Natheha village is situated in Bhatinda district in the state of Punjab. Agriculture and dairy is the primary occupation in the region. Both men and women participate in related activities.

Based on the needs assessment carried out in the region, it was evident that women were dependent on the men and were interested to pursue economic activity independently. They evinced interest in learning dress designing so that they could work from their home in spare time and generate additional resources for the family. As per the process for market linkages, ICICI Foundation ascertained the feasibility of various trades to generate business over a period of time so that the trainees could be provided sustainable source of income. There are some garment units in the region and when contacted, the units were willing to consider giving order to women for stitching garments. Accordingly, it was decided to undertake training for women in Dress Designing.

Veerpal Kaur adheres from a family of six members run by father Pal Singh, who is a daily wage worker in the village. She could study only till class 10th. They don’t own any land or property and hence are involved in daily wage work. Her brothers and other younger kids also engage in daily wage activity in order to contribute and support their father. Veerpal also wanted to contribute and she was bent on doing something different and more efficient than daily wage work.

Veerpal soon found out about the Entrepreneurship Awareness Program run by the ICICI Foundation. She learnt about dress designing as one of the dominant courses being offered, she had some doubts initially but the community facilitator being a face from the village itself, cleared all her doubts in the counseling sessions. she joined ‘Dress Designing for Women’ as per her satisfaction and convenience. The course content for the training is customised to suit local requirements and focused on practical execution of the skills.

During the one month of training she learnt a lot about dress designing and additionally got oriented on life skills & financial literacy as well as was exposed to Five S sessions making the skilling experience more holistic. Training gave her the platform she was seeking in order to support her family. She realised her capabilities and started working on them. With help of entrepreneurship development programme, she widened her perspective and gained inspiration for expansion and scaling up.

After the training she started stitching clothes and dresses as per the demand in neighbourhood. Gradually, she gained immense confidence and started stitching Punjabi Salwar Suit. In the course of time, she became very popular in her village and nearby areas. With the kind of training she got, she understood the value of passing that skill to another person and enabling their livelihood. Hence, she started a training centre of her own where she provides stitching training to around 20 candidates at her home and earns around 12,000 per month. She is able to manage the family expanses better now. As she now stands a finically literate person, she is investing her money wisely as she intends to buy some land for agriculture and fulfil her parents’ dreams. She also plans to expand her business by opening up a boutique in the main market of Natheha.