|“It gives me great pride to pay my college fees with my own earnings”, gushes one of the participants, aged 20, poring over the intricate design she creates with the crochet needle in her hand.|
India is built on a culture of craft and weaving, as is evident by the archaeological discovery of a small shred of cotton cloth stuck to a pottery shard dated back to the Harappa and Mohenjo-daro settlements of 2600 BC. Women in particular are intrinsically linked to heritage arts and crafts.
These knowledge systems of weaving and creation, are interconnected, as they have been passed down from one generation to the next, to ensure continuity between communities and their ecosystems. When Mon Ami Foundation began work with migrant women in the NCR region, this intrinsic crafting know-how allowed for ease of training. Inherent dexterity, aesthetic acumen, fluidity of movement and innate skills ensure that these women learn crochet with minimum effort to create contemporary designs, under the guidance of our trainers.
The team at Mon Ami Foundation conducts face-to-face classes daily, where women are skilled, reskilled and upskilled to learn new stiches, finishing techniques and patterns. Today, with the onset of the pandemic, our training sessions have continued remotely via technology. These group training sessions create lasting bonds between women who have been displaced from their homes, giving them a sense of community. Often, little girls who accompany their mothers, show a keen interest in the art and pick up the skill alongside. Going forward, Mon Ami is looking to set up ‘Train the trainer’ programs, to broaden the scope on the number of women they can impact
Women play a crucial role in the growth of any economy, and hence, it is essential to promote skill development to provide high productivity, increased employment opportunities and higher income. We can realise Goal # 5 of the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, that of gender equality, by harnessing the power of women as key agents to achieve socio-economic transformation. Recognizing this, Mon Ami Foundation, in partnership with HCL Foundation’s Craft Hub, has embarked on setting up the largest Crochet movement in the country.
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