Purkal Stree Shakti Samiti (“organisation for empowering the women of Purkal”) was founded in 2003 by Mrs. Chinni Swamy. It is a division of the NGO Purkal Youth Development Society. It aims at transforming the lives of women in 35 villages of approx. 150 inhabitants, located around the village of Purkal. An artist by profession, Chinni has practiced quilting as a hobby and, ever since she relocated to Dehradun, she has been involved with providing the women of this community income earning opportunities through the creation and sale of quilted products. She has been responsible for the recruitment and training of all of the women and the supervisors who currently work with Stree Shakti. The organization currently comprises 12 Self Help Groups, (SHGs) providing work and training to about 140 women. And Stree Shakti is looking to increase this number. Purkal is close to the Capital of the State of Uttarakhand, Dehradun, but it is rural in nature and was very backward until a few years ago. The entire area has a population of about 15,000 and the number of desperately poor is of about 5,000. Many of the women supported by Stree Shakti are from landless families and to some extent some belong to the Dalit “caste” (untouchables). Even though most women are equipped with a sewing machine, they have no worthwhile skill in sewing or needlework. The skills of patchwork, applique, embroidery and quilting are not known to them. Therefore the goal is to provide women with those practical skills, leading then to employment and therefore empowerment. Training provided also includes organisation, management and increased productivity. Nearly all these women are now first generation earners. In the end, most women are able to earn much better than their respective husbands. Apart from currently providing an activity to 140 women, Purkal Stree Shakti Samiti also employs 25 local young people to keep the activity going and to provide employment to the youngsters. The learning of these skills takes time (a period of 6 months) during which trainees are guaranteed a Rs. 750/- per month income (10€) and are entitled to the global support every other woman under the care of Purkal Stree Shakti gets in terms of nutrition and healthcare. For the care of their children, an Early Childhood Learning Centre is also operating, which accommodates 50 children. These children are given not only outstanding education but guaranteed healthcare and comprehensive nutrition. The commercial operations of the SHGs are self-sustaining since the centre operates as a commercial enterprise. The annual sales turnover for the year 2014 is targeted at Rs. 11 millions (145 000€). The capital required by each of the Self Help groups for their working capital requirement has been provided by the Society as an interest-free loan. Hopefully these loans will be repaid by women over the next few years, out of the profit that they generate. The women of Stree Shakti produce creative, high-quality quilted products that are sold mainly on exhibits throughout India and to some independent stores in the UK. The organization is looking to diversify its products and reach more markets to be able to train more local women.