Dilipa Govant saw the women in her village suffering. Many of them worked as maids because they had no other job skills. And even though they had jobs, the women still never had enough money to manage their households.
The majority of their husbands didn’t earn much either.
“Most of the time, they’re just daily laborers or rickshaw pullers. They’re not able to provide all the things the family needs,” Dilipa explained. “There are many times they’re not able to provide their basic needs.”
So Dilipa stepped in to help. She set up a tailoring training center. Now the women come and learn how to make clothing. With these job skills, they can find a much better job.
Dilipa, whose huband, Sanjoy, is a Gospel for Asia-supported missionary, rounded up three sewing machines and found a small rented space to set them up.
“My aim is to train them up so that they will be making a good living,” she said.
The women who come to Dilipa’s classes literally start with the basics. The first item of clothing they learn to make is undergarments.
“This is the easiest thing to do,” Dilipa explains.
The women learn how to accurately measure and make a paper pattern, then they advance on to sewing on fabric and making actual clothing for women, men and children. They also learn how to embellish the clothing with beading and embroidery that is fashionable in their culture.
When the training is complete, the women are fully qualified to work in one of the many tailor shops in their area. If they are fortunate enough to get their own machine, the women can work out of their home creating garments for the people in their village.
Even though the goal of the training is to help the women learn and hone job skills, they get a little something extra in Dilipa’s classroom.
“Before I got married, I worked in a clinic as a nurse. So along with the tailoring training, I give them some basic medical training to help them take better care of their children,” Dilipa said. “And some of the women suffer from different sicknesses; this will help them take better care of themselves.”
Dilipa sees her work at the sewing training center as an extension of her husband’s ministry.
“I want to support my husband by doing something,” she said. “At the same time as my husband is involved in God’s ministry, God has put a burden in my heart also, that I can do something for the Lord. I can train these women and along with that, I can share the Gospel with them so that along with my husband, as a family, we can do something for the Lord.”
During the first few years of marriage and ministry together, Dilipa and Sanjoy have watched as their small church nearly double in size. They are now ministering to about 115 families and are thrilled to see so many embracing Christ.