Tailor at Eternal Creation, Dharamshala, HP
Wajid is from a large, poor family in Uttar Pradesh, and enjoys the nice weather and relative freedom that Dharamsala offers him. Being the eldest of a family of seven, Wajid has worked hard to look after his younger siblings. From an early age he supported the family financially because his parents couldn’t find work. Sometimes Wajid wished he had travelled and studied more, and now he has high aspirations for his siblings to do so. He only completed 7 years of schooling before finding work as a house painter, then carpenter and later as a tailor.
He’s worked as a tailor for Eternal Creation since 2006, but also takes on carpentry and painting jobs- Wajid’s brush paints the Eternal Creation workshop every year (after the monsoon leaves it with a green tinge!).
Winners of the 2013 Source Award for Sustainable Children’s-wear, Eternal Creation works with Tibetan refugees & local Indians to produce fresh & vibrant Fair Trade fashion. Eternal Creation is a registered member of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand, while the Himalaya Tailoring Centre is a certified member of the Fair Trade Forum India (affiliated with the World Fair Trade Organisation). They are known for well made colourful clothes and beautiful prints. But as well as producing high-quality products, we provide a pleasant working environment and fair pay. With benefits from English classes to school fees to paid paternity leave, we aspire to have happy workers. And with annual staff parties, sports activities and spontaneous picnics, we also have lots of fun!
Wajid previously worked at women’s fashion factory near Delhi. At times he would come to Dharamsala for small holidays, and it was on one of these trips that he learned about Eternal Creation and the Himalaya Tailoring Centre from his friend Dilshad who works here.
Having three career options, painter, carpenter and tailor, Wajid says he likes tailoring best. “”The salaries are almost the same but it is too physically challenging to work as a carpenter or painter full time. Being a tailor is far more relaxing and enjoyable”. He has worked in both large factories and small workshops, and he prefers the latter. “”In a factory you only make collars or sleeves for example, but in the workshop you make many different designs which is a lot more interesting and rewarding.””
Wajid is interested in fashion and fashion design but film has always been his greatest love. As a child Wajid would travel 4 hours by bus to Delhi to watch the latest Bollywood hits on the big screen, and even now, he spends his evenings watching movies! He says he prefers the older films of the 60’s and 70’s and especially likes the music from this era. Wajid is an accomplished singer and dancer and will happily perform an old Hindi classic, complete with choreographed dance moves, at the request of an enthusiastic audience. He likes to make baby overalls and baby sets best, and dreams of having his own, not so large, family someday soon.