World News TV

Working Lives India: Bangle maker

Sultana Unnisa is a bangle maker in the 400-year-old Charminar area of Hyderabad. She is 24 and has never ventured beyond the old city.

Her parents are bangle makers, and she got into bangle making out of necessity, when she was forced to leave school at the age of 12. Her parents moved, the school was much further away, and being conservative Muslims, her parents did not want her to leave the home environment. She got married at 20, and now has two young daughters.

She works from 10am to 6pm every day, making bangles, and earns about $3 a day. It is delicate work, and if her young daughters get in the way, she is less productive, and has to finish the next day. The bangles are sold for almost $30.

She is working to supplement her husband's income. He is also a daily wage labourer, and earns money driving cars or painting them. They earn about 100 US dollars a month between them. When times are tough, there is not much left for extras, after paying the monthly rent of $20, and for bills and food for the family of four.

"My dream is to work for a better life," Mrs Unnisa says. She wants material progress for the family. But real progress, in this new world, is only possible through education.

Her daughters, she is adamant, are not going to be bangle makers. She wants to educate them, to give them a chance of a better future.