Parveen Kaur - (Jalan, SANGRUR),Women EmpowermentJaswinder Kaur, wife of Ajaib Singh

My husband, Ajaib Singh, is a tractor mechanic who works in Nabha. We are blessed with two children -  a daughter (19), who is studying in a local college, and a son (17), who is in school. Though my husband earns a decent amount every month, I wanted to supplement his income. I live in a conservative village where women are not allowed to go anywhere to earn a living. But I was determined to do something on my own in my village itself. 

I am an Umeed SHG member and know about their stitching centre. I decided to enhance my skills by enrolling for the stitching classes. I learnt stitching, cutting and embroidery and also, how to make fans, teddy bears and bags free of cost at the stitching centre. Currently, I am sewing clothes from home and have got in touch with a tailor, for whom I will stitch and embroider clothes. I also know the art of dying, which I intend to put to good use. I am keen on starting something of my own later. Umeed loans money to make women like me self-sufficient. So, I know they will help me in my future endeavour.

Whatever I am today is because of Umeed. People marvel at my stitching and embroidery. I tell them that all this was taught to me by Umeed. I dream of becoming an entrepreneur one day with my own tailoring and gift item shop. I thank Umeed for teaching me to dream and reach for my goals.

Parveen Kaur - (Jalan, SANGRUR),Women Empowerment Parveen Kaur - (Jalan, SANGRUR)

I am a school dropout. I live with my widowed mother, three brothers, sisters-in-law and their children in Jalan village. My brothers run a shop that sells iron products and earn around Rs 5,000-6,000 per month. We don’t own any land and the only source of income is my brothers’ shop. Hence, I wanted to supplement the income, but unfortunately did not know how. That’s when a miracle happened: Umeed opened a stitching centre in Jalan village and I enrolled for a six-month course in cutting/tailoring & embroidery.

After completing the course, I wanted to start sewing work, but could not start it as I did not have sewing machine. So, I borrowed a machine from someone in the village and started work. Initially, I made only children’s clothes and salwar suits. With the money I earned, I bought my own machine on instalments. Today, I earn between Rs 3,000-4,000 per month. My trainer helped me lot in setting up my work and gifted me with an electrical lamp so that I can work at night. My mother is very happy and my brothers also keep appreciating me for my efforts as I have increased the family income. 

I am thankful to Umeed for opening stitching centre in our village as it empowered a simple village girl like me. There are many girls like me who would like to acquire some skill and help their families and I am so happy Umeed has tapped their talent.

Paramjit Kaur, secretary of Kup Kalan Malerkotla SHGParamjit Kaur, secretary of Kup Kalan Malerkotla SHG

I joined Umeed’s self-help group in Kup Kalan Malerkotla eight years ago and honestly, this was the best decision of my life. I am a matriculate and my husband, Roop Singh, is a JBT teacher. Soon, I became the secretary of my group. I am also trained in stitching and embroidery. I learnt this skill from Mandi Ahmadgarh. I decided to impart this knowledge to other women and give them an opportunity to earn a livelihood.Umeed helped me realised my dream of opening a stitching centre in my house by giving me a loan of Rs 55,000. While I took Rs 27,000 from the group, the remaining amount was given by the link bank.

I train approximately 25-30 girls in a year and charge Rs 200 per student. Besides training, I also stitch and embroider clothes on order. I earn approximately Rs 8,000 to 10,000 per month, which is more than enough to sustain my family. While my elder daughter is married, my two boys and two girls are studying. We are a happy, financially-stable family and this was made possible by Umeed. I am thankful to Umeed for the guidance, support and help.

Baljeet Kaur, wife of S. Pargat Singh Baljeet Kaur, wife of S. Pargat Singh

My husband, S Pargat Singh, was an alcoholic. He was a labourer and whatever he earned after a hard day's work was blown off drinking. We tried our best to make him give up the habit, but he refused to listen.The addiction finally claimed his life.

I was left all alone with a son and a daughter. My world came crashing down. I struggled to make ends meet. There were days when I went without food. It was then that I met Umeed members and joined the rural NGO three years ago.

I took a loan of Rs 20,000 from my group and bought cosmetics, which I sell by going from door-to-door. In the mornings, I work as a domestic help and in the afternoon I, along with my daughter, go from one village to another selling cosmetics. My 14-year-old daughter is studying in class IX and 12-year-old son is in class VII. I earn about Rs 1,500 as a domestic help and approximately Rs 2,500 selling cosmetics, which is enough to last the month. I am grateful to Umeed for supporting and guiding me through all my troubles. Whatever I am today is because of Umeed. They are doing a great job! God bless Umeed!

Kuldeep Kaur, wife of S.GURDEV Singh Kuldeep Kaur, SHG member from Tungan village

I learnt the art of bag making in a training organized by Umeed. Later, I also learnt stitching at the NGO’s stitching centre. Initially, I used to make bags at my place, which I sold to villagers. But currently I work as an instructor for the Red Cross Society in Kular Khurd village and earn a salary of Rs 1,800. I also earn by stitching clothes and making bags. I could not have achieved so much without Umeed’s guidance and constant support. Whatever I am today is because of Umeed, which is doing a wonderful job empowering simple village like me socially and economically.

Recently, I got a loan of Rs 5,000 from my self-help group for installation of a hand pump in my house. The hand pump has solved all my water problems. I am thankful to Umeed for everything it has done for me.

Geeta Devi, wife of Raj KumarGeeta Devi of Fatehgarh Bhadson

I immensely benefitted from Umeed’s dairy training. I earn approximately Rs 6,000 every month by selling milk to the local dairy. I currently own four buffaloes and planning to buy more in sometime.

I also benefitted from Umeed’s loan schemewherein I got a loan of Rs 70,000 for construction of a house. Umeed equipped me with entrepreneurial skills and made be economically self-sufficient. I have a roof above my head and the ability to earn my own living because of Umeed. They are doing a great job in Punjab,

Balwinder Kaur of Jodhpur villageBalwinder Kaur of Jodhpur village

I have been an SHG member for the past seven years. My husband is a tailor and we have four children, three daughters and a son. We were facing a tough time managing the house and educational expenses of the children. So, I took a loan from SHG, bought a sewing machine and started helping my husband stitch clothes. My husband tied up with a shop in Barnala from where he gets cloth pieces and we stitch shirts at home and then deliver them to the shopkeeper. Business started pouring and we took a loan of Rs 20,000 from a link bank an d bought two machines.

Today, we have trained our three children, who also help us with the stitching and sewing.

I also benefitted from Umeed’s dairy loan scheme. After undergoing dairy training I took a loan of Rs 1 lakh. We currently earn Rs 15,000-Rs 20,000 by stitching and Rs 5,000 by selling milk. We have no monetary problems anymore and are a happy family thanks to Umeed.