Widow trains with Usha Silai School ,turns her life around in a tale of women’s empowerment

Widow trains with Usha Silai School turns her life around in a tale of women's empowerment

Kochi,May31:It is said that when the going gets tough the tough get going. For Rejimol Tomy she had no option but to steel her resolve to see herself through the worst phase of her life. Her son had just turned one, in fact he was exactly 18 months old when her husband, a driver by profession, died of a heart attack. Post the tragic incident, it was hard for her to cope emotionally and financially with the responsibility of two young children to shoulder. Struggling and unable to sustain herself and her children, she joined a Self-Help Group in her village. There, with the help of women in the group Rejimol learnt how to stitch and through stitching clothes she started to make a living.

Years later a promising opportunity came her way. The Usha Silai School tied up with the Self-Help Group, that Rejimol was part of. Women in this group belonged to financially poor backgroundsand didn’t want to let go of the opportunity to enter the clothing business and turn entrepreneurs.

Under the Silai School programme, Rejimol was trained for seven days and on completing the course she was give a free sewing machine. Soon she joined the Silai School as a teacher and started imparting her knowledge and skills to other women of the village. At present, she trains 20 girls and monthly she charges 300 per student. “Ever since I’ve joined the Silai School I have been able to support my family better,” she says.

Her skills as a teacher are highly respected and appreciated by her students, many of whom have gone on to become teachers themselves and are now able to earn a steady income. “She helps us a lot, if we make a mistake, she immediately rectifies it and explains it all over again. It is because of the school that I have a steady income. I don’t have to depend on anyone to run my house anymore. I feel more and more women should step out and start learning at sewing school,” says Seli Saji, one of her students.

Rejimol’s sheer hard work and unconditional love has inspired her children as well, “I was always aware about our family’s financial situation but I have seen her give us all the facilities. The way in which she has managed our family has greatly inspired me,” adds Jins.

Rejimol and her family have now moved to a new house. Having gone through the pains of poverty. Rejimol has now decided to give free training to women from economically backward families. “I want to help the poor and the needy. I want students who can’t afford sewing training elsewhere, to come to my school. I won’t charge them tuition fees.  I also wish to provide them sewing machines someday so that they can raise their families,” says Rejimol.

She is a great believer in women’s empowerment and believes that more and more women from rural areas are coming to the fore in different spheres of life. “Women are marching towards becoming independent and are even supporting their family financially,” says Rejimol.

Her children are very proud of her and consider her a superhero, “I am very proud of my mother. If you look around this area, you will not find anyone as hardworking as my mother. She takes up a lot of work so that she can take care of us. What other men do for their families, our mother has done for us,” says Jins Tomy, her son.

Kushalta Ke Kadam is an initiative by NDTV and USHA, it is a unique effort to tell inspiring stories of thousands of women who came into the UIL Silai School Programme,