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,” Chagni 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, Chagni 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.
Mani Devi was also one of the first ten women who were in the self-help group and began the journey of GVCS together. For the past 12 years, she has been one of the strong pillars of the organization. Mani Devi’s skills of hand embroidery and applique work became the only source of income in her family. During these initial days of the organization, there was no transport and electricity. Mani Devi was one of those who walked almost 10 km just to get raw materials and deliver finished products. She remembers how Ruma Devi had arranged for solar lights so that the women could work comfortably at nights after completing their household work for the day.
Mani Devi feels very happy to be leading a better life today. At the same time, GVCS remembers all her hard work and contributions towards its growth and expansion that people see today.