Prabha got married at the age of fifteen and had not met her husband before marriage. Now, thirty three year old Prabha is the proud mother of a fifteen year old daughter herself whom she wishes to get educated rather than getting married. Thanks to her income, Prabha is able to pay for her children’s education at one of Lucknow’s English schools which gives her children an outlook to a better future.
Better education for children
Also her thirteen year old son shifted from the village school to the English school, which is only a one minute’s walk from their house. But before earning an income, the family lacked regular income, required for admitting the children to the English school. Prabha’s husband and in-laws are proud that she is able to create a more stable financial situation to the family household, thanks to the money she earns from making jute products at Women on Wings’ partner Jute Artisans Guild Association in Lucknow.
Radiating power and pride
Prabha was eager to talk to Women on Wings expert Gwen Windhorst, who visited Jute Artisans to moderate a workshop for its management. Gwen was curious to learn more about Prabha’s life and the women enjoyed a nice talk. Said Prabha happily to Gwen: “Not only my family benefits from my income, I have also witnessed a change in myself since I started working some four years ago. I am very happy to be part of the Jute Artisans family. All of us are a close group of women and we help each other, also outside working hours. My work has given me a boost in self-esteem, confidence and pride and the other women say that makes me look more powerful and beautiful”. Which the Women on Wings team can only confirm, Prabha does indeed radiate power and pride.
Sharing income with others
Prabha now uses her confidence to motivate other women in her village to earn an income and take control over their lives. Prabha has full control over her earnings which she uses well. Prabha finds more pride and joy in gifting to her in-laws and to ceremonies in her community than to gift herself a present. She wishes for no material things, the joy of giving to others is more fulfilling. When Gwen asked her what she dreamed for as a child, Prabha replied: “I dreamed to go to work and do something, so my dream has totally come true! There is no more to wish for other than giving my children the best education I can provide for”.
Once again, Prabha proofs that an income does empower rural women, contributes to improved livelihoods of rural families and provides children a better future.
Picture: Gwen and Prabha