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Shifting gears, exploring new direction

This is the first time M. Prashanti has stepped out of her home to learn something constructive and dedicate a few hours beyond four walls of the kitchen. Though her husband did not embrace the idea, she was committed to steal some time for herself.

Like Prashanti, a number of women at Kota Veedhi in One Town Area share how they have been refrained from exploring any sort of training for the past several years either due to family restrictions or financial constraints.

However, the six-month-long skill development training organised by the Visakhapatnam Port Trust as part of its corporate social responsibility has given them an opportunity to shift gears and try their hands at tailoring and computers. While a majority of them opted for tailoring, a few have been registered for a basic computer course that started off last October.

The training classes at Queen Mary’s Government Primary School provided a new direction to those who were longing to be financially independent. “For the last couple of months we have been taking fresh orders from our neighbours and trying to bring out a collection of designer blouses. This way, we are able to earn minimum Rs.3,000 a month and contribute to household expenditure,” says V. Sailaja, a trainee.

Those who have been catering to a growing clientele said that owning a sewing machine would help improve their livelihood.

“At present we are taking limited orders as we don’t have a sewing machine at home as investing in a new machine is an expensive affair for us,” says Sai Lakshmi, who discontinued studies due to financial constraint.

With trainers from the Indo-German Institute of Advanced Technology extending support, the skill development programme, presented in collaboration with Gayatri Vidya Parishad College of Engineering (autonomous), aims at empowering women in slum areas.

Pilot batch

“Training is now given for the 40-member pilot batch and the programme will continue. Based on the requirement and feasibility, we will negotiate further to provide sewing machines to eligible candidates,” says K. Nagabhushanam, senior welfare officer of VPT.

Port Trust is empowering women with skill development training

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