Sujata Lakmanahalli is 32 years old. She married at the age of 18 but her husband passed away seven months ago. She has a son, Vinay, who is 5 years old and in nursery school. She wants him to become a district government officer. Sujata now lives together with her daughter and her mother-in-law in her late husband’s house. Her father-in-law is deceased and her mother-in-law does not work. She belongs to the middle class Hindu Lingait caste, a relatively fee caste that, for example, allows inter-caste marriages.
After marriage, Sujata followed an industrial training course for cutting and tailoring. She then followed a nursery teaching course and worked as a nursery teacher from the age of 22 to 28. Following the birth of her son, she began working from home making and selling saris. From this she earned Rs 4000 to Rs 5000 per month (€55 to €70 per month). In addition, she has worked for Mann Deshi as both a teacher and money-collecting agent.
Sujata obtained a microloan of Rs 5000 (€70) from Mann Deshi, which she used to purchase sari stock. She has already repaid the loan.
Sujata found out about the Satara Fashion Project through Mann Deshi. She joined because she wants to improve her tailoring skills and continue to grow her business.
“I’m feeling really good. I have already learnt a lot, including how to finish garments.”
Sujata’s dream is to open her own boutique selling only ladies items.