Skilled Samaritan Foundation is the organisation that supports our brand Sirohi. The Foundation provides income opportunities to women from marginalised communities in India by recognising their existing craft skills and providing them ‘tech-based’ design support to make well designed products.
Our work began back in 2012 in an arcadian village in rural Haryana known as Sirohi. It is a charming village nestled among the Aravali hills that boasts of a simple and slow life. Skilled Samaritan Foundation put Sirohi on the map in 2012 with its solar lighting project. This was where our inspiration was born and this is where our journey begins.
After observing and interacting with the members of the Sirohian community for almost half a decade, we realised the opportunity gap in our rural communities where people have immense talent but lack the chance and skill to showcase it. We have now focused our efforts on design and craft, to create an exclusive range of products that wouldn’t just be functional but would serve a purpose.
We began creating our products in January 2019 in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh. Our work started with just one woman, Gauhar Fatma, simply because the rest of them refused. In those communities, women are discouraged to work.
However, once they realised that this was a legitimate source of income, more and more women joined us. Today, we have a stronghold of over 200 women working with us as financially independent equals in their communities.
We started our work in village Budhina Kalan, Muzaffarnagar District with 1 woman (Gauhar) in October 2018 who worked for us ’behind the closed doors of her home’ for almost 4 months till the next one joined us, since in their community women are discouraged to work.
This WAS one of the major challenges we faced in increasing our women base. Today we have almost 102 women from 3 villages (Budhina Kalan, Budhina Khurd, Sujroo) who have broken barriers and are now financially independent and leading a life of respect as equals in their communities.