The ashram’s Silai Kendra (stitching centre) is a godsend in terms of livelihood and empowerment for the young women in the district of Sirmaur. Often married off at a young age (as young as 12, even), the stitching centre allows them the opportunity to learn, earn and taste independence for the first time in their lives.
To this end, the ashram took this initiative to the next level at the end of August and opened a new and bigger Silai Kendra centre, in the village of Maryog. The centre consists of a spacious hall that can accommodate upto 50 women. Devoid of basic facilities, the ashram took on responsibility of building a restroom complex near the stitching centre.
The ashram has also donated 50 sewing machines to the centre along with the other necessary material for learning, like cloth and sewing kits.
Working in batches of two, 35 women attend classes currently. The first batch, consisting of 19 women, has its classes from 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM and the second with 14 women, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM. The women are of all ages, from 16 years old upto 45 and older.
From Monday to Saturday, they learn varied styles: tie-and-dye, block-printing, stencil printing, embroidery, and knitting, to name a few.
The most wonderful part of the initiative is that the teacher was once a student at the Silai Kendra herself – a part of the ashram’s very first batch of students, back in 2017! A perfect example of life coming full circle.
And even more wonderful: once they graduate, the present batch of students will be looking at teaching opportunities as well.
The Silai Kendra is not just a stitching centre. Headed by the ever-energetic and diligent ashram resident, Meenakshi Om, it is an initiative that transforms lives.