Her fingers run deftly through the wheels of the sewing machine as she stitches beautiful pieces of clothing. Her hands, which were once withered due to abject poverty, have now acquired a skill which she strives to master. It is not surprising to find out how Sangini sewing centre changes the lives of women like Sunita, Ankita, Kavita and many more. It is a place where women like her break the shackles of poverty; learn new skills and trades – key to financial independence. “Until a year ago, I could hardly make both ends meet with a meagre income of Rs 4,500/month by working as a domestic help. Sangini sewing centre has totally changed my life. The social status my job brings with it is even more rewarding than my present income of Rs 12,000,” said Sunita.
Our school runs a project named Sangini which empowers underprivileged women and girls by teaching them stitching and tailoring so as to make them independent and thus raise their standard of living. This sewing centre acts as a resource centre for Fab Retreat and also provides tailoring classes to members of the School Enterprise Challenge (SEC).
SEC – A platform for us to outperform
We, the students of Maharaja Agarsain Public School, got the golden opportunity to engage in a real life business project under the SEC, run by Teach A Man To Fish, a global business start-up awards programme for schools around the world. The business plan is a tool designed to help you find and explore opportunities. It also provides you with a way to analyse potential opportunities continuously. The budding entrepreneurs are not only taught to run the business with a motive to earn profit but also to help planet Earth by recycling and reusing waste materials.
“Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford
Under SEC, we make and sell craft items like cushion covers, table cloth, rugs etc. made from used clothes. We work as a team; have a united vision to make this project/ initiative a success. This keeps us excited about what we are doing. We know we are investing our time in something that’s truly worthwhile. We boost ourselves by ensuring a healthy competition with other teams. Team-based creative problem solving, interactions between mutually respectful students, and the thrill of succeeding together are a great source of motivation. While much motivation is intrinsic to students, teachers also play a vital role in the motivation and engagement of their students. A significant portion of student engagement and achievement are explained by our mentors.
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The steps taken by teams to remain on track are –
- Communication – Honest, frequent two-way communication between students and mentors including constructive discussion of workplace issues
- Challenging and exciting work – Teams ensure every student has a plan which is respected. We incorporate students in work where they enjoy and do not feel overburdened
- Recognition and reward for performance – We make it clear what the incentives are and reward all the students fairly
Festival time is the best time to gain some practical experience in entrepreneurship skills. Rakshabandhan and Diwali were two such occasions when we decided to take the plunge and become a business owner.
For rakshabandan, we prepared gifts which were available for sale to other students, parents and school staff. The items were an instant hit among them, thus turning our event a great success.
Encouraged, the team Fab-Retreat organised a handicraft exhibit on the occasion of Diwali, within the school premises. The displayed items included lamps, candle-stands, floating diyas, rubber bands, notebooks and eco-friendly bags, prepared by students from waste/ used stuff. This project indulged both students and their parents. It was a creative way to make stronger home-school partnership bonds. This time too, the event concluded with immense satisfaction and pleasure.
Diwali is a festival of sweet childhood memories
A sky full of lights
Mouth full of sweets and heart full of joy
On this occasion of lights and sparkle, members of the SEC gifted beautiful handmade diyas and other gifts as a token of love and respect to the helping staff of the school.
Teaching us to be independent
With great zeal and enthusiasm, we, the young entrepreneurs of our school, started our journey a few months ago. The school’s motto behind launching the SEC was to build next generation leaders and inculcate marketing skills among children so that they do not depend upon others for earning their livelihood.
Not only has the project made us environment friendly but it has also helped boost our self-confidence and made us strong and independent to face any situation in our lives.
This article is written by Mahima Yadav, Class XII student, Maharaja Agarsain Public School, Ashok Vihar, New Delhi
STUDENTS’ VOICE – In this section, we feature stories written by students on topics they feel strongly about. Students are encouraged to share their stories with us. For further information, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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