Archana Devi was married off at the age of fourteen, like many of the girls in villages in those days. A well determined woman, Archana has not been to school but has the skills to fulfilling all her family’s daily needs thanks to the income she earns as weaver at Women on Wings’ partner Jaipur Rugs.
Happy, loved and respected
Archana learnt weaving after marriage from her neighbors in the Rajasthani village she lives in. She is happy being able to look after her family’s needs and her smile never fades. The reason to which she says: “I am lucky as I am loved! I am loved by my husband and moreover I receive his and my in-laws respect, which is not common in a village environment. Weaving for me is not just work, it’s the joy of my life. Coming and working here has enabled me and other village women to sit out and chit chat and yet earn an income! The whole day dies off in laughter and we don’t even come to know!”
Jaipur Rugs Alternate Education Program
Archana joined the Jaipur Rugs Alternate Education Program which provides functional literacy to illiterate artisans and village community members who were not able to complete primary education. The ambit of this ‘alternative education’ is basic literacy and numeracy skills, and developing an understanding of health, hygiene, family life, education and the environment while building their confidence so that they become more self-reliant in applying their learning in multifarious ways. Today Archana can read the newspaper, perform her signatures and use a mobile phone. Weaving came out a lifesaving opportunity for her, her children and her family.
Schooling is important, especially for girls
Empowering women is a well-proven strategy for improving children’s well-being. In fact, rural women’s economic empowerment can help reduce the number of underweight children. Putting more income in the hands of women, translates into improved child nutrition, health and education. An extra year of primary school increases girls’ eventual wages by 10-20 percent and encourages girls to resist child marriage. One extra year of primary school makes girls less likely to experience violence. They will also have fewer children.
@text inspired by post of Jaipur Rugs