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India, Asia

IND21d - Ashakiran Tailoring Centre

Partnership Ref.:




Funding Status:

No Current Donor

Partnership Type:

Training / Education, Micro-enterprise / Micro-loans, Humanitarian

Funding Size:

$0 - $2,999

Annual Budget:

US$ 2,585

Connected To:



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Funding Contact:

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Population: 1.2 billion

Life Expectancy: 63.4 years

GDP: US$1017 per capita

Unemployed: 10%

37% earn less than US$2/day

Current Partnership Impact

13 families are being assisted

1 people employed in partner businesses

13 people are in vocational or agricultural training

Partnership Overview

lack equipmentJames* is the pastor of a small brethren church near the airport in Kolkata. For several years the church has run an after-school tutoring programme for about 50 children, a Sunday School and regular Vacation Children's Programmes. They have established good relationships in the community and are well respected. They have got to know the families of their neighbours and have discovered a lot of poverty. This programme is designed to continue the development of relationships and to empower women to become more able to sustain themselves and their families. 

The plan is to commence training women to sew. About 15 women at a time will be trained and those who graduate will be given sewing machines. In addition, some will be given extra lessons in reading and basic maths to enable them to maximise their training. It is the intention that this becomes an annual training. The training will be held in the church building and a local Christian woman will be the tutor. 

The project actually began in March 2022 with 15 students and three old sewing machines, but the lack of equipment is creating some issues and compromising the effectiveness of the training as the women just don't get enough time on a machine.  

History of Partnership

keen to learnBHW personnel first meet James' brother Tom* at the IBCM conference in Rome in 2019.  Subsequent to that meeting, the BHW New Partnership Facilitator visited him in India and saw first-hand the ministry of the trust they run. It was during that visit that he first met James when he visited him at church and home, and also spent two days travelling with him, and others, to assess their programmes. In July 2021 we commenced a partnership with three programmes (IND21a, b and c). 

James is an unassuming, gentle man with a strong commitment to his community. He lives among them and is giving his life to serving them. It was indicative that in their modest home they had a young man living with them who had been kicked out of his family for his faith. He is good at organising programmes, and after spending some time at his tutoring class we were impressed with his leadership and his team. 

For a year after visiting there was little communication with him but in the last year there has been regular email contact. Due to current Covid related travel restrictions we have been able to visit again but in view of our relationship with Tom, and having already commenced three projects with them, in June 2022 the BHW Exec approved commencing this partnership.  


very poorThe beneficiaries are local women, neighbours of the church. They are almost all from the Hindu religion. They are poor and have large families, their husbands are mainly daily wage labourers. Work has become much scarcer since Covid and it is increasingly difficult for them to make ends meet and provide for their families.

Here is the situation described in James' words: "The people are mostly Hindu and Muslim and most of our believers are from a Hindu background and from surrounding places. Some come from a far distance to church. We are serving people that are mostly daily laborers and poor people in slums. We are serving their children by running a free tuition centre for secular study and teaching Bible stories and moral teachings in children club. The parents work very hard to maintain their families and the women try to get work in houses as servants. They send their children to the children's club in our church on Sunday evening and also to the free tuition centre from Monday to Friday.

So many mothers and women have asked us to start something for them to help financially to their family. We have visited their houses and have seen their poverty and how they are living. It is a challenge to us to care for these people. We have very limited resources to help as the place is small and time also is a matter. After praying for a long time, this year somehow we have started a sewing training for them from our assembly which we were planning for a long time to do. Our assembly financial strength is very poor, and believers are not financially sound to help in this matter."  

What We Like About The Partnership

They have a good relationship with their community. They have existing ministry and relationships that will be enhanced by this project.
The whole church is behind this initiative.
They come under the trust we already have projects with so there is accountability outside the local area. They are modelling this on another partnership (IND21c).
James is a humble, good man with a strong vision of building into the community. 


Key People

Leadership Profile

unassumingJames* is from a Christian family. He accepted Christ as his personal saviour and was saved when he was 14 years old. Due to a financial crisis in the family, he did not complete secondary school, only studying to grade 10. He then went to BBTI (Bengal Bible Training Institute IND17) in 1992 for two years for theological study. After that he went to Canning for two years with his brother Tom for practical training in gospel work. He was also involved in the Emmaus Correspondence Ministry and gospel outreach work for four years in Jamtara in Jharkhand State. In 1999 he heard the call from the Lord to missions in Kolkata for a church planting ministry among the youth living in the slums. His call is particularly for unsaved, non-Christian people.

In 2002 he married his wife who helps a great deal in the ministry. They have one son.   


Vision And Annual Strategy

extra tuitionVision 

The vision is to empower the women and that in the process they may hear the Good News as well. 


They plan to run a 6-month sewing course each year. For those who need it, extra tuition will be provided in reading and Maths. 

Those who graduate will receive a sewing machine so that they will be able to earn a living with their newly acquired skills. 


Annual Budget

The initial set-up budget here is US$3,525 and this includes funds for:
- Single sewing machine x4
- Double sewing machine x3
- Teacher's salary
- Tables/chairs x 10
- Machine maintenance and utilities 
- Sewing machines for those who graduate x15 

In subsequent years there will not be a need for the capital items. 


*names have been changed