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    Meet Anchal Project's Artisans in Ajmer India

    Meet the Artisans

    MEET NEETU

    MEET NEETU

    A mother of three who achieved only an 8th grade education, Neetu joined Anchal’s stitch x stitch artisan program in 2012—determined to provide a better life for her family. After four years of dedication and hard work, she was promoted to the role of senior artisan. Today, Neetu embodies a confidence and strength she never knew she had.

    Despite tremendous challenges, Neetu is a true leader in the community and has seen significant changes in her life since joining Anchal. Neetu can now provide for her family in more ways than one. As the primary breadwinner, Neetu’s earnings gives her family the ability to run the house, purchase food and educate her children. She also uses the skills she’s developed as an artisan to make beautiful clothing for her children to wear.

    In 2016, Neetu purchased a 150 square foot plot of land, a 36-inch LCD television, and also started insurance payments for her three children. Now, Neetu has earned enough income to purchase “luxury” items for herself that were previously out of reach. She owns a smartphone, can afford to buy beautiful saris and even owns several fashionable pieces of jewelry.

    Stitch x Stitch - Ajmer, India

    Today there are over 30,000 commercial sex workers in Ajmer. They originate from poor and marginalized segments of Indian society and are forced into the commercial sex trade due to extreme poverty, gender inequality, lack of education, and limited skills. The women we work with dream of escaping abusive relationships, moving their families to safety, feeding their children, investing in education, and giving their families a chance at a better life.

     We were earning before but the money was coming through wrong means and also it left a lot of free time. That was a bad element as our mind digressed to negative things. There was no charm or challenge in life to achieve anything. Life was dragging and we only thought it was all our fate. But being part of Anchal gave us a new purpose.”

    MEET LUPE

    MEET LUPE

    Lupe was born in Lima Peru and moved with her young daughter to Louisville, Kentucky in 2015. Two years later, inspired to explore her creativity, Lupe joined Anchal’s dyeScape artisan program, learning to sew products and make organic dyes harvested from dye plants in Anchal’s urban gardens.

    Today, Lupe is an integral member of our artisan team in Louisville. She not only sews textiles, but designed her own product—a heart-shaped ornament featuring a beautiful floral applique with a beaded center. Her face lights up when she hears about the popularity of her ornaments. She shared, “when someone feels happy with the product I made, then I feel happy too.”  

    According to Lupe, while her life has not been easy, Anchal has offered her the opportunity and flexibility to not only learn new skills, but to also continue her education, provide for her daughter and succeed as a mother, worker and student. In June 2017, Lupe took on another identity. She is now a proud, United States citizen.

    dyeScape - Louisville, Kentucky

    Kentuckians experience sexual violence at rates higher than national averages with 47.7% of women experiencing sexual violence. Additionally, Louisville’s centralized location and cross-country interstates make it an attractive hub for trafficking. A lack of financial stability is one of the biggest deterrents for women who are considering leaving abusive and violent situations.

     I  think when there is peace, respect and freedom, anybody can be more productive and creative. When I am making something I have many images in my head, but only need to reproduce them on the fabric.”