“I have always wanted to stand on my own feet”, expresses Sarvamangala Moti, a mother of two, belonging to Hubballi. Sarvamagala has owned a tailoring business for more than ten years. “I loved crafts as a child, and my mother still recalls that I used to try weaving wire baskets when I was around 3-4 years old”, she shares with a smile as she paddles her mother-in-law’s 55-year-old Singer Merritt sewing machine. “Post-marriage, my husband did not think I needed to work. However, I stitched saree falls and tailored clothes for a few close relatives without his knowledge”, shares Sarvamangala.
“My friend Usha Hiremath believed that I needed a platform to hone my skills, and she introduced me to Deshpande Foundation’s Micro- Entrepreneurship Development Program (MEDP)”, narrates Sarvamangala. After attending a program session, she felt more confident and got the idea to specialize in making only infants’ and kids’ wear such as dresses and quilts. “I learned many things during EDP, including pricing, product placement, promotion, and marketing. In fact, it was during one of the exhibitions that I became aware of the importance of having a visiting card of my own", shares Sarvamangala.
Zealous to learn new crafts, she also joined the Pragathi Program and has learned the art of Aari embroidery. She has gained advanced knowledge in the craft of Aari and has supported MEDP by training a couple of batches. Now, she runs one of the Aari Units of Swavalambhi Sakhi Producers Company Ltd. (SSPCL) and is one of the directors. “Post the pandemic, when MEDP and all the Aari Embroiders realized we are now a bigger community, Deshpande Foundation gathered all women and supported us to start our own Off-Farm Producers Company, called SSPCL. Today, we have five units under SSPCL, and I feel so proud and happy for all our women entrepreneurs”, says Sarvamangala smilingly.
“My journey with MEDP has been gratifying. Over the years, I developed my skills and became confident, and built a network of some wonderful women entrepreneurs, whose journeys have been both inspirational and empowering”, she rejoices. Seeing her grow and take responsibility for herself, her husband’s perspective has also changed. He and their two sons are now her biggest supporters.
“I aspire to support more women to be self-sufficient and financially independent so they all can fulfill their aspirations”, says Sarvamangala with a hopeful look in her eyes.