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These Differently-Abled Artisans Are Creating Totes Filled With Hope!

by | Artisans

Read Time: 2 min.

These beautiful and inspiring differently-abled women are experiencing healing & hope thanks to this fair-trade workshop in India! This amazing workshop supports and encourages them with dignified opportunities to work as fair-trade Artisans and rise above discrimination and extreme poverty. Here are their stories of hope!

Vijaymala’s Story of Hope

As a strong and healthy 18-year-old athlete and newlywed, Vijaymala was happily married and living with her husband and in-laws.

One day while washing clothes, she stopped to help her bedridden mother-in-law adjust her TV antenna.

When the antenna struck a power line, the electricity surged through her wet hands and stopped her heart.

Although Vijaymala’s heart began beating again, her fingers had to be amputated.

Determined to not become a burden on her family, Vijaymala learned stitching in this workshop and is now financially independent.

“The accident changed the person I am.
It made me a stronger person mentally and physically.
I have enormous physical limitations.
The damage is done, and there’s no coming back from that.
But, I consider myself really lucky to be alive.
I don’t think I would have had the will and determination to make it to this level, as I have my own house today.” – Vijaymala

Laxmi’s Story of Hope

Laxmi is a resilient and determined woman, in spite of being married off at nineteen years old by her parents through an arranged marriage to a stranger who was nearly a decade older than her. Throughout their seven-year marriage, Laxmi was often tortured by her husband. During an argument about his dissatisfaction with the dowry money her parents paid him to marry Laxmi, Laxmi was set on fire. She survived, but her husband was fatally injured when he tried to save her.

As a widowed single mother with deep scars and physical limitations, Laxmi learned to stitch in this workshop and now supports her three children and mother in a home she built with the income she’s earned as an Artisan. 

Every purchase of our fair-trade market totes from India helps Laxmi provide her children with a good education.

Dilshad’s Story of Hope

“After my marriage, my family tortured me many times for over a year. One day, when I was cooking, my mother-in-law poured kerosene over me and burned me. When I came to this workshop, my wounds on my hands were still raw. I couldn’t lift or hold anything. It took me four to five years to learn everything. Whatever samples I get, I’m capable of making now. There is immense joy in working with everyone.

 I’ve got something that is more than a family here! Here, I work with dignity and hard work. This Artisan community has helped me enormously! 
I didn’t take anyone’s help to educate my son.
I did it alone! How much I have traveled!
From struggling to survive to actually living now!”
– Dilshad
Trades of Hope is partnering to empower differently-abled women in India.
Every purchase of our market totes from India supports marginalized & differently-abled women overcoming discrimination & extreme poverty.
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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.


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Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.