Aiming High

Radhika Himeraka is from Bada Bankidi in Koraput District in Odisha. Her parents passed away in her childhood. At that time, she couldn’t get proper schooling and now she lives with her sister in the village. She was a daily wage laborer.

Radhika has successfully finished a tailoring training course which was organized in their village by Operation Sahay Foundation. “I am very thankful to OSF. Because I have no parents, I was uneducated and was unworthy to join the training but OSF provided the tailoring course in my village!”

Now she does part-time tailoring and gets about 3 customers a week from her village. She is able to stitch ladies’ dresses, blouses, kids wear and work on old clothes. It is an alternate source of income and Radhika could cut-down on the hard work as a field-laborer. On her future plans – “I would like to start a tailoring centre, perhaps with some of my friends.

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Well Settled

Rani Meleka lives in Tikarapada village in Koraput District. She couldn’t get proper education in her childhood. Husband is a tractor driver and they have young child. His job is farm dependent and so it’s a seasonal income for the family. Often, it’s a struggle to keep the family afloat.

Operation Sahay Foundation opened a skill development centre near to their village. Rani joined the centre to learn stitching with an intent to have a consistent source of income. It was a little difficult to learn tailoring with her meagre educational background but coped up with the help of a perseverant teacher and hard work. Now she has successfully completed the course and earned a certificate. She and her family are happy as she bought a machine with some savings and is now stitching clothes.

Rani specializes in blouses and all ladies’ garments. She gets 5-6 customers a week from the villages near her. Now she is able to earn roughly Rs.1200 a week. This is a big boost to her family income. She says “I am grateful to OSF for providing the tailoring training near my village. It supported me financially and owing to this I am able to fulfill the needs of my family being able to stitch my own clothes and other’s clothes as well.

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Just in Time​

In one of OSF’s intervention villages at Koraput in Odisha, a family was preparing for marriage of their son. The boy was aged below 18 years and illiterate. His to-be life partner was from an adjoining village; her age was around 16 years and she was illiterate as well. Almost 70% arrangements were completed for the marriage.

But the decision taken by the village leaders who attended a gender program organized by OSF played a major role in thwarting this child marriage. They conveyed that it was unlawful to proceed with wedding. The boy and his family understood and the marriage was indefinitely postponed. It was decided that, the wedding could be solemnized after they reach the marriageable age. The decision was communicated to the bride’s house and the program was cancelled on mutual understanding.

When we involve in community work, such avoidable social issues come to our attention. The tribal communities face a lot of problems, like poor health conditions, dropouts from school and low socio-economic status due to child marriages. Many don’t aspire to get to higer studies and they are unable to intellectually contribute to the community development.

OSF started this intervention in March 2021 with a workshop for the village leaders to discuss the issue of early marriage. This was the first program for the area and for the communities. In the workshop there was a free and fair exchange on the topic and we conveyed the government guidelines for marriage age and the negative social impact for their communities. The leaders sensed the gravity of the issue and promised to align to the age guidelines

Further, the particpant leaders conducted meetings on this topic in their respective villages. They advised the families to follow Govt directions and not to encourage marriage proposal involving under-aged children.

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