Tuesday, August 13, 2019

The Story of Rita

My name is Rita, I am 50 years old. I live in the suburbs of Jodhpur with my family.
I get up at 5.00am, I clean the space outside my house. I clean my house, I drink tea, clean the toilets and shower.  I make my prayer, I cook breakfast and after feeding everyone, I cook lunch and leave it behind. I bring a little tiffin box with food with me to work. I come to the Graduates Sewing Centre, I make embroidery and other handicrafts like Christmas decorations.
When I go home at 5.00pm, I rest a bit and make tea, and I refill water from the tank for my home. At 7.00pm I make my prayers and prepare dinner. When my husband comes home by 9.00pm, I warm up the food, and feed him. Around 10.00pm I do some work for Sambhali and my family watches TV. I sleep around 11.00pm.

Before I started at Sambhali, I worked at home doing little lace work in my free time. Some women came from my neighborhood for some sewing orders. They also introduced me to the Sambhali Trust. I asked for the permission from my husband and mother-in-law if I was allowed to go to sewing centre. They encouraged me, they said "you do a lot of work at home, yes, go and learn sewing". I enjoyed learning sewing, I learned for six months and was then gifted with a sewing machine. Once the centre closed, we joined the Graduates Sewing Centre and from that moment, my life was changed. I come here, meet the volunteers, learn new things. When I work here, I earn money from which I bought marriage symbolic ornaments, and jewellery.

All the other women here are full of love. We work here for 5 hours, laugh and spend quality time together.

We forget all the tension from home, we get busy here, we are happy here.
The biggest thing is that I have learned so many techniques in sewing. I have started to earn money for myself – I have no children, so I am not in need of a scholarship. Every day I do sewing, I earn money, and I have a lot of interest in my work.

The Trust is a safe place, there aren’t any problems, which makes me very happy. We can now make a living, whereas if we stayed at home, we would not be able to sustain ourselves financially. Nobody helps me at home. Then I come here, I meet other people, it is a relief. I am financially independent now. I am self-confident. I am glad that I am no burden on anybody. Since I left home and came to Sambhali Trust, I have learned a lot for myself.

Most importantly, through Sambhali, I have become independent.

Photo: Photographers Without Borders

Photo: Linda Roemer

See Rita's story and daily life here: