2 months back we went to a small village, which is approximately a 1.5 hr drive from Lucknow. That village had skilled artisans, but sadly no employment. We had only heard about poverty, but when we actually went there and saw the dreadful conditions they were thriving in, we were moved. The little children there didn't even have proper clothes to cover their bodies. There was a large proportion of 'karigars' who either was unemployed or if employed, were offered peanuts for their skills by huge names associated with chikankari. Reaching out to them directly, without any middlemen, we provided them employment and paid them what their skill and effort were actually worth. After 2 months of hard work put in by all of us, we were finally ready for our stall we put up in Meena Bazaar held at La Martiniere Girls' College on the 10th of October, 2019 which turned out to be a huge success. All the items ranging from suit pieces to dupattas to sarees, were handcrafted by the people of that little village, which now is slowly pacing towards employment and we hope to improve their conditions with the growing times. A big shout out to all the lovely ladies who came to our stall yesterday and contributed to the welfare of all those who created those magnificent pieces of handwork.
25 May, 2020
In our first little attempt to improve the conditions of our hardworking artisans dwelling in a village near Lucknow, we hosted a free of cost Eye-Checkup Camp on the 22nd of October, 2019 to ensure that our artisans have a perfect vision and are able to perform with greater efficiency. The idea of beginning with a basic eye checkup came after conversing with the villagers themselves where artisans comprising of young men and women complained of severe headaches and in the words of Maharaja Devi, our oldest artisan, who is a 75-year-old lady (in the second and third picture)
"There are certain very intricate embroidery techniques the young generation unaware of and I won't be able to teach it to them, unless I have a proper vision". Thus, in the little step that we undertook, we aimed to ensure the skill doesn't die with one old lady in the entire village but is passed on as a legacy from one generation to another. In the coming weeks we will follow up by providing spectacles to all those who were detected with weak eyesight.
We are very grateful to our optometrist, Mr. Ishtiakh, and his team, who helped us in conducting this camp.