• Name: Shabnam
  • Family Members : 5
  • Earlier Household Income : INR 25,000
  • Current Household Income : INR 1,50,000

Woman’s inner strength always surprises me and I know that this gender can do wonders if nurtured with a little bit of love and care. Born in a village, somewhere in Ballia District Shabnam comes from a simple lower middle-class family where man is the bread earner of the family, in her case, her father. With low-income groups, it’s obviously hard making both ends meet. Shabnam used to go to school and completed her grade eighth from the local school village. Her father meanwhile had shifted to Lucknow to start some business venture. He called Shabnam as well for continuing her further studies and also assisting him in his work.

Lucknow opened up new opportunities and Shabnam started doing chikan embroidery work for an NGO. She was a minimum wage earner and exploitation was to its hilt. For 8-10 hours of daily work all she got was Rs 500/- month which was not even the price of one material she produced. The NGO used to make profits and made all the laborers slog and suffer including Shabnam. Life was at its lowest for Shabnam and her family. Her father also failed in his ventures and started teaching in a school for as low as Rs.600 per month in a school.

The art of Chikakari made Shabnam discover her hidden talents. She soon learned that she was gifted with a special gift of designing and creativity. Even the NGO realized her abilities and to maximize her potentials, she sent her to Germany as a master trainer. For her skills, the NGO earned a whopping fee of Rs 2 Lakhs from the German Organization, but did not give Shabnam the share and went ahead and seized her passport so that she couldn’t leave the job. However, our little lady had enough nonsense. This time she was not ready to tolerate any nuisance and filed an FIR against the woman running the NGO. It always surprises me how a woman can be the enemy of another woman. But that’s the way it is in our world. With police intervention, Shabnam did receive her passport but could not get the remuneration that she had earned in Germany.

Finally, it was calling quits with her NGO assignment and Shabnam then took Jute bag making training organized by an FLO member running  Jute Artisans Guild association. The new art thrilled her and she started working for the organization at a salary of Rs. 5000 per month in 2016. With dedication, hard work and right platform today within six months she is an impaneled Master Trainer of National Jute Board and earns around Rs. 50,000 for a month’s training which she can deliver in any part of India.

Life has finally been kind to her after the FLO initiative and now happily married, she is her husband’s support not just mental and emotional but financial too. After an array of struggles and challenges, she has finally been successful in attaining a respectable living. FolkTales salute such real-life Sheroes and wish Shabnam all the love and luck in her future endeavors

Visit: Jute For Life