Inspirations: Haleema Sultana, 65

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Zakir Nagar, Delhi

Vocational Trainer

By Suneha Dutta

Photo: Vijay Pandey

Nestled in the tiny lanes of Zakir Nagar near Okhla in Delhi, the building that houses ‘Roshni’ has been a haven of hope for impoverished girls for 22 years. This centre, run by Haleema Sultana, teaches girls to knit and sew. A Lady Irwin College graduate, Sultana’s first teaching experience was in Shimla where she taught Home Science. An accident while climbing uphill, which paralysed her waist down, left Sultana with no option but to return to Delhi. What is truly remarkable is the way she made her handicap a motivation. “If I didn’t know how to use a needle, how would have I spent the rest of my life? So I thought that other girls too should have the option to sustain themselves in need,” says Sultana. Roshni initially aimed at only helping students with their homework, but at the suggestion of the girls, Sultana made it a vocational training centre. There are about 20 students now at the centre, which is run with donations from local families. Sultana’s students sell knitted garments during college festivals. Many of her older students have already set up tailoring and woollen garment shops.

Sultana May Be Reached At 011 26984862

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