Story Of
Manisha Banwane

Not everyone gets everything in life very easily; some people have to struggle at every step to gain something. Manisha Banwane is one such inspiration who has struggled at every moment to reach the stage where she is now. She is a daughter of a fisherman and having family crunch Manisha had to drop off her studies after 12th class. But her determination and will to study found its way.

When she was in class 12th grade she found UPAY, and there she met some very cooperative volunteers who could see that passion in her to achieve something big. So they offered her to be a volunteer in UPAY after she completes her 12th and also convinced her parents to let her study further. They made her parents believe that she has the potential to become something and assured them that she would make them proud. And today, she is doing her BA and is in the final year now.

She proved herself then and is continuing to do that even now. Besides, focusing on her studies, she needs to support the family financially. The stitching skill that she learned way back, which she thought was only a hobby, makes her feel confident and happy as she took up stitching as part-time work to help meet the ends. That makes her believe that she is not living in vain; she is contributing something meaningful.

But due to COVID-19 lockdown, she couldn’t go out of her home and that’s when UPAY came up with an offer to produce reusable masks and got introduced to our platform. Sabka samaan helped Manisha to use her stitching skills and gained a lot of demand to stitch masks. All the necessary resources were provided, but it was her sheer determination that got her going. Today she stitches more than 50 masks a day and supports her family financially.
She rightly said:
“UPAY is a platform from which anyone can learn and lean upon to benefit himself completely. Before joining UPAY I used to dream of a perfect life, but after joining I could transform those dreams into reality. UPAY has inspired and at the same time guided me to do something in life to prove myself.”
Many people like Manisha who have talent but do have enough resources, get a reason to smile, and transform their lives!

Story of Gulnaz

Gulnaz comes from a community that did not encourage Gulnaz to go out of her home and explore the world full of possibilities. Gulnaz grew up making Agarbatti alongside her mother and stitching clothes since the age of 10 and was married off at 14. She led a difficult life as her husband who was a porter passed away leaving behind 5 children and her. The economic instability compelled her sons to take up the same occupation. But her grit determination to become an entrepreneur brought her to our platform.
Started from basic hemming, Gulnaz has learned enough to stitch clothes with designs and patterns within five months at UPAY’s Skill Development Center in Bangalore! The commencement of the country-wide lockdown could not even shake her up. Along with the other ladies of the community, she made reusable cloth masks to protect the community from the spread of Coronavirus.
It is astonishing to see how a woman who never came out of her home, stuck in daily household work is now learning; getting trained to embrace her aspirations. There may be a long way to go but her commitment and desire to excel and make her life better and, provide her children with better resources is truly humbling!