CEO’s REPORT

Even as we started this project, the very first hurdle we had to cross was Lack of any creative skills in the women. There was no ethnic craft to work on. There was need to earn and keenness to learn. As each woman brought home a sewing machine along with her dowry, we decided to teach them a craft using the machine. Patch work and quilting were chosen as their craft. As no one had ever done patchwork or quilting, I had to train them at every level so that the final product will come out beautiful and eminently saleable. Now, women from the ranks have emerged as trainer’s skilling other women. The skill the women had acquired helps them earn a decent income empowering them to become confident individuals. This confidence has become the hall mark of our women at Stree Shakti. April 2014 witnessed the culmination of our effort to 20 of our members in spoken English when these women staged English play at the valedictory faction of this programme. The confidence with which they delivered their dialogues in a totally foreign Language made us wonder about the depth of their talent and potential. It also indicated how much more we can do to help them become complete individuals. Shri Pramod Athalye, an acclaimed authority on training gave some of other senior members a course on how to train other women in making new products. This systematic method of training is called training within industry (TWI) much practiced in Japan. This gave us a new inside into training for up gradation of existing skills. A manual of training new comers was completed and implementation began with all the new trainees. With the help of The Hans Foundation a new women’s centre was started in Jharipani village. Being a Hill Station at a distance of about 20 KM from Purkal village, this new venture presented many challenges. Two new trainers, Poonam Mamgain and Sushma Negi took charge of this centre. Many other women joined the management – Nisha Thakur as design assistance, Ankita Joshi as Store assistance, Sangeeta Bhardwaj as supervisor for the outreach centres and Suunita Tyagi as the garments supervisor. The induction of two new desingers, Aishwarya Enolla and Aastha Giri brought in fresh new ideas into our design development. A patch work back pack, Aprons, Runners, Playmats and table cloths were some of the new items added to our repertoire. Gitanjali Verma joined our marketing executive. Her efforts brought in many new contacts and much enthusiasm into our sales efforts. We participated in 33 exhibitions in 2014-15. We also started selling on well-known e-portals. New contacts were also developed in the export market yielding good results. At the end of the year our revenues stood at Rs. 84.2 Lakhs. We believe that comradely and friendship among the women go a long way to enhance their learning and make their lives complete. We planned for them a trip to kunjapuri in the mountains which they thoroughly enjoyed. Just like the previous year a sports day was organized to celebrate international women’s Day. Our campus reverberated with music and laughter. Our hope is that this will be reflected in the lives of our women as well. 2014-15 was a year in which Purkal Stree Shakti took great strides in the progress of our work and goals. We hope in the coming years, we will be able to maintain this momentum.