Project information

Tailor Training Centres, Dalit communities, India

Dalits are the socio-economically oppressed class in India. The aim is to train and support impoverished Dalit women in basic tailoring, so that they can support themselves and their families. Centres aim to make and market garments to support the units and to provide the women with an income.

Current and on-going.

Charity information: RED International

RED International logo
  • Need


    Dalit communities are under-privileged with little or no income. Any work they find is low-status, menial and insecure. Survival is difficult with a high risk of women and girls being trafficked into forced or bonded labour, the sex industry or ritualised prostitution. Their nutrition, health and education are very poor. They lack higher-level qualifications and so have difficulty finding work. They need help to train for useful, better-paid employment to improve their families’ circumstances.


    Using the network of Dalit Education Centres (DECs) already established by our partners, projects will be set up to train Dalit women in basic tailoring, whilst providing practical work experience and paying them salaries. When trained they will be helped to set up their own businesses and will have opportunities to carry out paid work such as making school uniforms for each year’s new pupils. Their earning capabiltiy will increase, greatly improving the lives of the women and their families.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To mitigate or prevent human trafficking by enabling Dalit women to earn an income as tailors.


    » Set up 10 tailoring centres in areas already served by DEC schools, recruit and train as tailors up to 200 women through 6-months courses, 2 a year.
    » Train up to 20 women per course with daily targets set by the managers. After a few months they are expected to be able to make garments for sale.
    » -
    » -

    Success will be an increase in employment among the women, in the levels of earnings achieved by the students and their improved status in society.

    Aim 2

    To improve the quality of life of the women and their families.


    » Produce and sell garments to fund the units and provide an income and incentives for the women.
    » Provide the women with support in eventually setting up their own tailoring businesses.
    » -
    » -

    Success will be an improved quality of life for the women and their families e.g in access to health care, education, improved income and business opportunities.

    Aim 3

    To reduce unemployment at the local level, thereby transforming communities.


    » Provide the women with support in eventually setting up their own tailoring businesses.
    » -
    » -
    » -

    Success will be women earning an income whilst they train in the DECs and by setting up their own businesses after training.

    Aim 4

    To work towards building sustainable Dalit communities.


    » Produce and sell garments to fund the units and provide an income and incentives for the women.
    » Each Tailoring training Centre will only operate for three years in any one area. This avoids training more tailors than the local market can support
    » -
    » -

    Success will be the tailoring project having a knock-on effect in the community in employment, standards of living and in financing the DECs themselves.

    Aim 5

    To enable communities eventually to run the centres themselves by creating micro-enterprises.


    » Produce and sell garments to fund the units and provide an income and incentives for the women.
    » Provide the women with support in eventually setting up their own tailoring businesses.
    » -
    » -

    Success will be Dalit communities eventually running the centres themselves with income from projects and families of pupils able to afford to contribute more to running costs.

  • Impact


    Women will be able to set up businesses with small loans to buy sewing machines. Increased income will bring improved housing, health, nutrition, education and self-reliance for them and their families. Self-help groups will help Dalits to run the centres.

    Feedback will be through monitoring by state government, the community, self-help groups, health workers, and teachers. A Community Development Officer will also monitor all projects, programmes, training and sales.


    Risks are difficulty finding suitable locations, not enough students enrolling, students dropping out, insufficient work available for the women, insufficient funding, no profits made.

    Our partner has over 50 centres running in different parts of India and there is a high demand for places. They already have experience in dealing with the problems and the risks. Once the ladies understand the benefits to them and their families of doing this course they are very committed to completing it.


    Each project location is centred on a DEC school. We have a twice yearly report from the school and associated projects. If it has a specific tailoring project there would be a report at the end of the year from that tailoring centre. Copies of these are sent to donors.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £25,500

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £4,800 Tailoring machines £ 80 x 6 machines in each centre x 10 centre
      £10,200 Trainers' salaries £85 x 12 months x 10 centre
      £7,800 Rent of training facility £65 x 12 months x 10 centre
      £2,700 RED International Costs Fundraising, research and support
  • Background


    There are approximately 250 million Dalits in India and these projects are located in Dalit communities all over India linked to the DEC schools already established by our partner. Dalits tend to predominate in areas with few resources. There are many women with little or no education at all, who due to compulsions of poverty and traditional family pressures have not been able to go for further formal studies.


    Human trafficking is a huge issue amongst Dalits, including forced prostitution, other sexual exploitation, forced labour, slavery and similar practices and the removal of organs. Extreme poverty makes women and children particularly vulnerable. An income would help to save them from this. The women and their families will benefit due to improved income. Eventually the whole community should obtain improved prosperity, status, prospects and facilities provided by this and other projects.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    RED International works with its partner in India, the Operation Mercy India Foundation (OMIF) on a variety projects. OMIF was invited by the Dalit leaders to work in the communities and is now well-established with extensive experience of this and other projects. By the end of 2011 they were running 104 Schools all over India in the poorer areas where Dalits live. Of these 69 have vocational training centres, covering subjects such as tailoring, literacy and computer studies.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Community Development Officer

    The schools’ Community Development Officer is a key person, overseeing projects, monitoring outcomes, acting as School Director/Manager.

    Tailoring Trainer

    The trainer chosen to run each project is chosen by the CDO and is important in helping to design courses and teach them.

    Regional Directors

    Regional Directors of Economic Development, one in North India and one in South India, oversee the various centres and projects.

    Mercy Community Development Foundation (MCDF) National Director

    MCDF is a separate division of OMIF. The National Director has overall responsibility for the organization and its work and future strategy.