Branching out as a tailor kept her family financially afloat | Milaap

Branching out as a tailor kept her family financially afloat

I was very fortunate to meet a lady named Mamtaj Mandal who hails from a small village known as Natun Hat, in Bakultala, in the 24 South Parganas District of West Bengal. Natun Hat is a small remote village that takes about 20 minutes by auto rickshaw to get to from the local train station. The remoteness of this village has hindered the necessary infrastructure from reaching these community members. Most of the homes do not have running water, and constant power cuts leave many in the dark for long periods of time. Most people that live in these areas do not have access to good schools or good job opportunities. However, local non-profit organizations like DCBS have been working hard to introduce things like sustainable energy and vocational skills training programs to the locals to give them a leg up.
Mamtaj Mandal is a wife, and is mother to a young boy who is in class 4. She has been a member of DCBS for the past 5 years. She told me that she was receiving small loans through DCBS to help her run a small "chikan & zari" embroidery business. For a while, the business was doing well, but the last couple of years have been very financially difficult due to the downturn in the local economy. Mamtaj and her husband decided that in order to better their child's life they had to branch out from the "chikan and zari" work. Therefore, they opted to receive a loan of Rs 10,000 for them to be able to purchase a new sewing machine. The machine would allow them to start a tailoring business for which there was always a constant flow of work.
After receiving the loan through DCBS and Milaap, Mamtaj told me it was quite easy for them to get into the tailoring market. She explained that there was a steady flow of orders coming through from the local bazaar where she had partnered with a vendor to produce men's shirts and pants. With this new business, Mamtaj is able to earn around Rs. 3000 a month, which goes a long way to cover their monthly expenses.
"I now do not have to stress about putting my son in school and purchasing all the materials he will need, I am at peace". The financial strain that often kept her awake at night is no more.
"We were able to purchase another sewing machine so we could expand our production, my brother now also works for me and his situation has gotten much better too," Mamtaj happily explained to me. She went on to thank Milaap and DCBS for their support, "Without these loans, my family and I would not be in such a good place, we are really happy now!"

Mamtaj Mandal with her new sewing machine