“I have always been interested in working with fabrics”, said seventeen-year-old Kamala* from India. Married at the age of 13, Kamala thought she wouldn’t be able to fulfill her dreams.
Things took a turn for the better when she was introduced to Terre des Hommes Netherlands’ IMAGE project.
“I expressed to the team that I wanted to learn tailoring as I was very passionate about it”, she said. “They had enrolled me in a course where I learnt everything about stitching fabric. I learnt how to make blouses, tops, shawls and how best to use cloth.”
Kamala’s husband was also counselled as part of the project’s Spouse Club initiative, where he was taught about the importance of supporting his young wife. He was also given awareness on the ill-effects of child marriage on hus wife’s life.
“My husband loved seeing me happy after I learned how to be a tailor. He gifted me with a sewing machine!”, she said excitedly.
In fact, Kamala was not just good at sewing but was also innovative in her thinking.
“During COVID-19, the demand for clothes had reduced. So I decided to collect old sarees (Traditional Indian outfit) from the villagers and make bedsheets out of them. For each bedsheet, I earned Rs. 200 while I also saved on buying cloth!”
Kamala’s attractive bedsheets became popular in the village and the income she earned helped her family survive during the pandemic.
“It was such a great feeling to be able to provide for my family in such tough times. This would not have been possible without TDHNL’s interventions in my life. Imparting tailoring skills to me was like a boon and my sewing machine is a gift very close to my heart.”