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Thank You India Blog

The Weavers of Sausar: Women artisans are the backbone of a sustainable handloom revival in India

The Weavers of Sausar:  Women artisans are the backbone of a sustainable handloom revival in India

Some places have a distinctive sound. In Sausar, a small town in Madhya Pradesh, India, the hum of daily life in the crowded shops and alleyways is punctuated by the clickety-clack of wooden handlooms. 

The weavers of Sausar, like Chayya bai and her family, have lived by this rhythm for generations, turning cotton and silk into gossamer-light fabrics of exceptional quality.

Craft revival improves livelihoods:

Chayya bai comes from a long line of Sausar weavers. With her talent and eye for refinement, her work fetches a good price from buyers who appreciate quality handcraft.

But even here, the forces of the global economy are present. Low pay for piecework and competition for market share from machine-made textiles and fast fashion means the handspun tradition is under threat.

In the 1800s, Sausar was at the center of the largest handloom production hub on the sub-continent. Today, fewer than 500 families still weave. Skilled artisans have been forced into domestic or factory work, labouring in harsh conditions for little pay.

Crafting sustainable livelihoods: 

Lakshmi - Weaver

Like many women weavers, Lakshmi bai’s income supports the whole family. She used to work in a handloom production facility, which meant lower wages and long hours away from her children.  Now she has her own loom. She works at home, developing her craft, while earning a good living.

Thank You India is helping to revive handloom production while empowering the women weavers. We work directly with a cluster of artisans so they can practice their craft in a dignified work environment while earning a decent wage. This model gives them control over their labour while promoting the fair trade textile industry. 

By working directly with the weaving cluster, Thank You India is contributing to the livelihoods of a whole handloom ecosystem. 

Handspun empowerment: 

As a migrant to the city, Mamta, 31, and her family are forced to live in slum conditions, but the future is bright. Her energy never flags. Between looking after her three children, she ensures that Thank You India home linens meet the highest quality standards. 

With each purchase, you help keep the rhythm of the handlooms going in Sausar.

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IT's ALL on YOU!

IT's ALL on YOU!

It’s All on You:

International Woman’s Day is a reminder that we the women-folk have to celebrate each other.  Though it’s only one day allocated for this, we know that it is everyday that we need to empower our gender and seek inspiration around us to lift ourselves up.

Recently I was reading about Ursula Burns who grew up in 1960’s and 70’s in New York.  Ms. Burns is a classic example of someone who pulled herself out of the situation she was born into.  She had three strikes against her; born poor, black and female.  None of these she could have changed. 

With sheer hard work, Ms. Burns graduated as an engineer and has glowing credentials including being a CEO of Xerox, head of STEM education coalition under President Obama, and she belongs to boards such as Exxon Mobil, Uber and VEON.

Ms. Burns aptly speaks of her family’s fate, which rings true for each one of us “where they were right now didn’t have to be defining them for the rest of their lives”.  She reminds me of the woman in our empowered woman charm whose arms lifts wide open, undeterred she faces challenges dealt to her  

On this International Woman’s Day, lets empower ourselves with the belief that we have a certain degree of personal influence over our own life; no one else can do this for us but ourselves. 

Happy International Woman’s Day.

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Thank You India X Lucky Iron Fish

Thank You India X Lucky Iron Fish

Working to solve complex problems, like iron deficiency anemia, requires collaboration among many groups and individuals.

Thank You India and Lucky Iron fish are proud to work together to help make a difference in the lives of women and children with iron deficieny anemia. Each purchase of TYI's new Lucky Iron Fish Necklace will benefit the Sahara Centre for Residential Care and Rehabilitation. 

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Empowered Woman

Empowered Woman

Of East African Indian origin, my mother was culturally bound to be a stay-at-home mom.  Growing up with my young widowed Mummy, I saw her as a nurturer— a provider of comfort. 

Early in my early teens, I left home to study abroad. Three years later I was reunited with my Mummy; I began to be aware of her deep focus on bringing up her kids- all eight of them- to have an education, to be regular in prayers, and to be morally upright.  She’d would say, "This is what your Papa was about," and that we would be honouring him if we strived for these goals. Independent of others’ watchful eyes, my Mummy stood steadfast in her values of bringing up her children with dignity.

Today, a few weeks before her 96th birthday, I honour her legacy with this Empowered Woman Charm. Her arms spread like wings, she welcomes all possibilities as her reality. She is strength amplified by her innate need to be the bearer of responsibility to humankind.

It’s befitting also that we honour ALL women and their strength on this International Women’s Day, March 8th with the Empowered Woman Charm.


Proceeds from the sale of this Empowered Woman Charm will directly support other strong women in shelters across Ottawa:

The Shepherd's of Good Hope
Cornerstone Housing for Women
St. Joe's Women's Centre
Centre 454
The Well 

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