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Tailor training centres for Dalit women in India

Requested by

Relief Education Development (RED) International

Who are you trying to help? What issue are you trying to address?

Dalits are the most socio-economically oppressed class in India. The aim is to train and support impoverished Dalit women in basic tailoring, so that they can support themselves and their families. Centres aim to make and market garments to support the units and to provide the women with an income.

Dalit communities are under-privileged with little or no income. Any work they find is low-status, menial and insecure. Survival is difficult with a high risk of women and girls being trafficked into forced or bonded labour, the sex industry or ritualised prostitution. Their nutrition, health and education are very poor. They lack higher-level qualifications and so have difficulty finding work. They need training for useful, better-paid employment to improve their families’ circumstances.

The target group for this project is Dalit Women who are said to be “doubly” oppressed. As it is, Dalits are subject to much social discrimination. Over and above that, Dalit women have even less access to education or income generating opportunities. Dalit women and girls are also a high-risk group in relation to human trafficking in India.

What is your project and how will it help?

Using the network of Dalit Education Centres (DECs) already established by our partner, Operation Mercy India Foundation (OMIF), projects will be set up to train Dalit women in basic tailoring, whilst providing practical work experience and paying them salaries. When trained they will be helped to set up their own businesses and will have opportunities to carry out paid work such as making school uniforms for each year’s new pupils. Their earning capability will increase, greatly improving the lives of the women and their families.

The aim of the project is to train the women from Dalit communities in basic tailoring skills and support them in the beginning to earn income using their new skills. The projects will be located in areas served by our Indian partner’s schools. Actual locations would be given with a full application. These tailor training centres and garment producing units will ensure that the ladies are paid a fair wage and that each centre brings a positive benefit to their communities.

This Tailor Training is aimed at very poor Dalit women who are not in a position to apply for other jobs requiring higher levels of education. The centre itself aims to produce and market garments so that it makes a profit for the unit. Thus each unit’s aim is to help such women begin to generate a good income. These women are looking for opportunities to gain skills which will enable them to improve their incomes; this in turn will benefit the health of their families. This training will also help empower them in the area of understanding their basic rights as well making them less vulnerable to human trafficking. Linking with a self-help group will help ensure they have on-going support.

Each tailoring centre will initially train about 10 Dalit women in the first year. They will improve the earning potential of these women from almost zero to anywhere from £50 to £75 per month from the sale of garments. This income will significantly improve the lives and livelihoods of these women, whilst also benefiting their respective families and communities. This means that the number of indirect beneficiaries will be between 50-100.

How can other people partner with you on your project?

RED International is looking for financial partners to help develop sustainable income generating enterprises for the communities around the DEC schools. These in turn will help communities support and sustain the schools in the long term.

Our partner, OMIF, needs more than just finance to develop micro enterprises in these villages. They also need experienced input as they are in the early stages of developing proposals for economic development projects.

This partnership will support the education of Dalit children and future economic and social development which will form part of the process of emancipation and empowerment of Dalits communities in India.

Please detail the resources that you need.

The project cost for setting up each centre is £3,400, this includes the following:-

  • Set up costs – £840, including 6 sewing machines, Cutting table, Furniture, accessories & Transport
  • Annual running costs – £1,770, including trainers salary, rent, electricity and sewing machine servicing.
  • Other costs – £790, including graduation programme, local M&E costs, RED International costs

Further information

Contact details

Only organisations who have exchanged contact details may view this.


Partnership types

Project funding

Regions / countries / territories

Asia: India

Global issues

Community development; Education and training; Job creation and enterprise development; all (5)


  • Contact details exchanged
    06 Feb 2019 12:21 GMT

    Janambhumi pragati samaj
    (Unverified non-profit organisation)

    Janambhumi pragati samaj says: Please informed us the procedure of partnership

  • Commented
    06 Feb 2019 12:23 GMT

    Janambhumi pragati samaj
    (Unverified non-profit organisation)

    Janambhumi pragati samaj says: Please informed us the procedure of partnership