By Rashi Wadhera

Our recently concluded Creative Pow Wow gave us the good fortune of collaborating with new innovators, and introducing us to new minds, projects and ideas. Making that day and each day since count even more is Sewing New Futures, a for profit social enterprise. We know what you’re thinking, Delhi unfortunately presents a sea of causes to support, and you don’t know where to start. Allow us to present a great starting point. All we ask of you is, get informed if not involved.

What is the Cause, you ask?

Prostitution as a practice is rampant in our country, even if you choose to believe otherwise. And coming closer to home, Delhi sees its fair share of the trade, and we’re not referring to the infamous GB Road. Sewing New Futures dedicates itself to this very cause, economically empowering women, so they’re in a position to choose. They work with the Perna Caste in Dhrampura {Najafgarh}, where girls are married of as early as at the age of 14, and ultimately prostituted by their husband and parents. It’s all circumstantial, where the income earned as a prostitute far outweighs that earned at any other job. So much so, that girls are brought up watching generations of women before them prostitute, and with the knowledge that it is inevitable.

How does Sewing New Futures help?

This social enterprise has been developed by the community for this community. It follows a for-profit business model, and not so much a charity, so each individual is working towards a better life, and isn’t asking for hand outs. The SNF Trust works towards mentoring and motivating women through a 3 month vocational training program, thereby giving them a skill set, so they aren’t forced into prostitution. The basic aim is to make them employable, all the while also focussing on their personal development. The training program includes a day care facility, recreational activities, and workshops focussing on financial planning, leadership, health and legal rights. After a training stint, these women are offered full time employment by SNF Pvt Ltd., profits of which are re invested to expand operations, and to extend better training facilities. Products include bags, scarves, stoles and wall hangings, all hand sewn by the ladies of course!

You’re informed. Now, Get Involved. 

Sewing New Futures has launched a 40 Day Indie GoGo Campaign, which will provide paid training to 50 teenage girls by the end of 2014, so they have the option of choosing otherwise {we’re hoping it will force them to leave prostitution instead}. Any contribution you can {and we’re hoping will} make, will go towards expanding their existing training program. Sewing New Futures aims to start with 50 women, hoping they’ll serve as a catalyst for future generations of women in their community.

However much you choose to contribute, know this – you’ll be setting in motion an attempt to break the cycle of illiteracy and lack of employable skills, providing them the greatest opportunity of all – that of choice.

Click here to learn more about the 40 Day Indie GoGo Campaign. And, while you’re reading, make a contribution!

If you’d like to know Sewing New Future’s whole story, and get involved, click here. Follow Sewing New Futures on Facebook for regular updates, here.