At Shahi, we believe in the power and potential of the 100,000 people who make up our workforce. And we wanted the world to get to know them better. In 2017 we commissioned Behind the Seams, a project to tell their unique stories.

Garment workers together form a truly diverse and talented industry. The majority of our employees are female; in fact we are the largest private employer of women in India. In a country where female participation in the workforce has dropped from 35% to 27% since 1990, we’re especially proud of our strong female talent base who have, in some instances, overcome huge challenges to take up formal employment with us and become economically independent.

Shiney

Nurse, Unit 12

Nurse by nature

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Woman

Her Story

At the height of the Crimean war, Florence Nightingale wrote that a nurse who denies complete holistic care for her patient "because it is not her business” ought to find another profession. This dictum comes naturally to Shiney, she did not have to go through a book about nursing to discover it. All it takes is for a person to discover the empathy that Shiney possesses is to sit down for a small chat with her. She has a warm, generous smile, a calm, assuring way of speaking and rich, curly hair. When she talks of her patients you don’t sense a clinical sense of distance and disinterest, she understands them and feels affectionate towards them, almost the way one would talk about family. “We care for many people from all over the country and we have to make sure that they are comfortable in a completely new city.”

A normal day in Shiney’s life could seem utterly stressful to the average person. It requires her to be completely alert to any emergency on the factory floor as well as any emergency that might occur to workers outside work too. “Just recently we had a girl who tried to take her own life in her home over some personal issues, she cut herself so badly that we had to take her to the hospital immediately because she had lost so much blood.” No matter what the severity of the incident may be, Shiney speaks of it in a calm, collected manner. No matter how much stress the job entails, it certainly doesn’t show on Shiney’s face. “Yes it can be stressful, but I know that the work we do is important.” One of the incidents that stands out in her mind is the time she was called in last minute when an employee showed signs of premature labour pains. There was no time to get to the hospital so Shiney took the responsibility in her own hands and assisted in the delivery of the child right there in the Shahi dispensary.

Shiney hails from Kollam, Kerala and joined Shahi 15 years ago. Coming from a different state herself perhaps contributed to her empathetic treatment of the many people who arrive from various states to seek opportunities at Shahi. Besides medical emergencies, Shiney also provides routine care and general medical advice for employees at Shahi. Her regular patients make it a point to visit her and tell her about their health and wellbeing. Above all else, Shiney truly beams with pride when she speaks of her children. “Shahi gave me the chance to provide them with a good education, my daughter now has a good job at Wipro and I am very happy for her.” When Shiney joined Shahi she worked in the non-staff category but she was promoted to the role of a staff head nurse seven years ago, a result of her deep commitment to a rather difficult job.

We care for many people from all over the country and
we have to make sure that they are comfortable
in a completely new city.
Woman

Shiney is a constant reminder that generosity, hard work and a positive outlook to one’s circumstances are still important values that need to be championed in the modern age. Her hearty smile and calm disposition in the face of difficult circumstances teach us all that there is a lot we have to be thankful for.