Aagewan Shakuntala, Basti TankanWali, Ferozepur
Shakuntala’s efforts have helped her bring about a positive impact in the lives of other women in her community in Ferozepur. Taking on theresponsibility as an Aagewan, sheassisted SEWA Punjab in advocating for a stitching centre to train girls from poor families and began conducting sessions there.
During the COVID 19 lockdown, her family like hundreds of others, lost their livelihood, forced to borrow money to survive in the worst of conditions. SEWA Punjab’s reliefinitiatives gave Shakuntala a new lease of life and helped her take charge once again. She not only supported her family as the sole earner through the lockdown, she also stood tall during this challenging time and assisted SEWA Punjab in identifying the families in immediate need of ration support,finding vendors for ration, buying cloth, organising women for mask stitching helping provide them with livelihoodopportunities, and conducting health sessions in the community to make everyone aware of the safety precautions to be taken against COVID 19.
Shakuntala herself comes from a very impoverished family and has been striving hard as a domestic worker doing stitching work on the side to support her education and contribute to the household. Her journey in SEWA Punjab has helped her grow personally and as a leader. She says, “Since I have been associated with SEWA Punjab, I have come a long way. There was a time when I didn’t know how to communicate with people, and I was too shy to answer phone calls. Through SEWA Punjab, I have got the exposure and the confidence to handle situations and people. Had I not helped with ration and given work to stitch masks and conduct health awareness sessions, my family and I would have suffered immensely.”