Kali came to study in Barli Development Institute for Rural Women in early 2011 and successfully completed the six-month training. Now she is an established tailor in Alirajpur. Born in a tribal household in Alirajpur, in her childhood Kali was affected by the Polio virus and since then, she has been using a stick to walk - but her handicap has not dampened her spirits in any way. She has confidently set up her own tailoring shop in Alirajpur city haat (i.e. a local market) and is among the top earning tailors there.
‘Kali’ – the word symbolizes the Hindu Goddess Kali - which means ‘dark’ – i.e. who herself being dark complexioned, but is so powerful that she can win over the dark forces of nature. The following is the first-hand account (and story) of Kali when we visited her in June 2016.
‘Kali drives me to her shop in a tri-ped scooter which she purchased with her own hardearned money. The scooter is specially designed so that she can drive it in spite of her physical disability. On the way she tells me that the training at Barli Institute (BDIRW) gave her the confidence to do everything - from learning, driving, and to setting up her own shop. Confidently maneuvering through the busy traffic of the narrow roads of Alirajpur city she smilingly reveals that she raised the money for her scooter through the tailoring shop and still has a decent balance of over two lakhs (200000) still in her bank account. The landlady whose shop she rents for her tailoring business is all praise for Kali who says that she is very polite yet strong-willed and always pays the rent on time.
Kali shows me her shop with pride and joy. Her shop is filled with recently stitched clothes that will be delivered the next day in the bazaar haat (local market). Kali now has another surprise to unfold. She shows me the gold jewelry (necklace, earrings) which she had recently purchased. Her happiness is contagious. Her financially independence has transformed her from the shy, dependent and introvert village girl she was a few years ago before joining Barli to a confident and self-reliant woman. While on our return journey, I was pleasantly reminiscing Kali, as her name in Hindi although means ‘dark’ - yet in complete contrast to her name she has enlightened not only her own life but also the lives of her family members and the village - especially her younger brothers and sisters whose educational expenses are all taken care of by Kali !’