Durga started her own enterprise

Durga started her own business! For me this was breaking news in the past days. I met Durga for the first time in April 2010 when she was one of the members of Sadhna, a women’s handicraft cooperative from Udaipur, Rajasthan. At that moment Durga was group leader of 20 women in Delwara, a small village around Udaipur.

Promised in marriage at age 6
Durga shared her story with me. She was betrothed at age 6, moved to her live with her husband and in-laws at age 14 and got her first child at age 15. This daughter, Anjali, is now 17. She is in her last year of high school and wants to become a registered accountant. In just one generation the change is enormous. Durga works, has her own income and makes sure her daughter goes to school.

Learning mother
During all those years working with Sadhna, Durga got the confidence and courage to create her own business. She now heads a jewelry business. This makes her a next level role model to all women and girls in her neighbourhood. From an illiterate woman at age 24 to an entrepreneur at age 34. How cool.

Collectors’ item
The last time I met Durga she gave me a necklace, made by herself. At that moment I did not know jewelry is her real passion. Of course I was touched and happy with the present. Today I realize I have a collector’s item; Durga will make many more women shine with her necklaces and bracelets. Big thanks for your courage, Durga!

Maria van der Heijden