Pawani, age 21, grew up in a marginalized Hindu community with her parents.
Like many in her community, her parents struggled to make ends meet and put food on the table. Pawani attended school but could barely complete primary level education because of the family’s desperate economic condition. Prospects for additional income were grim looking.
Bride To Be
So her parents did what they thought was best in this type of situation — they decided to find a husband for Pawani even though she was still in her teens. Her new husband, although he was an artisan by trade, barely made enough money to sustain a household.
Pawani soon discovered another challenge in her new home as a young wife — her in-laws. One aspect of traditional Indian culture is that a woman may be treated as “property” to her in-laws, even though she brings a dowry with her. This makes life difficult for many young brides.
Day by day, life was becoming intolerable for Pawani. Her mother- and father-in-law kept pressuring her to bring in more money to the household, even if it meant obtaining the money from her own parents.
She couldn’t bring herself to ask for more money from her parents, who were barely surviving on their own. They had already gotten into enough debt by paying her pricey dowry.
An Empowered Life
Pawani then met one of our staff members who encouraged her to join a vocational training center. At this center, she would have the opportunity to learn the tailoring trade and generate her own income.
Pawani’s dedication and commitment quickly helped her obtain this new skill. She became empowered as she learned the highly marketable tailoring trade.
Now her hard-working and talented hands have crafted numerous crafts and uniforms used in DFN schools. Her well-earned income goes a long way at home and has helped her assert her legitimacy and place in her household among her in-laws.
When you give to DFN, you are helping to empower many young women like Pawani. Thank you for making her story possible!