Case Studies





Artiben was originally a resident of the steaming metropolis of Mumbai. That is where she got her Diploma in Sewing. Fortune favours the interested to twist an old proverb slightly would not be amiss in this case. Her cousin, Sonal, dropped by one day and talked to her about SHARDA Trust's Garment Operators Training Programme.

The reasons Artiben (28) had for joining this course were manifold. She was interested in sewing; she already knew something about it and SHARDA Trust would find her employment. Obviously for a simple housewife like her, the most important thing was the ability to raise the family's standard of living with the additional income. Her children were old enough to manage without her; so she could afford to work outside.

Her parents-in-law and her husband had similar reasons for letting her take the training. Though her in-laws lived with her, they were unable to manage the children due to their old age-related problems. In a rare gesture her husband agreed to take up the afternoon shift during her training period.

In this way the children and the house would not be neglected while she would be under training.

Artiben's husband though only a high-school graduate, had a good job at Ahmedabad Electric Company with a monthly salary of Rs.6000/-. Her two children were both school going.

As had been decided upon by the family, Artiben registered herself with the initial fee of Rs.1000/- in April '99. Most creditably she completed her one-month training at NIFT, Gandhinagar without a day's absence! Having already done a diploma in the same subject naturally made things easier for her, and she picked up the lessons with great ease. Her critical comments on the course were that though the trainer explained the methods logically, women without previous experience found the going rather tough. For such candidates training should be for more than a month.

She, being from Maharashtra, had poor knowledge of Gujarati, the local language. Hence she couldn't mix, joke around or enjoy with her batchmates. The only person she could really communicate with in the class was her cousin, Sonal.

Artiben got a job as an operator in the Akash Clothing, through the good offices of SHARDA Trust, but quit it after a month. Her salary there had been Rs.35/- per day.

As she had to commute a long distance, her take-home pay after deducting the commuting charges came to just about Rs.200-300/- per month! That too upon putting in 9-10 hours of hard work at the factory. Her batchmates employed elsewhere had similar salaries. Moreover, having been a housewife before, she could see and feel the neglect to her house and children on account of her being away from home. Added to this problem - queues at bus stops, reprimands from the supervisor whenever she was late and the strenuous nature of the work made her decide to quit the factory.

Artiben's reasoning was correct and logical. Working from home, for two to three hours daily she could earn Rs.500-700/- a month and, of course look after her family as well. There didn't seem much sense in putting in more hours, staying out of the house and, earning a pittance; so inspite of getting an offer from another factory she chose to work from home. She already had a sewing machine which she got fitted with an electric motor. She started accepting orders from the neighbourhood for stitching school uniforms, frocks, salwar kurtas and the like. Thus by April '99, she had struck a good balance between being an earning member and a diligent housewife!

Having truly benefited from SHARDA Trust's training Artiben has paid up Rs.700/- of her loan. At the time of reporting she had the intention of repaying every penny of her loan as she appreciates the advantages of the skill imparted to her .