After completing the course, some women made sewing as their basic occupation, and some intend to take sewing more seriously when they can buy their own sewing machine. For one of the slum women, however, the completion of the sewing course at the sisters had a different, especially from our European perspective, an unexpected impact on her life.
Sumana was always compared to her sister in her family. Although she had the opportunity to attend school, she wasn’t good at it, unlike her significantly more successful sister. So she has been told at home ever since she was little that nothing would ever come out of her.
When her mother found out about the course, she decided to send her to the course thinking, whether she would benefit from it or not, it should do her no harm.
Contrary to expectations, however, Sumana proved to be very successful in the course. She was among the top three of the 40 participants, though she had never done sewing before. After a seven-month course, the course leader felt that she was already good enough to open her own sewing workshop.
When her relatives learned that Sumana had come up with her own profession to support her family as needed, they decided to raise money for her wedding. In India, marriage for the bride’s family is a very expensive affair, for which the family saves ten and more years. According to Sister Saleena, before that, they were not ready to finance her wedding, and without this and without proper dowry she would not be able to get married in India.
Today, Sumana has her own profession from which to live and her own family. The course brought to light the hidden talent that she might not otherwise have discovered. We visited her in a neat and tidy house in the slum where she also has her own sewing machine. Sumana approached us smiling, with her seven-month-old son, her first child. She told us that the course gave her a lot. She gave the impression that she was very happy with her current life.