A number of girls working in a spinning mill were found to have cut marks in their hands, who when questioned, reported that they sometimes did this to relieve feelings of anger and frustration.
Peer educators raised this with management, who were aware of the issue and had already tried, unsuccessfully, to tackle it. The Nalam team brought in psychological experts for advice on how to proceed, and counselling sessions for 183 women workers at three mills, focusing on self-esteem and emotional control.
The women workers reported that the sessions were helpful in finding ways to better manage their mental wellbeing, while management shared that the session was also useful to the wardens in the residential homes where the women lived.
Peer educators suggested further actions the management could take to support the workers, such as organising physical activities including games and competitions. The intervention has reduced rates of self-harm and the women workers continue to engage with the leisure and cultural activities the management has organised for them.
Peer educator quote: "I feel proud that am learning about ourselves and our rights. Due to this training I have a chance to speak with so many workers and getting self confidence."