Santra is an incredibly strong woman who has taken the rare and brave decision to divorce her abusive husband.
Its almost completely unheard of in her culture and has lead her to become an outcast from her family and caste.
She has 2 young children and by making the choice to keep them and herself safe she has had to move from a house to a tent in a desert camp.
She would spend her days begging in a nearby market but of course due to covid19 there are no more tourists and the people of the camp were really beginning to struggle.
With help from some wonderful people she was gifted a sewing machine and can now make her own money her own way.
I'm so excited to work with Santra and I am going to put aside a percentage of my sales to help supply sewing machines for other women who are brave enough to make it out on their own too.
This is the very beginnings of a women's co-op that with a little support it could really become something special.
The ladies in the Rajasthani gypsy culture have no independence at all and rely totally on their husbands for everything.
Unfortunately for too many of them their men drink and don't respect or care for their women. It can be a very hard and often scary life.
Santra is a rare strong woman who has done something basically unheard of and I feel honored to help by sending some work her way.
(blessing the sewing machine)
Alongside the womens co-op a wonderful group of people have set up an art project in the desert camp.
Keen to keep the Rajasthani traditional arts alive they provide workshops and create beautiful things to sell.
They run a small cafe for visitors and hold dance and music workshops, and are helping to feed the wider community through lockdown.
They also have a children's project where the children get meals, a uniform, lessons and games. They have in a short space of time created a routine for these children that includes brushing their teeth in the mornings, going to class, having a set play time and of course time to make art. One day they may go on to do whatever they wish with such a good start and break the chain of poverty.
Santras children attend the project.
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