WOMENAID INTERNATIONAL

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VOCATIONAL TRAINING (TAILORING) COURSE  
FOR POOR WOMEN LEPROSY PATIENTS.

Request received 
on behalf of women lepers living in Tamil Nadu, S India.  

There are a large number of leprosy patients in the villages surrounding Kalalapakkam and one village, Thenopallipattu, is specially identified and isolated for leprosy patients.  These villages are economically and socially very backward since measures promulgated by the Government have absolutely no impact on the villagers residing in these rural areas.  There are no schools and even distant villages can only provide primary education.  Water is an acute problem and the villagers standard of living is extremely poor as they live well below the poverty line  People are living in miserable conditions and suffering for want of even the most basic facilities and the absence of medical assistance.  Since most of the people are leprosy patients their sufferings are all the more tragic.

In these circumstances, organisations like the St. Joseph's Leprosy Patient's Society is striving to the best of its ability to mitigate the suffering of the people by introducing medical/health care for leprosy patients as well as rehabilitation programmes. The eradication of leprosy in these villages is a main aim.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
Since almost all of the villagers are very poor and have not received any education they are socially deprived and work as unskilled labourers, earning very little and are greatly exploited.  The caste system remains rampant and, due to lack of education, the people do not have knowledge of their rights.

In Vellore, a nearby town, there are many garment export companies which are in need of tailors and if trained in tailoring village women would have immediate job opportunities.

The project would also give them greater awarenes of their social and economical status as well their rights.  The training they receive would help them breakout from the vicious circle of social deprivation and would instill confidence in their self learning abilities.

BENEFICIARIES OF THE PROJECT:-
Rural women are four times more exploited than rural men and educational and training programmes for them are vital.  This project is aimed at giving professional training to rural women from as many as twenty five villages in the taluk.

The St. Joseph's Rehabilitation Centre has the infrastructure necessary for the smooth running of the project.  There is a hall, 50' x 20', large enough for 50 students to learn tailoring and embroidery.  The hall has electricity.  At present there are only four sewing machines loaned for six months by VSSS (Vellore Social Service Society) of Vellore dioceses.  There are instructors available to teach the students. 

WORK PLAN:-
Even with only four borrowed sewing machines, 50 students from 15 villages are already learning and directly benefiting from the project, although they hardly get half an hour every day at the sewing machines at present.

However the St. Joseph's Leprosy Patients Society wishes to develop the training programme in an effective way by installing more sewing machines and resource materials.  There is also the possibility for obtaining a government recognised diploma for the students.  

At present this is the only tailoring institute in the whole of Taluk giving tailoring training for rural women.  More and more applicants arrive every day, coming by bus or lorries from villages 20 to 25 km away.  

Within a year it is hoped that at least 100 students can be trained in the centre.  Some students who completed the course will receive a government diploma whilst other students, with less education, will receive a diploma from the St. Joseph's Leprosy Patients Society itself.  

Job opportunities will be actively sought for the successful women students.

EVALUATION AND FOLLOW UP:-
There are will be a periodical evaluation every year to assess how the women have profited from the training and also if the training is adequately job orientated.  

PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY
The women need sewing machines, sewing accessories, sewing materials, chairs, and worktables and the salaries for the tailoring master, instructors and trainers.   

Please help WomenAid International bring light 

into the dark lives of these poor downtrodden 

women leprosy patients.

SUPPORT THIS PROGRAMME


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WOMENAID INTERNATIONAL  

3 WHITEHALL COURT  LONDON SW1A 2EL

TEL:  +44 (0) 20 7839 1790    FAX: +44 (0) 20 7839 2929 

E-MAIL: womenaid@womenaid.org           Reg. Charity No. 299224