Little Krishna with his mesmerizing eyes, and his playful demeanor plays his flute while leaning onto Goddess cow – Kamdhenu. She with her big beady eyes seems to follow everything going around.
Meanwhile Arti, a 43 year old, resides in Munirka Gaon, an urban slum in upscale South Delhi. Migrants from Uttarakhand, she has a four member family with two studying children. Unfortunately, with an ailing husband the responsibility of making a living rests on her shoulders…
Ganesh sits pretty with his delicious modak in his hand accompanying Goddess Lakshmi adorning her crisp sits pretty in her brocade sari with a lotus in her hand and her faithful vehicle the wide eyed Ullu by her side….
Pinki, a 28 year old, from West Bengal, has two small school going children. With her husband in and out of work, it is Pinki who has to be the real woMAN of the house, to ensure that the children continue to study and the house keeps running…
Buddha, sitting in meditation, with a serene face is a sight to behold and Mother Mary, holding little baby Jesus is a perfect reminder that Christmas celebrations are in the air!
Hold on, it’s not a text out of a religious book preaching secularism, infact, these are all handcrafted soft toys! And all these are being made in the heart of Delhi by many more women like Arti and Pinki, living in slums of Munirka Gaon, Vasant Goan, R.K.Puram and adjoining areas, helping them make a living, enabling them to live a life of dignity.
So be it our beloved deities, the whole of jungle party with Sheroo – the metropolitan lion with a muffler, vibrant Chakshu, the owl with big round eyes, the Unicorn family of mumma, papa and little baby unicorn, or the cute Santa with Reindeer, every product comes with a story of his creator.
Apart from soft toys, products include accessories and festival merchandise, all sold under the label – Amaryn by Svatanya.
The products are made with a lot of love, by hand. These not just help create a positive impact on a section of society but are also eco friendly, as stocks of trims and fabrics are sourced from across factories and suppliers in India and recycled fiber is used as filler.
Svatanya is a social enterprise that weaves it all together. It trains underprivileged women, belonging to migrant families from U.P, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Orissa to all the way till North East, who are primarily homemakers, living in urban slums of Delhi. The women are upskilled in stitching, crochet, knitting and handwork. Once trained, complete handholding is given with respect to designs, patterns and raw materials, so that these women can make handcrafted products from their homes, while tending to their house and children. Since these women are not artisans but homemakers, getting upskilled and being able to contribute to their family income gives them a new sense of self worth and empowerment.
The stories of change with supportive in-laws, husbands, cooking meals, kids studying tuitions from supplemental income, aspirational buy of gold earrings are testimonies reinforcing our belief of being on the right path.
Short note about Deepa – A person who lives from her heart and would rather follow her gut, married to her school friend (soul mate from life times is what she likes to believe) and mother of two naughty and creative girls. Svatanya is her way of living it up with an example of being empowered to further empower more lives. Her belief quoted verbatim is “We all have it in us to make a difference – how big or small does not matter and is always relative, what’s important is to give it a go!”