Tales of Empowerment: Ramiben Nangesh
SHG:Nagrechi Mahila Mandal
Ramiben Nangesh has been an active member of Okhai for the last 12 years — designing, cutting and stitching fabric to weave together a work of magic. She is among the 450 rural women for whom Okhai has created a livelihood.
Explaining the grading process at Okhai, Ramiben says that they have developed a system of grading the women in terms of the quality of their threadwork output. Depending on orders received, these women are then entrusted a particular embroidery or appliqué work, at which they excel. With frequent training in customer preferences, time management, fashion and quality output, these rural women have achieved financial security while having enough time for their household responsibilities.
Okhai has given these rural women a sense of achievement by entrusting them with positions based on their calibre. Ramiben is a trustee of the Okhai Board and also a president of the Self Help Group Federation. She says with pride, "Okhai has empowered me so much that I now confidently give interviews to press and television channels. In fact even when foreigners come visiting we are able to explain our work to them."
Ramiben adds that while most students in their village drop out after class 7, she is encouraging her children to study further because she understands the importance of education. “Okhai is our identity and whenever we walk through villages, we are recognized as "mahila mandal" women.”
In case of large orders, Ramiben says that they have the ability to complete such orders providing excellent quality. "We are confident that our women will deliver orders with quality. We also have contact with other organizations from whom we could pull in resources," says Ramiben adding that their dream is to reach and empower an increasing number of women through the SHG model of dedvelopment.