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Friday, July 8, 2011

Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Living: Case-46: A STITCH IN TIME!

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In Narayanpet Mandal of Mahaboobnagar district there is a village called Singaram. Borla Pushpa lives in this village with her husband Vishnu and three children. Vishnu is a tailor by profession and Pushpa is a housewife. Singaram being a small village there wasn’t much work for Vishnu. Since he did not have the overlock machine, young people did not give him their clothes to sew. If they did, he had to go to Narayanpet to get the over-locking done for them. This was an expensive process and cut into his profits, reducing his income. The older people gave him banians (vests) to stitch and paid him Rs.10 per piece. He had work only for 2-3 months during the year. Maintaining his family was difficult. He could have improved his income if he could get access to the latest equipment, but he did not have money to buy
this equipment and he did not dare to borrow, paying commercial rates of interests.

Luckily for him the APRLP watershed programme was initiated in the village and Borla Pushpa became a member of the Vijayalaxmi women’s self-help group. When the livelihood fund was sanctioned for the village organisation Pushpa took a loan of Rs.5, 000 from the Enterprise Promotion scheme and purchased an over-lock machine. Now, there was no need for Vishnu to go to Narayanpet. He was saving on the cost of outsourcing the work as well as the cost of transport to and from Narayanpet. As a result his income increased. More people came to get their clothes stitched by him. Vishnu was earning at least Rs.100 a day. However, within one year another ten people started tailoring in the village. Again there was a decline in income for Pushpa and Vishnu.

Meanwhile, Pushpa had learnt to sew by watching and helping her husband. So she started making blouses for the village women.  She learnt how to attach falls on saris, work the pico edging machine and do embroidery. There was no one else in the village who did this work. She took a loan of another Rs.6, 000 from the village organisation and purchased a pico machine. With these new skills she too started earning Rs.100 a day. They now earn Rs.6, 000 per month and are living happily.

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