“I too had a dream to complete my studies like other girls and get married but none of them materialized due to my disability” thus spoke Maydi Bai. A tribal woman born into extreme poverty, and suffering from polio Maydi Bai from Hirkray village, Madhya Pradesh, faced discrimination at every stage in her life. Being differently-abled she had to give up on her studies, and became a social outcast.
Differently-abled and excluded from all social activities, there wasn’t anything much Maydi Bai could do, until a representative from the NGO Pehal showed up at her doorstop. She saw hope in the Silai School initiative that the social worker discussed with her. Though her parents were reluctant at first, they gave in to her newfound enthusiasm and allowed her to attend the seven-day training programme.
After a week, she came back home with a USHA Sewing Machine, sewing skills and an Usha Silai school signage. It was the signage that got the village talking, as one after another, curious villager began enquiring about it. Explanations lead to demonstration of her skills and soon women and girls were queuing up to enroll in her silai school. She even taught sewing to her brothers and sisters, who today sew their own clothes. Through sewing Maydi Bai found dignity and a second chance in life.