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Thandra Vipula

Sarapak, Telengana

Thandra’s life was full of hardships with one misfortune following another. She belonged to a poverty-stricken family of five, including her parents and two siblings. With so many mouths to feed, it was difficult for Thandra’s father to continue paying for the education of his children. Sadly, Thandra had to drop out of school after second standard. Adding further misery to her life, she faced the irreparable loss of her mother’s death at the tender age of six. Given the financial constraints of her family, she was married off at a very young age.

Her misery did not end, with her marriage. Her husband who worked at the vegetable market had scanty and irregular income. With the birth of her two daughters, the financial strain grew further. And what happened thereafter was absolutely devastating for Thandra – her husband not only abandoned her, but he went ahead and married another woman, severing all ties with her. She was left destitute with two young daughters to take care of. Therefore, she took up work at a nearby tailoring shop for pittance. Even mere survival was becoming tough for her.

Then came the much-needed turning point in Thandra’s life. She was identified as a beneficiary of Bandhan’s THP programme. To help her stand on her two feet, she was provided with one sewing machine and requisite bales of cloth for setting up her own tailoring business. And, for her to effectively run this enterprise, she was given holistic training. As she was stabilising the same, she also received a consumption stipend. There has been no looking back for Thandra since then.

With the personality development guidance, mentoring, handholding and overall support by the programme staff, Thandra started to lay the building blocks of her business. Her interpersonal skills and decision-making abilities also improved. As time passed, she honed her sewing skills. Gradually her customer base expanded and her work gained popularity locally.

Thandra’s story is that of true transformation – from complete despair to running a successful enterprise. With the surplus she earned, she purchased three more sewing machines. She also managed to develop an alternate source of livelihood, besides tailoring business; she started making pickle and dosa flour. The local hotels became regular buyers of the newly added products. This increased her income and secured her financial position further.

Ever since her association with this programme, she has been able to send her daughters to school and this is extremely satisfying for Thandra. Circumstances had forced her to quit her own education but she did not allow this to happen to her girls. She has, truly, turned the fate around. Her daughters are proud of their mother’s feat of alleviating from abject poverty to a respectable life of self-sufficiency.

‘Bandhan has been instrumental in transforming my life. It has helped change my identity – from being recognised as a helpless women who was abandoned by her husband with two daughters to rear to becoming a successful entrepreneur. Words are not enough to thank Bandhan.’