Rotary Club of Surat, RID 3060, under its women’s empowerment programme, has started a vocational training centre in Amroli, Surat, to train women in tailoring. The centre, sponsored by club member Babubhai Jariwala,was recently inaugurated by IPDG Prashant Jani in the presence of DG Santosh Pradhan and DGE Shrikant Indani.
Ajay Mahajan, a past president of the club says, “the pandemic has led to many people losing their jobs and families struggling to have a single decent meal. Women are harrassed and domestic violence has increased in Surat. We wanted to help these women learn a new skill and financially support their families.”
It is a certificate programme of two-month duration and the centre helps women set up their own tailoring unit and provides space and sewing machines to those who do not have one. Mahajan says that the centre will also help in “developing their capacities in leadership, skill development, finance management and entrepreneurship.”
The first day of class, for Meghna (35) from Amroli was “like a rebirth. I met many women who were struggling just like me but it was very encouraging to see them step forward to earn a decent living. I have made a lot of friends here.” Her husband was the only earning member in the family and after he lost his job during the pandemic “I had to fill his shoes by taking up odd jobs. But now I don’t have to go door-to-door and clean utensils,” she adds. She earns ₹200 per kurta but more than the money, “I have the satisfaction of creating something and I can take care of my family better and focus on my children’s well-being. My husband is proud of me,” she smiles.
“When Meghna stitched her first kurta and received payment, we felt very happy as she said it went to pay her child’s school fees,” says Mahajan. Currently, the centre is equipped with seven sewing machines and trains 25 women. “We will be adding few more machines soon and will gradually expand our activities to train women in beauty care, agarbatti-making and handicrafts,” he adds. The centre is run and managed by the club’s RCC.