Tailor-made business sense
By Aparna Unni - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM
18th August 2012 11:17 AM
Sewing machines take the place of desks and benches here. Two students stand at the teacher’s desk, lean over her shoulder as she draws patterns for them to stitch. Welcome to the Clothing and Embroidery unit of the Vocational Higher Secondary Education wing of Government V & HSS School for the Deaf at Jagathy.
“These are students who are in Plus One and Plus Two,” said teacher Maya Devi who was in charge of the class. “Apart from Physics, Chemistry, Biology and English, they also learn such vocational subjects like garment design and printing technology.”
The institution aims to ensure that every student who passes out of the institution is employable and skilled in some work.
“Students in the secondary section of our school are taught some basic tailoring skills,” said Maya. “When they come to VHSE section after passing SSLC, they are taught advanced tailoring techniques - more complicated stitches like the buttonhole scallop stitches you see on sari borders.”
As if to prove her teacher’s point, Anju K Babu comes forward to show how she had embroidered the letters P, A, and B in red on a piece of cloth. She says in sign language that the letters P and B are the first letters of her parents names - Pushpa and Babu - while the letter A in the middle was for her own name.
A couple of tailors’ mannequins stand by the door, one sporting a checked shirt and the other a floral-printed kameez, both done by former students. “We teach them to stitch churidars, skirts, trousers etc., which we put on exhibitions within the school and also at regional and state levels,” said Maya.
It is not just clothes that they put up for exhibitions. From the iron cupboards lining the back of the room, stationery purses, hairbands, lunch-bags made of cloth and saris are pulled out one-by-one by the technical assistant Bindu A R.
“These were all made by the former students,” she said displaying a cream-coloured purse with a net covering that had been embroidered with silver thread and decorated with golden sequins. Showing a pink sari with floral prints along the border, Maya said, “This was done using screen printing where the design is made with wooden blocks which serve as stencils.”
The institution also tries to cultivate a business sense in the students by their Production-Cum-Training programme, where the students keep track of input costs, production and also handle sales. Whatever profit is earned from the sale of their handiwork at exhibitions, it is divided among the students.
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