I met Lalruatsangi in her home in Chandmari area in Aizawl. It was a small house constructed by the slope under the YMA (Young Mizo Association) office in Chandmari. The community church was just next door. Lalruatsangi had a sewing machine facing the window in her dining room where there was ample sunlight during the day. As we entered, she showed the dress that she was busy sewing, which she had to deliver the same day. She explained how she was good at making blouses and tops for ladies and frocks for small kids. She had learnt tailoring,and took up as a hobby while she was studying in college and made a few things off and on. After taking a loan last year in August, she has been able to buy dress materials from which her customers can choose different designs. This has increased the number of orders she gets per month. Though she is not able to calculate her profits, she says that after paying the monthly installments she is saving some money to buy a new machine.
Lalruatsangi is 24 years old and lives with her parents and her brother. Her brother works in the Aizawl Secretariat office. The family depends on his income for all household expenditures. Lalruatsangi plans to take another loan to buy more dress materials and a sewing machine to expand her business so that she could also contribute towards supporting her family.
Lalruatsangi smiles as she shows her dresses