Vidhyawati from Dadnamau village in Uttar Pradesh is an excellent Silai School teacher, who has taught more than 35 women over the past few years. A confident and independent woman today, Vidhyawati was a completely different person a few years back.
Born and married into very conservative family, this 49-year-old mother of six wasn’t even allowed to leave the premises of her house, few years back. Help came in form of a local Self Help Group (SHG) under the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana (RGMVP). Members from the SHG encouraged and motivated her to come out from behind the domestic veil and learn sewing at an Usha Silai School.
Upon completing her course Vidhyawati set up her own tailoring business and Silai School with the help of the local SHG. Today on an average she teaches twelve students at a time, earning Rs 1700 per month. She plans to invest some of her earnings on a second sewing machine and expand her Silai School.
Her newfound confidence and skill has also earned her respect from her husband and children, who today are actively supporting her. Were it not for the SHG and Usha Silai School, Vidhywati would have remained another anonymous life behind the purdah system.