A woman with a perpetual smile and a story to follow, Fareeda has been associated with Gulmeher for a little over a year now. Working in the stitching unit or the ‘Sui-dhaga’ unit, as we like to call it, Fareeda shares how she came to Gulmeher the first time.
It was a visit of both chance and design. Having heard about the no frills banking service offered at the center, as part of our Financial Inclusion programme, Farida had come to the centre to open a bank account – by design. Luckily, she interacted with Kamla ji, our centre in-charge at Gulmeher. She was introduced to the work we do at Gulmeher. Recognising the merit in our mission to support women from the community to learn new skills and become financially independent, Fareeda realised that her knowledge of basic stitching made her equipped to be a part of Gulmeher – by chance.
Since, joining Gulmeher, Farida has refined her skills of stitching and tailoring. She learnt how to make various types of cloth bags, including those used for packaging as well as the statement totes that Gulmeher manufactures. The bags handcrafted by Farida are supplied to brands like Rangsutra and Taragram. In her free time, she also takes up tailoring projects to stitch suits for the women from the community.
She’s not only a skilled craftswoman but, also an inspiration for women and mothers of the community. Farida has three daughters and is wholeheartedly committed to their education. Despite facing difficulties at the hands of her husband and in-laws, Farida didn’t back down and ensured that her daughters’ education doesn’t suffer. While her husband and his family own a tailoring shop, her husband does not contribute a penny towards the household. Farida has also been asked to vacate their house on multiple occasions and has had to return to her parents house along with her daughters several times.
She now uses her income from Gulmeher to run her house and support her daughters’ education. Farida’s efforts are paying off and her eldest daughter has completed senior secondary education and has secured an admission in Jamia Milia Islamia University to pursue further education, while her other two daughters are in schools and aspire to follow in the footsteps of their elder sister.