Little Krishna with his mesmerizing eyes, and naughty demeanor plays his flute while leaning onto Goddess cow – Kamdhenu. With her big beady eyes she seems to follow everything going around.
Meanwhile Arti, a 43 year old, resides in Munirka Gaon, an urban slum in the upscale South Delhi. Migrant from Uttarakhand, she has a four member family with two studying children. Unfortunately, with an ailing husband the responsibility of making a living rests on her shoulders…
Ganesha sits pretty with a delicious modak in his hand accompanying Goddess Lakshmi adorning her crisp brocade sari sitting pretty with a lotus in her hand and her faithful vehicle the wide eyed Ullu by her side….
Pinki, a 28 year old, from West Bengal, has two small school going children. With her husband in and out of work, it is Pinki who has to be the real woMAN of the house, to ensure that the children continue to study and the house keeps running…
Buddha, deep in meditation, with a serene look on his face is a sight to behold and Mother Mary, holding little baby Jesus is perfect reminder that Christmas celebrations are in the air!
Before you get the impression that it’s text out of religious book preaching secularism, these all are soft toys handcrafted with love by the ladies mentioned above! And all these are being made in the heart of Delhi by many more women like Arti and Pinki, living in slums of Munirka Gaon, Vasant Goan, R.K.Puram and adjoining areas, helping them make a living and enabling a life of dignity.
So be it our beloved deities, a full gang jungle party with Shera aka Alex – the metropolitan lion with a muffler, vibrant Chakshu – our desi Owl Pacino with big round eyes, the Unicorn family of Estrella (Mom), Marcello(papa) and Nola(little baby unicorn), or the cute Santa Tonton with Rudy the Reindeer, every product comes with a unique story of their creator.
Apart from the Soft Toys collection, products include festival merchandise and accessories, all sold under the label – Amaryn by SVATANYA. The products are made with a lot of love, by hands. These not just help create a positive impact on a section of society but are also eco friendly, as stocks of trims and fabrics are sourced from across factories/suppliers in India and recycled fiber is used as filler.
SVATANYA is a social enterprise that weaves it all together. It trains underprivileged women, belonging to migrant families from U.P, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Orissa all the way till North East, who are primarily homemakers, living in urban slums of Delhi. The women are upskilled in stitching, crochet, knitting and handwork. Once trained, complete handholding is given with respect to designs, patterns and raw materials, so that the women can then make these products from their homes, while tending to their children and other household responsibilities. Since these women are not artisans but homemakers, getting upskilled and being able to contribute to their family income gives them a sense of self-worth, empowerment and hope.
The stories of change with supportive in-laws husbands cooking meals, kids studying tuitions from supplemental income, aspirational buy of gold earrings are testimonies reinforcing our belief of being on the right path.
About Deepa – A free spirit who follows her heart and would rather follow her gut, married to her school friend (soul mate from life times is what she believes) and a mother of two naughty and creative girls. Svatanya is my way of living it up with an example of being empowered to further empower more lives. We all have it in us to make a difference – big or small does not matter and is always relative, what’s important is to give it a go!
First published – 14th January 2020 by/on World Art Community