"I loved studying, but when I was in my first year of college, my family faced some financial problems. My father arranged for me to be married, with the understanding that my in-laws would let me continue my education. But they did not.
After my two children were born, I convinced my husband to move to Mumbai to give them a better future. I had no idea what I was getting myself into; I had never even visited a big city!
It was very very hard and money was extremely tight in the beginning. But then, my neighbor introduced me to the manager of Nirmaan Collective where I learned sewing. I used the money I earned for my children's education. When my neighbors learned I was helping my children with their studies, they asked me to teach their children as well. This is how my tutorial classes began.
My life was very busy, but my husband had no idea what was going on. I went to the cooperative and had my tutorial classes before he came home. When he did learn about it he was very angry because I had not asked his permission, which of course he would not have given. He still does not know about the money I have saved in a bank account in my name. It is enough that soon I will use it to buy our own home so we can move out of his father's house. " -- Poonam Shukla, Artisan at Nirmaan collective.