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CARROLLTON, Texas, May 24, 2012—She’s only 17, but Anshi already feels a crushing economic burden. “My father’s monthly income is …not sufficient to run the family,” she recently shared. So Anshi was one of the first to sign up when Gospel for Asia (GFA) celebrated International Women’s Day recently by establishing a tailoring center in Northeast India. The Center was started to help women living in the slums and rural areas generate income.

With ten machines available for training, the center plans to help up to 60 women at a time learn sewing and economic independence. Most of the women who signed up are mothers who have children in the nearby GFA-supported Bridge of Hope Center (BOH). The BOH Center gives children the opportunity for free tuition, books, and a daily lunch.

Poor families in the area are often in financial crisis because the low wages are not enough to support families. Jalaja’s husband, a rickshaw driver, barely earns 3000 rupees ($62.50) a month while Rashi’s husband’s salary as a day laborer is only half that amount. One grateful woman, Nabha, said “I’m privileged to get an opportunity to learn stitching from the center so I can help my husband in the future. My husband is a carpenter and hardly earns 100 to 150 rupees a day ($1.85 to $2.77). He often falls sick and that is the most difficult time for the family to survive.”

Daniel Punnose, Vice President of Gospel for Asia, knows how valuable this resource is to these women’s lives. “A sewing machine in the hands of one of these forgotten women can mean a better life for them and their kids. It puts food on the table and clothes on their backs,” he said. “All these women need is a chance to live a full, productive life, and Gospel for Asia is happy to give them that chance.”

Anshi summed up the attitude of many of the women when she said, “I want to help my father, and I’m so much thankful to God for giving me this privilege to learn stitching.”

Gospel for Asia is a mission organization based in Carrollton, Texas, involved in sharing the love of Jesus across South Asia.