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Exclusive: Know The Inspiring Journey Of Female Artisan Jyotshna Kalita

India is home to 7 million artisans, according to official estimates. According to official figures, 56.13% of them are women.
Published -16 May 2022, 15:10 ISTUpdated -16 May 2022, 16:09 IST
female artisans of india jyotshna kalitha

Artisans, working in the craft production forms the backbone of India's non-farm rural economy. India has a population of 7 million artisans, according to official figures. However, data from unofficial sources suggests that the actual artisan strength could be significantly higher.

India has a large number of artisans who work very hard, and Indian weaves are well-known over the world and fetch good prices. Unfortunately, their popularity in India is restricted, yet we cannot deny that the scene is changing for the better.

Lakshita Singh from HerZindagi spoke with an inspiring female artisan Jyotshna Kalita from Assam about her work, inspiration, and empowering story in an exclusive interview. Take a look at it:

Jyotshna Kalita is an Artisan Entrepreneur from Nahira village in South Kamrup, Assam who began weaving at the age of 14 and was inspired to do so by observing her mother make exquisite fabrics to support their family.

Today, she has 6 associate artisans who are happily working for her, as she offers a fair price against the excellent quality of the products. She invites her customers to share their favorite designs with her, and she encourages her artisans to try new things. However her journey was not as smooth as it seems now:

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jyotshna Kalita (@aalok_handlooms)

Hardships In The Journey

Jyotshna said that in her journey to keep her family loom and weaving style alive, she had to cross a few hurdles. She said, "we used a homemade loom that was made of Bamboo earlier, but it wasn’t very sturdy, which slowed down the process and made order fulfillment much harder. I also had to travel far from home to buy yarn."

Talking about the problem in selling products initially, she said, "Without a proper platform, it was hard to come by regular sales and on the off-chance of a sale, I would have to sell products at a lower price."

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Families Involved In Same Business

Talking about the family members in the same business, Jyotshna said, "I’ve been lucky to have a family full of people who pick up a piece of the business to help support my work in one way or the other. My daughter helps manage my social media. My son helps interact with non-Assamese customers in English. My husband gives me unconditional support to follow my dreams and grow."

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Jyotshna Kalita (@aalok_handlooms)

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Income From Work

Jyotshna said, "I have seen more sales than before since I started promoting my work on social media and was given a platform by Antaran. Earlier, my husband was the only earning member of our family, and today I am also able to contribute to the family income."

Her Ultimate Goal

Jyotshna's goal is to go beyond borders. Talking about the same, she said, I aim to grow my business beyond borders and display my craft to people internationally. I wish that one day, my brand will be known to happy customers around the world.

Expected Work Changes 

On being asked if there is anything that you would like to change about your work or work conditions, she said, "I wish to add more weavers to my business to not just grow our business but also support more weavers like me to take their fate into their hands".

She added, "I also want to earn more to support my dreams and stand on my own feet, without financial assistance from anyone else. And last but not the least, I want to make the Antaran programme (an initiative of Tata Trusts that helped her grow) proud , this would be my way of giving back to them for all their training and support."

(Image courtesy: Antaran programme: an initiative of Tata Trusts)

What do you think about her journey? Share your thoughts with us by commenting on our Facebook page.

For more such stories, stay tuned to HerZindagi!


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