It has been our vision right from the start to create a 'Free to Learn' sewing programme for girls and women to ensure they have skills that can carry them through life. In India, women are often left unprotected financially when disaster strikes a family, or a husband becomes disabled and especially in the worst scenario of a woman or younger lady becoming a widow. Often a widower is left with no way to create income after a husband dies. This is even a more dire situation in rural areas, as growing girls may never have had access to education. Boys generally are the favoured family members to invest financially in to upgrade skills preparing them for family life and to be the breadwinner.

Women are worst affected when it comes to unemployment and poverty. Without any income of their own, they need to depend on men for anything and everything. If the men are also unemployed, the matter gets worse. Women empowerment through self-reliance and financial independence can be achieved by providing vocational training, through which women can either start up something of their own or take- up a job.

Open Hands Education has set up a Sewing Training Centres to make women self-sufficient and confident. Stitching garments is one job that remains till end of the mankind. Further, basic tailoring skills enable women to work from home, they can continue in their traditional role as homemaker and yet earn. Tailoring is something which women can immediately start right from their homes upon completion of their course. Interested women are train for embroidery, arts and designing skills as well as tailoring. The course duration is 6 months for basic cutting & sewing, next the participants can progress to the next level which is training in detailed art & creativity. The course is supported by “WOW Australia“ (Whispers of Women). Started with one sewing centre with one sewing machines and 5 students in Dadawan Village (Bihar, India), it has now expanded to 50 students and till now we have already trained more than 200 students and transformed their hard lives to better life. Many of them are doing toiling jobs in shop and those girls were married they are teaching other girls to their husband village.
With our introduction of basic sewing skills girls can move from their village after marriage and take their knowledge with them, sometimes even creating a micro business or simple training centre of their own. In this way the knowledge and skills are spread so maximum support can be reached to many more girls in this manner thus creating a powerful ripple effect of change. Already we have seen the power in action of this transfer of knowledge and opportunity.

  • carousel jquery
  • 1
  • 2
Jhulan Kumar Founder

"I have seen one of my sisters who was gifted a sewing machine as a wedding present began sewing for free, to ladies in the village less fortunate than she was. Soon after she began teaching sewing basics to other women in my Sujata Village. It was her first sewing efforts and the empowerment that came from sewing machine ownership that began our vision of providing a sewing learning centre. My wife Pratigya now replaces her as teacher in my home village while my sister Sima now has begun educating girls in her husband's village."


"After gifting a sewing machine to Sima, Jhulan's sister for her wedding, I was thrilled to hear of her training other girls in the same skills. I was emotionally overwhelmed by her then moving into a foreign village and starting up her own small micro business of teaching sewing skills. The small income helped her manage some trying times while her husband lived in another distant city trying to source work and pay rents. She had babies to juggle, a very low income to survive, yet she used those precious sewing skills to keep pushing forward. All this was done with her unpowered pedal powered singer sewing machine. I am excited to see just how she continues to business develop as her classes become bigger. " I never realised just how powerful the gift of this one sewing machine would be. This is why I have decided to partner and support with offering of advise in the development of Open Hands Educational Programmes.