as my income has helped improve the lives of my family members, especially my children. Earlier, I had nothing to do except household chores once my husband left for work and children went to school. The stitching training has made me self-sufficient and confident," says Guddi Bai.
Commenting on the success of the program, Siddhartha Banerji, President, Grasim Industries, Nagda plant (MP) said, "We are involved in creating opportunities for women living in the villages around our factory at Birlagram near Nagda. We had been exploring various income generation activities, especially for low income families, and after an in-depth discussion, tailoring was chosen as a good livelihood support activity. The Mahila Stitching Centre collaborates with USHA International which administers the exams and awards certificates to successful candidates."
Grasim also provides them with sewing machines on part contribution paid by the stitching enthusiasts. "This help them in two ways – one, they sharpen their skills by practicing more, learn new dress design and secondly they can quickly eke out a livelihood by stitching clothes for the villagers", adds Banerji.
Since its opening, the Mahila Stitching Centre has trained over 200 women in the basic skill of stitching. The three-month training programme imparts a simple skill to 15-20 women that redefines their social standing, giving them economic freedom and self-confidence. A simple skill has redefined the social standing of the through empowerment, imparting self-confidence and driving economic freedom. The basic objective of this initiative is to teach women stitching. However, it also provides the hitherto shy womenfolk with a platform to interact with each other. This opportunity is helping them open up by instilling a great deal of confidence in them.