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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Our visit to SKKK

The production and tailoring unit at (SKKK)

We stayed in Sandur with SKKK for 4 days, visiting the production centre and a number of villages. Praveen, the production manager showed us around and arranged for our village visits with supervisors Lakshmi Bai and Shanti Bai. He was great to talk to, really keen to explain the set up and to know our opinions of the work. 

There are many issues which they organisation has to work with and it is a very difficult task. 
It is vital that enough orders are placed to provide the women with steady and regular work and Praveen is now deciding the path that SKKK should take in the future. He has been at the organisation for 8 months having finished a Masters and worked for large fashion companies. He is keen to restructure SKKK and take it in a direction which will be of most benefit to the women he works with.

Lambani women in traditional dress at work in the production centre


A visit to a Sitaram tanda; a village where the women work from home.

Mother and daughter doing piece work.

The women we spoke to are pleased to be able to work from home as it allows them to look after their families and stay in the village community. However,there are issues surrounding the wages they earn. It is very little and they find it hard to support their families without help from other family members.  The women were keen for us to know that the work is hard and many have experienced back and eye problems. They would want to continue with the work but would like to be earning more and many are not keen for their children to take up the work in the future without better wages. It is important to keep these skills alive but the women do not feel their work is valuable and so many are sending their children into other careers like tailoring, argiculture and mining.

Children playing in the village.

Visit to another village (MM Halli) where the women work in the community hall and with a supervisor.
SKKK is a wonderful organisation who are struggling to keep up with the fast changing western trends. They hope to find a market that better enables them to keep their women in work and be able to increase their wages.
Being able to sew in a room together with the women of SKKK was a very special experience, they were great fun to be with and work extremely hard. We both found this a very inspirational and memorable organisation. We were humbled by the dedication of its members to continue with the work they believe in in the face economic and social adversity. We wish them the best of luck and would love to be able to do work with  them in the future so watch this space...

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