CHENNAI, India—Sauthamani (22) of Peramanur village, a sleepy hamlet just 3 kms away from Ford’s Chennai plant is a happy girl today. She is among the five women to bag a job with LEAR Automotives, stitching seat covers for Ford vehicles. And all this has been made possible thanks to a six-month long tailoring training provided by Ford as part of its Operation Better World programme, in association with Society for Poor People in Development (SPPD), a partner NGO.
“It has been a great help…now I’m able to support my old parents and see my sister through school,” said an excited Sauthamani, happy to know that one of SPPD’s new centres will open in her own village. “I hope this programme will touch many more women like me,” she added. Having already trained 120 rural and needy women, the tailoring training programme, on Tuesday, opened at two new centres and admitted trainees to its third batch.
Inaugurating the Peramanur tailoring training centre, Joginder Singh, Ford India’s president and managing director invoked the legacy of Henry Ford and spoke about how Ford has been involved in community development as it grew its car business. “We try to help the community around us in our own small way and we are doing so here by equipping you with skills that can help you find employment and generate income”. He said he was very proud to know that the training programme has helped five women bag jobs with LEAR and hoped many more trainees will follow.
Singh also promised more work for the trainees if they do a good job stitching a Ford uniform for him. He readily gave his measurements to the master trainer Sivaneswari at the event.
Tom Chackalackal, executive director, Manufacturing said, “The training programme has received overwhelming response in the last one year and Ford is now extending it to more villages to reach more women and improve their lives. We are hoping to reach out to as many as 500 women in the neighbouring communities this year. ”
Secretary of SPPD Raju and chairman of Maraimalai Nagar Municipality Gopi Kannan joined Singh in the ribbon cutting and also addressed the gathering.
SPPD has been involved in improving the working conditions of underprivileged women and children in the backward communities in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. SPPD’s initiatives address a range of issues, including early marriage, domestic abuse, illiteracy and health issues.
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Joginder Singh, president and managing director of Ford India poses with Ford employees, SPPD trainees and officials from local mucipality
Singh gave his measurement to the SPPD trainer to get his Ford uniform stitched by SPPD trainees