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The Ladies aren’t Laapataa anymore - The Route to Happiness

Posted by RangSutra Crafts on
The Ladies aren’t Laapataa anymore - The Route to Happiness

Marriage, in many cultures, marks the beginning of a new life—but for most women in rural India, their life is characterised by a new village, a new family, a new home, and often, a new identity, A NEW EVERYTHING. In rural Rajasthan and UP, this transition is even more pronounced. Here, a woman’s identity is often reduced to her husband’s name; she is known as so-and-so’s wife, recognised by her mannerisms or her hushed whispers. Many people may never see her face, hidden behind the ghoonghat.

In their own homes and villages, these women are “laapataa”. Their identities are submerged under layers of tradition and anonymity. However, in some villages in India, a quiet revolution has been started by Rangsutra. These women have reclaimed their identities, not through dramatic upheaval but through a centuries-old practice: their craft, their “Qala”.

Before piped water reached the remote corners of villages like Rajasar, something else did—the revival of traditional crafts. This arrival marked a turning point, bringing not just financial independence but a sense of self-worth, recognition and community. The craft centres that are set up in the villages of Rajasthan, UP, Kashmir and Maharashtra are more than places of work; they are safe places where women can express themselves freely and form deep, supportive bonds with the women of their village. 

In villages where friendships outside the family are rare and social gatherings are predominantly male-dominated, these centres provided a much-needed social outlet. Men could boast of friendships and social events, but for the women, these centres became their own spaces to voice out their thoughts, create bonds and become financially independent. These centres also provide a structured time schedule that allows them to balance work and family responsibilities effectively, improving their overall quality of life. 

In these craft centres, women found more than just a workplace—they found a route to empowerment. 

Women in 2AD village, our first shareholders, who might not be formally literate, can explain about the DEMAT accounts and current Rangsutra share-values with ease. The artisan’s financial literacy surpasses that of many with formal education in the cities. 

The Rangsutra craft centres are not just about crafting products but also about weaving stories of hard work and courage. Each piece crafted is more than a product; it is a story stitched by women who, while embroidering, might confide in each other, share their dreams, and support one another through life’s challenges. Handicrafts create a positive work environment, fostering a space where these women can thrive and grow together.

From these remote village centres, women weave and embroider fabrics that find their way to global giants like IKEA and C&A. It’s a journey from the heart of India to the homes around the world, carrying with it the spirit and stories of the women who crafted them.

In the Rangsutra craft centres, the women have found a voice, a community, a work life balance and a renewed sense of identity. The ghoonghat may still cover their faces outside the centre, but it no longer defines them. They are artisans, shareholders, friends, and most importantly, they are no longer “laapataa.” They have found themselves in their craft, and in doing so, they have added a voice to their lives. Standing tall and proud. These women have laid a solid foundation for a future where their daughters will know they can be seen, heard, and valued for who they truly are.

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