Stitching A Brighter Future

Stitching A Brighter Future

Priti Ranjan is ecstatic with her new sewing machine. The 26 year old from Nadha village of Hilsa block in Nalanda district has been sewing and supporting her husband, Ranjeet Kumar, a construction worker who was mostly out of work during the pandemic and the lockdown, and her four year old daughter. The husband used to migrate to other blocks of Nalanda district and as far as Patna for work. 

Due to her physical disability she was unable to operate a manual pedal sewing machine. With the old hand operated sewing machine she was barely able to earn more than Rs 60-70 a day. Though the income fell during the lockdown, it still proved to be some support for the family.

Oxfam India-HDFC project—UTTHAN—has been working in 15 villages in Nalanda since July 2020. HDFC’s CSR initiative Parivartan aims to ‘Create Sustainable Communities’ by enhancing sustainable livelihood options and improving access to essential services, especially of women, from the most marginalised and vulnerable communities.

As part of the UTTHAN project, village development committees were formed. Priti approached the committee and requested for support to upgrade her sewing machine so that she can improve her income. The committee after proper vetting, transferred Rs 12,000 to her bank. The conditional cash transfer was made so that she could purchase an electric sewing machine.

The electric sewing machine has helped her get more work as she is able to stitch more in a day. She is able to make almost Rs 250 per day. The Project UTTHAN has left her very hopeful for a better future for her family. Once the schools reopen, Priti plans to send her daughter to school.

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