CRAFTING STEADY INCOME OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN IN EQUITY-SEEKING COMMUNITIES
WORDS AND IMAGES BY VERA NIEUWENHUIS
EDITED BY TAMARA BLAZQUEZ HAIK
India is the most populous country in the world after China, with over 1.3 billion inhabitants. It is expected to surpass this number by the end of 2023, however, according to findings from the National Conference on Conservation Agriculture. The state of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India has the largest proportion of poor people in the country, as roughly one third of the population lives in poverty.
Muzaffarnagar, a district in Uttar Pradesh, is one of the largest districts and has a diverse make-up of ethnicities and religions. Approximately 55% of its population is Hindu while 42% is Muslim. Despite this vast diversity, the Muslim population in Muzaffarnagar suffers from discrimination when it comes to employment and education.
In order to tackle this situation, Skilled Samaritan Foundation (SSF), whose mission is to provide steady income opportunities to women and girls in equity-seeking communities, created the brand Sirohi. This artisan-backed brand for luxe-sustainable home décor, gifting and lifestyle products has impacted about 3,500 artisans from over 5 states in India.