Loyola lad brings colour in Kuiani 

Story By: Antara Bose (Matters India)

Jharkhand: Usharani Mahto (28), a mother of two girls, is delighted she is able to supplement her family income without having to borrow.

All thanks to Loyola School alumnus Sourabh Mahto, whose NGO, Life Craft, has helped her, and many others like her, become financially independent.

Life Craft’s venture centres around hand-dyeing clothes and fabric.

Today, as many as 21 women of Kuiani, a remote village in Bodam block in East Singhbhum district, 35km from Jamshedpur, each earn Rs 3,000 per month by hand dyeing clothes and fabric as part of the venture.

” Ekhon baarite taka chaaite hoy na. Chhana ponar pora lekha aami dekhi ekhon (Now, I don’t have to ask for money at home and I can look after my children’s education),” said Usharani.

For the women of Kuiani, it is a 9-5 job with a lunch break and Sunday weekly off.

Life Craft has been training women on hand dyeing techniques from September 2015 and is now running a trial production of hand dyed stoles in the village. It is planning to launch them through an e-commerce website, Villagehen, soon.

“I took some days off and visited nearby villages in 2011. That changed my life,” said Sourabh (34), a resident of Cable Town, Golmuri.

“I took the risk of leaving my secured job all the while questioning myself what I could do for these villagers. I had no technical knowledge and all I could think of is colouring clothes, which can be done without electricity, machines and education. Some people were kind enough to train me. Then, I settled on Kuiani village,” said the BCom graduate from Pune University.

Life Craft has set up pre and post-processing units in the village along with a designing shed and dye house where the women work. Sourabh gets his stoles weaved from Salem in Tamil Nadu and processes and dyes them in various shades and designs with the help of the women.

“I only wanted to contribute to society, specifically in a village. This feeling motivated me to leave my job. Living in a village is not a sign of underdevelopment but living in a village amidst pangs of poverty in the 21st century is indeed underdevelopment,” he noted.

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