From disillusionment and despair, to a new sense of purpose and a productive, fulfilling existance... Ankur Kala's women have not had easy lives. But they have been able to turn struggle into a march forward to improve their lot and find a meaningful place in society. Here we highlight our brave women.

Sajda Khatoon
Sajda Khatoon had a very difficult childhood. She was born and brought up at Tiljala Road which is one of the most over crowded slums in central Kolkata. Sajda comes from a family three sisters and one big brother. Sajda’s only brother after his marriage stays separately and does give any financial support either to his parents or his sisters. Her elder sister is married and second elder sister and mother are the three earning members in their family. Her younger sister is studying.

Sajda’s father is suffering from respiratory problems from a long time and is unable to do any work at present. He used to be a dealer in leather. Since the business failed because of shortage of money, Sajda’s parents were not able to pay the registration fees for her Class X final exams. For this reason she could not complete her Class X and as a result Sajda became very depressed and she thought her life had no meaning because of financial crisis.

However, after 2 years Sajda came to know about Ankur Kala women’s training centre through one of our staff’s family members. She has joined Ankur Kala on 11th July 2006. During these 4 years she was taught various skills, such as tailoring, batik, bandhini, pasting work on greeting cards, kaleidoscope, note books, diary and block printing. At present she is able to make new items under our research programme and at the same time she is constantly encouraging our new trainees in their various skills.

Apart from this Sajda has good business aptitude and she is equally good in budget making, stock maintaining, bill making and costing. Over the last 4 years Sajda has blossomed into a confident and dignified young woman and is able to earn a decent livelihood for her and family.

Future Dream
During her child hood years her dream was to become a school teacher but unfortunately due to financial problems in her family, she was unable to fulfill this dream. However, Sajda wishes to continue her work at this unique women’s centre where she is being loved and encouraged by everyone. At Ankur Kala she feels she is living a meaningful life.

Sajda at work. Block printing at Ankur Kala.
Other case studies will be available soon.
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Ankur Kala is a registered charity, in Calcutta, India.