“I was like a frog in a well.” This is how Chhaya Sharma describes herself before her training as a Silai School Women Entrepreneur (SSWE) with Usha Silai School and Pravah, supported by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA. Pravah designed and facilitated a 20 hours curriculum that encompassed Life capacities, Entrepreneurship, Gender sensitization and Sexual & Reproductive Health & Rights.
Chhaya is a postgraduate degree holder in two disciplines - Hindi and Sociology - and also has prior experience in teaching, with a Bachelor in Education. She joined the Usha Silai School in February 2021. After this, she joined Pravah’s training program. She has been a part of both the online and offline training. In March 2021, she was a part of the physical TOT conducted by the Pravah team in Bhopal. It was here that her perspective changed.
“I really liked the training. After the training, I realised that I am a social animal and I felt my life has some purpose too. The Pravah team’s facilitation style was very innovative and immersed me in the curriculum”, says Chhaya. Her favourite session is ‘Meri Pehchaan’ which translates into ‘My Identity’. The power walk activity made her reflect and ponder about who she is and her abilities. The session helped her look beyond the roles she played in the daily domestic sphere and made her realise she was much more than them.
Chhaya trains other women and girls in both sewing as well as the ABS curriculum. Chhaya says that the Pravah training has affected her facilitation skills in three ways. First, it gives prerna (inspiration), motivating her as a facilitator. Second, it builds the necessary vatavaran (environment) for learning. Third, it has given her a new jeevan (life). This has cumulatively improved her training and she says the girls who are being trained by her say that they want to be like her.
Chhaya says her life has turned around completely since she began her training with Usha and Pravah. She has a newfound sense of independent identity, has earned respect amongst her peers and family, and she has begun earning extra income. She is earning around ten times more than her income prior to joining the training.