Sapna lives with her husband Manoj and their two daughters and two sons in Badshahpur village. Traditional community mentality prevented Sapna to go out of her house for many years. But Sapna’s determination and will power to follow her dream to work and earn an income, paid off. Sapna’s job at Women on Wings’ partner Action Center for Transformation (ACT) turned out life-changing.
Continue work and skilling during lockdown
Sapna has been associated with the ACT organization since 3 years. Since the time she started working, a lot has changed for her. Says Sapna: “Before I could not step out of the house without getting scolded. Now I can go to the ACT workshop and also I regularly attend trainings to upgrade my skills in up-cycling newspaper. I love making products and I want to become better and better. My job gives me great joy as I contribute to the family income. Now I have the respect and support of my husband and family.” During the COVID-19 lockdown, Sapna took the extra time available to design new products. Also she continued earning an income by making face masks.
Role model for other women
Hardworking Sapna saw the positive change in her own life and wanted the same for other women in her community. So she created her own Self Help Group (SHG) called Noor Women’s Group. Sapna is its President and like all the other members of the SHG, Sapna deposits her monthly savings in the SHG’s bank account. Continues Sapna: “Earlier I had never seen a bank because I was not allowed to leave the house, but today I do transactions with the bank and I go to meetings.”
Her will power and dedication has made Sapna an independent and self-reliant woman, Now, she is skilled and knows various creative art works that help her generate income for her family and also, to some extent save money for future needs, like good education for her children. Also, the constant support from her husband has made her work extra valuable, because she gets recognized for who she is and what she does, and she earns a comfortable and sustainable extra income for her family.
Women on Wings and ACT
ACT is a non-profit registered organization, located in Gurgaon which is part of the Delhi NCR (national capital region) which aims to achieve sustainable livelihoods by providing skill training and employment to women artisans, largely in the recycling and upcycling of newspapers. One of its initiatives is ACT Paper Wings, a community owned company of women in Self Help Groups (SHGs) from villages in Haryana. ACT Paper Wings markets the products made by village women under the wings of ACT. Women on Wings and ACT have been collaborating since January 2019.
Image courtesy: ACT Paper Wings