Victoria’s (real) Secret

An innovative project empowers women in Tamil Nadu, writes Charukesi Ramadurai in NYTimes blog, India Ink

Courtesy of World Bank “Pudhu Vazhvu” Project, Tamil Nadu

S. Subhashini’s name means “she who speaks well.” However, the 25-year-old woman, who is from the Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu, has not been able to hear or speak from birth.

She overcame her disabilities to get a bachelor’s degree in commerce from St. Louis College for the Deaf in Chennai, a school for the speech and hearing impaired, but she could not find a job after graduating in 2007.

Then in 2009 a recruiting team from Intimate Fashions, a Tamil Nadu manufacturer that makes bras for the American lingerie retailer Victoria’s Secret, came to her hometown. The Intimate Fashions team hired hundreds of young women from Tiruvannamalai, including Ms. Subhashini, to work in their factory as part of a project sponsored by the state government and the World Bank to empower women. more

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