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Forced to Drop Out of School
Growing up in India, Ekra dreamed of earning an education and graduating high school, but financial challenges forced her to drop out of school early. In India, the government provides “free” schooling through the age equivalent of American middle school. But many of these “free” schools still require students to pay fees for uniforms and other supplies. When students are unable to pay these fees, they’re often not allowed to attend school until their debts are paid in full. For Ekra, financial challenges ended her education in her 8th grade year.
Discovering Her Passion for Business
Without an education, her job opportunities were severely limited. But as Ekra watched her older brothers follow in their father’s footsteps and become woodworkers, she became interested in their family’s business. Ekra started helping with wood finishing and product packaging. As their father continued working as an Artisan in another local workshop, Ekra and her brothers began to grow their family’s business.
Working as an Equal Artisan Partner
Now at twenty years old, Ekra continues to work alongside her four brothers as an equal Artisan partner with the support of their Artisan community who recently made improvements to their family’s workshop by adding safety equipment and better lighting. Ekra is grateful for her work and for the financial support of her Artisan community, especially during the recent COVID-19 lockdown in India. Together, Ekra and her family are creating beautiful handcrafted fair-trade products like our Snowflake Trivet and Snowflake Coaster Set. Every purchase supports their family’s business.