Two years ago, the Oblates working in Andhra Pradesh had a day-long session on “The Empowerment of Women.” While we shared our opinions on different ways of helping the women of our parishes, Sister Manju, a Carmelite nun, and the animator, shared this idea: “Empowerment of women is not possible without empowering them economically.” That stirred the minds of the participants. St. Eugene Tailoring Centre in Buttayagudem is a product of that insight!
Aim: To show women the means of economic independence.
Objective: Economic empowerment
Target People: Women and drop-out girls of Buttayagudem Mandal
Venue: Buttayagudem (near the Government Hostel for College Boys).
Duration: Three months
Number or size of the batch: 20 per batch
We started the tailoring center on December 7, 2016, with 16 students and two skilled teachers, Mrs. Ganga Rathna Kumari and Mrs.Rani. The training is given for a period of three months per batch. They are given training in stitching skirts, blouses, chudidhars and embroidering, lining and all that a woman could do in her household. The women and the drop-out girls of our locality come at 10 a.m., after finishing their work at home, and learn tailoring till 1 p.m.. They are mostly from three villages of the Mandal, namely, Kamsalakunta, Reddy Ganapavaram and Buttayagudem. They are regular in attendance and active in learning. They show a lot of interest in mastering this skill. This batch finished their training on March 7, 2017 with the celebration of International Women’s Day!
The outcome of this Tailoring Programme:
They feel that they are ‘somebody’ in the society! They have an occupation! Thus, they are dignified!
That they can stitch their own and their children’s clothes by themselves. They can make a living – thus, economic independency
That they can stand on their own legs.
“If you see someone hungry, do not give him a fish. Rather, teach him to fish!” says a Chinese proverb. The Oblate community in Buttayagudem has marked a milestone in the history of the parish, walking an extra mile with the poor women and drop-outs of the locality. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the Oblate Australian Province, to Fr. Chinnappan SANDHAPPAN, our Provincial and to his administration for their guidance and support.
Happy to begin this fulfilling and satisfying ministry for the poor, we began the second batch on March 7, 2017. (Fr. John Thomas DAVID, Parish Priest, Buttayagudem, and Bro. Paul RAJ, in BORN: Bharath Oblate Regional News, March 2017)