Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A stitch in time for Jaisalmer women

For fashion designer Tahir Sultan, creativity is one thing he values the most. It is but for him that today the NGO ‘I LoveJaisalmer’ he founded this year has become a beacon of hope for Women from Jaisalmer.
Manvendra Singh Shekhawat  owns a boutique hotel that lies 15 kms away from Jaisalmer’s historical fort. He discusses about his passion for the city and said how much he would like to give back to the community. Manvendra also expressed his intention to help the people of Jaisalmer and that he wanted to do something constructive for the community. Tahir , his friend,immediately latched on to this idea, and decided to help move things along. “While I worked with the village women and set up an infrastructure for design, production and quality control in order to produce home accessories, Manvendra went about clearing the city, the fort and some of the historical sites, ridding them of years of garbage,” says Tahir. What made the difference is the fact that Tahir managed to tap into the potential of these women, who, he knew, were cut out for this job. No wonder, a remarkable change has come over the lives of these women in the last few months thanks to the platform given by this NGO.
The village that ‘I Love Jaisalmer’ works with is Mulana. Tucked away 50 kms outside Jaisalmer, it lies in the middle of the desert and the people live in white cottages with thatched roofs. The women are hard working, and through a sustained educational programme, have become very enthusiastic about the cushions they produce. All the cushions are hand stitched. The older women teach this skill and technique to younger volunteers. They get paid by the piece and the sale of these cushions help empower them, giving them financial freedom. Part of the money earned goes towards maintaining Shri Jawahar Hospital. Plus now, their efforts are reaching places as far as Delhi, where Kitsch is focusing on giving back to the society by joining hands to support Tahir Sultan and the ‘I Love Jaisalmer’ organization. It will also retail these handcrafted cushions and the entire proceed will go towards supporting women and children in Jaisalmer.

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