STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Strife and struggle woven into stories of survival

The stitches and knots are loosing their grip. Once treasured for its innate intricacy, the practice of making rugs by hand has helplessly bowed down to the might of machine-made processes.

Published: 30th April 2017 10:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th April 2017 10:32 AM   |  A+A-

Thought leaders at Jaipur Rugs showroom in Delhi

The stitches and knots are loosing their grip. Once treasured for its innate intricacy, the practice of making rugs by hand has helplessly bowed down to the might of machine-made processes. But women like 40-year-old Laxmi Devi, a carpet weaver, has still a lot to be thankful for.

She has traversed the dark alleys of taboo to follow the trail of light, leading to financial independence and personal empowerment, all because of the setting up of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. The company she is employed with, Jaipur Rugs, is one such enterprise that is following the UN’s mandate, making Devi a hero of sorts in her village of Manpura near Jaipur.

Laxmi Devi with a carpet she has woven

From being almost destitute to being satisfactorily employed, she earns between `3,000 and `5,000 a month now. She works from 9 am to 5 pm, taking a short one-hour break to cook for her family. “After I joined the company, I started getting timely salaries, which wasn’t the case earlier. The fact that the company had started an Alternative Education Programme to provide functional literacy to artisans and community members, helped a lot. We then educated our children,” she says.

Sitting comfortably on a backless bench with her back pulled up straight, Devi listens carefully to the 30 thought leaders from across the world, who were visiting the Jaipur Rugs showroom on April 26. Even though the discussion was in a language she couldn’t comprehend, she made sure a translator helped her understand what was going on. She was eager to learn about the SDGs and how it demanded the end for discrimination, violence, trafficking, early marriages, genital mutilation and other harmful practices against women and girls.

Out of everything she heard, we saw her eyes lit up on one particular point, and that was the aspect about ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership and in decision making. “Only if more women are given opportunities to prove their value, will the world see their strength,” she says, adding, “Joining hands with private and public stakeholders could help eleminate poverty. We’ve gained a lot of respect by becoming skilled workers. Our market value has also increased and people now look at us with admiration,” she says, teary-eyed. But she clarifies. “These are not tears of sadness. These are tears of hope.”

Stay up to date on all the latest The Sunday Standard news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp