Crochet, the art of creating a textured fabric using yarn and a single hook, has been carried on since the 16th century. Skilled hands make intricate designs through the hypnotic in & out movement of a hook, therapeutic in itself, while finished products lend themselves to an immense sense of personal accomplishment.
Although there is no concrete evidence, the Macraes’, a missionary couple from Scotland, are credited with the introduction of crochet to India in the early 20th century. Initially used for prayer rugs & caps within the Muslim community and in Christian ceremonies, crochet has transcended all boundaries and become popular across the country. Women in India took to crocheting with ease, possibly on account of their inherent predisposition to craft.
Today, with an influx of migrant workers into cities, there has been a paradigm shift in the way women are expected to contribute to the family income. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of migrant women are able to seek employment as they are burdened with frequent pregnancies, child-care responsibilities, caring for the elderly and coping with health issues. How are these women to overcome their challenges and contribute to the family income?
Mon Ami Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit Trust is committed to helping these migrant women earn a sustainable livelihood through crochet skill building efforts. Crochet, is an extremely useful skill to impart for the following reasons:
- Low initial investment – can start with a crochet work-from-home bundle
- Easy to teach and learn
- All age groups can be trained
- Cannot be unlearned – can fall back on the skill anytime
- Provides a sense of community – working in self-help groups
- Option to conduct remote training through technology
- Can work from home –free time can be used to earn additional income
Although migrant women have been displaced, crochet allows them to reconnect with their intrinsic skills and create products by hand. Working independently, Mon Ami Foundation has trained 400 women. Today, along with HCL Foundation’s Craft Hub, Mon Ami Foundation has trained 100 women in NCR. Together, they are in the process of setting up the largest crochet movement in the country.
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