Learner Stories

Musarath: A women’s fight for independence

Nook: Kaggalipura

Learner Name: Musarath

Month & Year: January 2020

33-year old Musarath lives in Kaggalipura, a small village on the outskirts of Bangalore. After her father tragically died when she attended 9th grade, Musharath left school to help make ends meet and married early. Now as a young mother, she dreams to become financially independent and open up her own boutique. To pursue this dream, Musarath joined the Kaggalipura Nook in August 2019: “I heard from my neighbors that this place is offering free learning opportunities, so I came here to do tailoring. I also have a baby son to take care of, and the tailoring skills I acquired at the Nook help me to earn money from home and become more independent.” 

So far, Musarath has stitched six Patiala Salwar, two Saree blouses, and three Churidar tops. To help her achieve this, the Nook provided Musarath – as all other learners – with access to laptops and internet while participating in the Nook’s induction program for new learners helped the young mother to gain digital literacy skills such as how to navigate the internet and how to search for and find information online. Through this, she was able to access various online courses, videos and other effective learning materials available online. Having acquired the necessary know-how from these sources while also talking to and learning from some of the other Nook learners engaged in tailoring activities, Musarath started to try her hands on the freely available sewing machines in the Nook.     

Through the first orders, she received thanks to her new skills – the stitching of a Patiala Salwar and doing top alteration – she earned 2000 Rupees which she is using for personal expenses. Musarath says that “the moment I earned money through my own sweat was the happiest moment in my life.”

The entrepreneur-in-making further talks about the freedom she feels in the Nook, being able to learn whatever she is interested in as opposed to school and college where there is no choice. Apart from tailoring, she likes reading storybooks and trying out new sweet cooking recipes, which she can also all do at the Nook. Musarath is also extremely glad to have found a learning space where she can take along her young son: “the Nook is not only providing all required materials for my project for free, but it also accommodates my son who learns along with me about phonics and identifying colours. All this makes me feel so happy about this place. For me, the Nook is the place where I can feel happy moments with my son.” 

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