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Ruma Devi, first women artisan of Thar desert emerged out among all the odds by crossing all the obstacles and developed a ray of hope of self-dependency in all the rural women. Ruma Devi, a master artisan, a social activist, a renowned designer and a recognized craftpreneur, is now an epitome of empowerment for all the rural and tribal women artisans of India. In the name of Ruma Devi, is a sustainable practice to make a bridge between the rural artisan community and buyer community.  

Gramin Vikas Evam Chetna Sansthan NGO has taken a step forwards to link artisanal community directly to the market and for which Applique Handicrafts Producer Company is developed with the cooperation of Export Promotion Council of Handicrafts (EPCH) to sell textile based products of artisans. Ruma is a leading e-commerce platform for handicraft artisans to sell their products nationally as well as internationally. The development of website is supported by EdelGive Foundation.

Ruma is developed to provide the traditional craft of India, a well-presented look, and to provide benefit directly to the local community of artisans. A platform raised which states “For the artisans, By the artisans”.



‘From rural to urban’ – linking of the artisanal community directly to the buyer community and creating awareness among the youth about ‘The Crafts of India’.


• To make the traditional craft a viable means of livelihood.

• To revive the dead craft and sustain the livelihood of artisans, now forever.

• To restrain the migration of poor people from villages to cities in search of employment.

• To avail opportunities for employment in rural areas more.

• To pass on the traditional craft to the next generation and make them believe in it.

• To assure that the artisans receive the credit, respect, and utmost appreciation which they deserve for their work.

• To create awareness among youth about the crafts of India.

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” Ruma Devi’s story as a woman artisan reflects such essence and vision of life. As a girl child, Ruma Devi’s life has been an arduous journey with various challenging situations. She lost her mother at the tender age of four years and with her father remarrying,

She was then raised by her paternal uncle. Later, she had to drop out of school in class 8th and spend time in household chores and fetch water in a bullock cart for the family from a well at a distance of 8-10kms. When she got married at the age of seventeen years, life was even more challenging with the unstable financial condition of her husband’s family.

Although life was harsh, she spurned to accept that limited resources and opportunities at home were her destiny. And she conveyed her strong wish to bolster her family financially after the marriage. Being a school dropout, embroidery is the only skill she had acquired from her grandmother which she made her solidarity to battle against all the odds of the society. Determined to turn her only skill into her source of income, in 2006, Ruma Devi established a self-help group after convincing 10 women from her village. Initially, with a contribution of Rs 100 from each woman, they bought cloth, threads, and plastic wrappers for making cushions and bags. Fortunately, they found customers in the same village and that augmented her to scale up the production. Thus, she began her tremendous journey as a woman artisan. 

Her constant determination and conviction enabled her acquaintance with GVCS in 2008 and eventually her vision to empower the women artisans was recognised and made her the President of GVCS in 2010.

With increasing responsibilities as President of GVCS, the main challenges faced by Ruma Devi while encouraging women of her region are from the customs of male-dominated society like the “Purdah” system which limits women strictly to their homes. In addition to this, the Policy Commission of India declared Barmer district as one of the most backward regions of India. Despite the limited resources of the region and social constraints, Ruma Devi with her strong will power rose against all the boundaries, came out of her home, and made an identity of her own. In the history of her region, for the first time, a woman did all the marketing of the handicraft products and achieved immense success. As the fashion industry is evolving, during that time getting into the fashion world was a matter of major concern for Ruma Devi. But with sheer courage and determination, Ruma Devi approached famous designers who acknowledged her work, talent and introduced her to the fashion world. In Rajasthan Heritage Week of 2016, for the first time Ruma Devi earned an opportunity to showcase her collections on the ramp, shinning out of all her adversities, she became an inspiration for many women of her region.

Acknowledging the talent of Ruma Devi, various designers and organisations approached her for handmade products. Gradually, she began developing her production on a large scale and created a variety of products in different categories broadening the scope of her reach in the fashion industry. This enabled many national and international designers to reach out to the women artisans of GVCS and associate with them for handmade production. Ruma Devi’s constant efforts and consistency in promoting the products nationally and internationally helped many women artisans of her region to get recognised for their talent and as well as earn their living.

Along with developing herself, Ruma Devi changed the lives of 22,000 women of 75 villages through GVCS, by conducting constant training sessions and supporting them to earn their own living through their talents. Various seminars were also organised by her on subjects like, female foeticide, suicide prevention and women empowerment to encourage women of her region to rise above the prevailing social constraints. Her hard work, determination, and vision were acknowledged and honoured by “NariShakti Award 2018” presented to her by the President of India on International Women’s Day on 8th March 2019. In the same year, she also won the “Designer of the Year” award on 15th July 2019 and celebrated as one of the famous designers of India. Appreciating Ruma Devi’s inspirational journey, she was invited to the special episode “Karamveer” in Kaun Banega Crorepati, on 6th September 2019. In the show, she was presented with the prestigious title “Karamveer” by the renowned actor, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan, and in the presence of famous actress Sonakshi Sinha, for her commendable dedication for the betterment of the society.

An epitome and initiator of progress, Ruma Devi has been effective in enabling constant earnings for the artisans and their families. Her plan of action in the field of development has won her basic approval at the national and worldwide levels and has helped many women artisans to connect to new customers. A crusader for equity Ruma Devi today is the face of women empowerment and her story has roused various other ladies to stand up and question male predominance. Today, through GVCS, Ruma Devi promises a better future for the women and children of Barmer. She is the lady who learned to.

weave her dreams through constant efforts and supported many other women like her to do the same. She is one among the most honoured and celebrated designers of today, known for her talent, determination, and courage. “She believed she could, so she did.”

Our Family

In the community, which was laden with inequalities of caste, class, and gender, the artisans' only asset is their traditional handicrafts skills. Fair opportunity is what the artisans seemed. GVCS could provide employment, identity and awareness by honing their existing skills, providing constant livelihood, medical support, and education. Before joining GVCS, women artisans used to face economic difficulties, were dependent on male members of the house in educating their children and managing their households. But today, women with their skills, could earn their livelihood and manage their households without compromising on their dreams.


As they say, “Behind every successful man there is a woman” Amru Devi is one such inspiring personality. Born in the year 1991, in Barmer Rajasthan, she faced all the cultural barriers that most women in the community were facing. But when the spirit is liberated no physical barriers can stop you. Despite being traditionally married at the tender age of 18, she continued her studies and helped her husband, who was also pursuing academics. She is among the few proud women in the community who hold a Bachelor’s Degree. Gradually, Amru Devi realized that the family was not financially stable to support the education of the couple. Without a second thought, she gave up her long-cherished dream of further education. She wanted to start working and support her husband in completing his education.

Turning the adversity into opportunity, she contacted Ruma Devi and got trained to hone her skills in embroidery. Soon her skilled hands helped her become a financial contributor in the family. With increased confidence and crafting skills, she had a significant role to play in the evolution of GVCS.

Due to the contribution made by Amru Devi, her husband got a government job. Her determination to break barriers and sincere efforts to move ahead took her to the ramp for various fashion shows and glorious set of Kaun Banega Crorepati, as a representative of GVCS along with the President Ruma Devi. Today, she not only manages her house independently but has also managed to get a new house for the family. She is working `towards her dream of getting her two sons well-educated. Besides working for her family, she also wishes to keep giving her best towards the expansion of the organization. 

As a lady who is strong, independent, and working towards the well-being of her family, she continues to inspire many women of the region.


Believing in the thought, “God helps those who help themselves,” Chhagni Devi is a woman who never waited for miracles to happen. Born in Mangta village in Barmer, Rajasthan in a family of farmers, she grew up in financial crises. At the age of 22 years, she was married into a family who is experiencing economic hardships. As a result of which, she was struggling to manage household finances. As a mother of nine children, five boys, and four girls, she had to ensure that their lives are better than her life. The only desire she had was to provide the best education to all her children. She wanted all those resources and facilities for her children which she had been deprived of. Her dream was to see her girls independent and financially well settled.

Traditional embroidery was the only skill she had. This became the road to making her dreams come true. Ruma Devi was her mentor and guided in realizing her full potential. After joining GVCS, with her immense contribution, she became an integral part of the organisation. Since 12 years, Chhagni Devi is engaged with GVCS. To date, she successfully sells hand-crafted products within the village and her products are known for authentic designs. She also inspired her daughters to learn stitching and embroidery to make them independent in their lives. The eldest one learned stitching work and is financially independent today. All her efforts paid off when she got opportunities to walk on the ramp and attend global craft exhibitions along with Ruma Devi. With her dedicated work, she received well-deserved applause from the eminent personalities and became an integral part of GVCS. She lives in pride and peace to see all her children settled now.


The normalcy of child marriage is once again reflected in the story of Kamala Devi, who belonged to the farmer community and married at a young age. Like most other women, the society she lives in is the society that restricts her. Despite her family’s deteriorating financial conditions, the dream to provide the best education for her children and secure their future motivated her to find the strength to bounce back against her social and economic conditions.

Kamala Devi did not want to accept her fate. Looking around, she knew that there was a role model for her to follow which is Ruma Devi. Without a second thought, she connected with GVCS and developed her skills in the traditional art forms of applique work and embroidery.

Today, with her vision, she has not just changed the lives of her children but many other women like her. She has walked along with Ruma Devi for 8 years now and has been one of the foundation blocks of GVCS. 

The path from dreams to success does exist. Kamala Devi chose one such path with her vision, courage, and perseverance which enabled her to stand out as another inspiring woman of the community.


Mani Devi, not bothering her roots of deprivations and losing both her parents at a very early age, she stood for herself determined to change her fate. Resembling most other women supported by GVCS, she was married at a very young age of 18years and life always had been full of challenges for her. Like any mother, she did not want her children to go through all that she had undergone. She wanted them to get the best of education and other facilities which would make them independent, successful, and happy in life. She was well aware that without stepping out and standing on her own feet she would not be able to carve this dream future for her three sons and three daughters.

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Nari Shakti Puraskar 2018 presented by The President of India Sh. Ramnath Kovind on 8th March 2019.

Invited on 

Kon Banega Crorepati show (KBC) – 20th September 2019

Honored with Doctorate Degree by MJRP University
'Designer of the Year – 2019’ by ‘TFI
Fashion Design Award’ in New Delhi.
Invited to Parul University and organized applique workshop
Invited to Harvard University as a panelist in its 17th annual India conference
27th Janki Devi Bajaj Puraskar by Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation on 7th January 2020 in Mumbai
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