Sahaswan is a small town not far away from Badaun district, Uttar Pradesh where Rahmat Jahaan of this story belongs. Driven by societal pressures, women in this region rarely get opportunities to study. But Rahmat Jahaan and her family saw things differently. They understood the value of education and knew the kind of difference the exposure to learning can make in their lives. A healthy upbringing formed the basis of her progressive outlook and the lady dreamt of making a difference in the lives of people around her by furthering the development in her town.
“I was grateful to my father who has always encouraged his daughters to complete their education, but I also knew his resistance towards allowing us to work”. Rahmat heard about the Jaipur Rugs Foundation and the interventions it carries out in different villages, including her own. She had already made up her mind to work with the organization and acquire skills that would make her employable, but convincing her parents was a difficult task. After days of making them understood how rug-weaving allows women to work from home, she enrolled herself in skill development training – a decision that would change everything in her life. The training was more than just a learning experience for her. With a determined heart, she went on to establish a self-help group comprising of women from her community which would provide training to other women in need about the practice of rug-weaving which allowed them to work from home.
“I’ve just completed my master’s degree and work as a trainer and project coordinator for JRF. It is because of me that my family live in a concrete house today and they could not have been prouder!” Rahmat works very closely with JRF in empowering other women in her community and to implement several social development programmes conducted in Sahaswan.