“Doing this work gives us an identity.”
Nisha di moved to Village Purkul four years ago, after her wedding. The skill set was different from other kinds of work available which is what made her pick it up. While a lot of our artisans came to develop their techniques out of economic necessity, many turned to it for the bliss of independence and artistic expression. Nisha di’s favourite thing to do is patchwork, interspersed with quick cups of tea while her little one spends her morning at the Purkul Gyanoday Vatika next door. She thinks that the open atmosphere makes the work more interesting and fun. “Everyone should give something like this a try.”
“The environment is very relaxed here.”
Saroj di, like many others, originally took up training over three years ago to make a difference to both her life as well as that of her children. With the advent of Project Purkul, she has been able to find a means to continue supporting her family and taking her skill to greater heights.She enjoys the warm and free atmosphere. Her specific interest lies in applique and quilting work. Saroj di is open to all the directions that the Project may branch into, whether that means dabbling in different products like homemade pickles, or items made of wool. She embodies the inclusive, open-minded attitude that we at Project Purkul strive to maintain.
“I’m here to learn something new.”
Originally a resident of Bhagwantpur, Anuradha di moved to Village Purkul only a while ago. When she found out that there was a centre here that teaches cloth techniques and is open for employment, she was allured by the idea of gaining a fresh skill. She is only one month old at the centre and is working her way through the thrilling artisanal world of applique, quilting and patchwork. “I haven’t done any of the heavier items yet, but I have enjoyed tea cosies. And they’ve turned out well!” She enjoys sewing more than anything else. Everyday is a day of fresh new training and learning for Anuradha di here at Project Purkul.
Poonam Mamgain di
“All of us want to take this forward, to the best of our ability.”
After 22 years of being a Purkul-dweller, Poonam di has seen it all. Apart from making excellent patchwork-dominant pieces, she spends her time at the centre training and conditioning the newer artisans to the way things go at the Project - right down to fabric cutting. She loves the atmosphere and enjoys machine work in particular. Poonam di is excited about the future of the Project and its impacts on the village. “We want the best for everyone here. Many artisans are here to earn a stable income and the furtherance of the Project would allow that to happen as well.”
“I had people dependant on me when I took up the training. I wanted to be able to take care of them.”
A self-starter with gumption, Sunita di is Project Purkul’s Head of Production. After the COVID crisis struck and brought a wave of unemployment to the village, she rounded up as many artisans as she could so that they could work from home in the form of samuhas. She has been greatly instrumental in the germination of the project. “I like it here because this is our own independent establishment,” she says. “The ladies who come here also work with a free mind, and their needs are provided for.” Sunita di is proud of her identity as a localite and of what the artisans are achieving through the brand.
It was a blend of both economic reasons and a genuine interest in the craft that led Neetu di to applique, patchwork and quilting - and ultimately Project Purkul. Today, she is the Stock Head of our establishment. She is a huge facilitator of the collaborative culture and inclusive environment. Neetu di envisions a bright future for Village Purkul.
“It’s not just the ladies who are empowering themselves, it’s the whole area. Everything, from the shops around us to the men and children of the place as well. One day, I am sure that just the mention of our name will be enough to conjure the image of our prosperous village.”
“You work here, you earn a bit for yourself and your child also has a place to go to.”
Neelam di is not new to the craft. In fact, after spending more than a decade learning the intricacies of the work, she’s one of the checkers and supervisors here. She likes the feeling of autonomy and the fact that her efforts are recognized. The Project has been a good means for her to continue earning an independent income and support her children, who adore coming to the vatika and spending their time with the other children. Neelam di is skilled with needlework and adds a touch of finesse to our products.
“There are places you need to pay to learn something. Here, you even get to take a little something home with you.”
Mithlesh di is one of the strongest artisans at the Project. She has been interested in needlework and embroidery ever since she was a girl in her twenties, and she has given an extensive amount of time to the craft. But she brings in more than finesse. Each day is peppered by her booming laughter and vivacious spirit. Mithlesh di is truly inspiring to all of our artisans. She has carried her teenage passion to her fifties and has found joy in every piece. “The tensions of home will always be around, but if you can do something like this and keep going, it helps.” Her unprecedented wisdom gives us all hope.