Life skills pave way for enhanced livelihoods
By Ellora Mubashir and Naveen Pratap Singh
Mamta belongs to village Dhonkera of Nangal Chaudhary block, district Mahendergarh, in Haryana. Her family of five is landless, economically deprived, and belong to a socially “backward” class. This family lived with financial uncertainly every day. The family’s monthly income was INR 9,000 per month at best from agricultural labor, and for a few months a year it sometimes increased by INR 3,000, when MGNREGA was available.
In October 2018, Mamta joined the Life Skills Education course implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation, where she learned tailoring. After the course, for the first time she earned a regular income of about INR 4,500 per month from stitching and tailoring. In July 2020, she opened a tailoring shop in her village, where she also invested INR 20‑25,000 from her savings to purchase cosmetics, toys, baby garments, and women clothing accessories.
As of October 2020, she will be able to contribute more than INR 60,000 annually toward her family’s income, compared to the INR 15,000 she used to contribute before attending the tailoring course.
Mamta says, “I feel proud and confident due to providing financial strength and better social status to my family now.”
(Ellora Mubashir is communication specialist, Partnerships, and Naveen Pratap Singh is program lead, Agriculture Developement at S M Sehgal Foundation)