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Shivsakthi Stitching Unit, Kattilkadavu

March 16-17, 2024: Shivasakthi Stitching Unit, Kattilkadavu, Kollam district delivers rush order of handmade banded conference bags to national conference hosted by Amrita School of Dentistry

110 branded conference bags with the “Amrita” logo were lovingly crafted, dispatched and delivered to a national conference at Amrita Hospital, Kochi by a group of 11 motivated women from the Shivashakti Stitching Unit in Kollam. They recently began their journey of entrepreneurship with high hopes to procure orders to pay off their startup business loans. This new group business, registered with the Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) who successfully completed their tailoring training at the Amrita Sankalp Kattilkadavu Center, jointly with their trainer under the AVSAR Sankalp (Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) project.

The branded conference bags were a big hit at the XX Annual State Conference
& X Post Graduate Convention, KSOMP 2024 hosted by the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Microbiology. Dr. Mahija Janardhanan, Professor, Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Pathology, School Of Dentistry, Kochi commented: “These conference bags were a big hit at the conference and were made and delivered in just three days! We are impressed by the dedication of this women’s group and commend their efforts.” The organizing team also commended the Center for Women’s Empowerment & Gender Equality, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham for making this happen.

For the 11 women from the tailoring unit, the bag making process is a serious business. Sindhu, the team leader, commented that big conference orders like this are life changing. “I want to help my girls, I want to empower them and I want to pay off the loan we took to start this business.” From sourcing materials to mastering new techniques, the road to creating these conference bags was challenging, especially given the deadline. Yet, with unwavering determination and a spirit of camaraderie, the women’s group tackled each hurdle head-on. Each bag was meticulously crafted, with attention paid to every detail, from the stitching to the branding. What they had accomplished together was more than just a collection of conference bags; it was a symbol of their creativity, unity, and strength.

The AVSAR Sankalp (Skill Acquisition and Knowledge Awareness for Livelihood Promotion) project, was implemented in 2022 in various parts of India by Amrita University, in collaboration with the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE), Government of India, and the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC). The project offered 4500 women from 6 Indian states the skills and confidence to start their own businesses and earn income.