Jalajakshi was devastated when her temporary general store was removed from its old location during a road expansion drive by the authorities as it was her only source of income. It took her some time before she could gather sufficient resources to start a small tea shop at a new location in the Hampi market.
"I am down, but no way am I going to be out", she says.
As one of the very first customers of Svamaan, Jalajakshi is now confident that her recovery would be faster and stronger.
As a 12 year old, Shoba Bai had started working bamboo, making toys to play with her siblings. She learnt the craft professionally over the years from her mother and now, after getting married, she runs her own business.
“I never thought what started off as a game would help me earn livelihood, one day,” she admits.
Now, years after picking up her first bamboo cane, with her perseverance, optimism and hard work, Shoba Bai has been inspiring women in her neighborhood.
“There’s nothing more empowering than being able to stitch your own future...”
“When I was a kid, I used to watch my mother stitch clothes for us. She was exceptionally skilled. We were three children and I was the youngest. Our father would go out for work and return late, so mother used to stitch and sew all day, sometimes even for the neighbors, which helped her earn a meager income. I picked up the needle and thread for the first time when I was ten and within a year, I was saving some money of my own. It was a life-changing experience. It brought in me a sense of ability and responsibility which further strengthened as a teenager. When I got married and gave birth to my daughter, I had to give up stitching for a couple of years. But now, I am back at it, stronger than ever, earning a lot more and now I am not going to stop anytime soon. I think there’s nothing more empowering than being able to stitch your own future. This work makes me really happy.”
-Nasrin Jameer Khan (Sawangi, Maharashtra)