Update From Sreepur Village Bangladesh

Sreepur Village. © Shilpi using a sewing machine

Back in our September 10, 2022 issue, Janey Swanson shared the story of Sreepur Village Bangladesh, an organisation helping women and their children. The organisation were so delighted with the response from you, our readers, that they wanted to share an update on one of the village’s residents, Shilpi…

Shilpi, a mother of two girls, has been living at Sreepur Village since the beginning of 2019 and will be leaving Sreepur Village this coming December.

In 2013 upon the death of her first husband, Shilpi’s in-laws forced her to leave their house — and what was her family home. Shilpi left and eventually re-married a man who welcomed her and her daughter.

In early 2017, Shilpi’s situation quickly turned around when she became pregnant with her second child. Shilpi’s husband did not want the child. Shilpi pleaded with her husband, but he became very angry.

In her third trimester, desperate and scared Shilpi asked her neighbour for help who then recommended Heed Bangladesh (a development organisation that works with marginalised people). Shilpi gave birth to a girl with the help of Heed Bangladesh who then recommended she should enrol at Sreepur Village.

New Home, New Skills

Throughout her three years at Sreepur Village, Shilpi has given emphasis to tailoring as she used to do some basic tailoring in her village. Upon arrival at Sreepur she initially completed all of their basic tailoring training but for the last year and a half she has been focusing solely on bag making.

Shilpi can now make various designs of bags using denim and jute materials. Using jute and denim together, she creates some eye-catching designs.  Shilpi has also helped to create our newly launched Denim by Sreepur collection. Using cotton sari material with denim, Shilpi has helped to produce two fantastic bags: a hair accessories bag and a tote bag along with denim hair scrunchies.

From January she would like to move to Dhaka and start a tailoring and bag-making business. Her plan is to move to her relative’s house and sell her bags, but ultimately she wants to do something big.

“I’ll receive my savings when I leave, so I’ll put this towards buying a machine and other tools and materials to start my business. I will try to grow my business in the near future”, Shilpi tells us.

Shilpi is looking forward to utilising her newly-gained independence and with the skills she has developed at Sreepur she is confident in taking ownership of her own socio-economic development and sustaining a secure future for her family

Visit www.sreepurvillage.org/ to order your Denim by Sreepur.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.