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"I started working at Sirohi in the harrowing age of the pandemic and it's been more than a year since. Back then, a few of the women in Gudina were working with Sirohi as weavers and I'd just spend my free time sitting around watching them. It was quite a moving feeling to see the women from the ever-so conservative Muzaffarnagar working and making a living. I just felt propelled to be a part of this movement.

Sirohian Women Weaving in Rural India (Gudina, Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh)
I was a fanatic for design, always playing around with colours and patterns during my younger years. But it's hard to pinpoint when exactly did I acquire the skill of weaving, as it has always been a part of our community. People around us, relatives, neighbours and friends alike, have always been weaving charpais and mudhe. The skill has been ingrained into our very core by the heritage of these communities we are a part of. I, too, picked up weaving by just watching the women in my family and neighbourhood without ever actively trying to. The basics just came by heart and the intricacies of the craft came after weeks and months of experimenting and working with Sirohi. In fact, beyond learning the ropes of the craft, I have innovated a couple of products in the Sirohi catalogue by myself too.

Over the months of being here, for all women at Sirohi, their outlook on life has become more and more entrepreneurial. We just recently got an e-rickshaw as getting raw materials to our homes for working on them can be very hard and sometimes quite expensive too. So it was a step to make our work easier and more streamlined to increase our capabilities. The outlook comes to its foundation from the very beginning of my work at Sirohi. Even in the gruelling times of COVID, when everybody in all parts of the world was struggling to make ends meet, our engines were at full steam. The kind of opportunity and support that Sirohi opened our door to, gratitude for that can never be measured in words. While everyone wants to get money, I think it's crucial that people must work hard and not just have things handed to them. I truly believe that everybody should be capable of standing up on their own feet, earning money through respectable means, providing for their family and wallowing in the sense of pride and joy that it brings with it.
E-rickshaw environment friendly carrier vehicle

We work in order to get people from Muzaffarnagar on board the Sirohi train. But nowadays, whenever I'm visiting relatives in other districts and I come across people who are having a hard time financially, I find myself wishing that I could find these people work as well. I am working along with many of these women at Sirohi so that we just don't make our ends meet but so that the organisation expands and people from far away lands, even internationally, can be a part of it and have the same kind of support and encouragement that we received that got us here."
- Zehra 
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