Meet Suman Bairwa, a 20-year-old first-year college student living in Geejgarh village, in the Rajasthan state of India.
Although Suman’s parents always made the education of their six children a top priority, it was difficult to put them all through school due to the irregularity of Suman’s father’s work as a day laborer.
Suman, having the highest level education in her family, decided to search for work or learn a new skill to help support her family and send her 5 younger siblings to school.
She and her family are frequent visitors to the READ Center in Geejgarh, so when she heard that they were offering a month-long sewing training program, Suman was eager to enroll.
She soon learned sewing skills, and now she can easily stitch clothing for her family and relatives, as well as cloth bags to sell commercially. Suman is able to contribute Rps 1000-1500 ($18-$27) per month to her family’s income – an incredible amount for a young girl in rural India.
She has become a role model for her siblings.
Furthermore, Suman’s new-found skill has given her a lot of confidence and determination not only to continue to support her family through her part-time sewing, but also continue her education and receive a degree.
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