People who make the Himalayan Blooms
When the knitters get together in the workshop on a working day, it is like a kitty party! Though each one of them have their own share of social and economic struggle, they leave their baggage behind and feel a new sense of self confidence when they come to work like any urban women! The essence of their empowering story goes like this…
One of the best things about Munni di is that her entire family supports her in the endeavor. Her husband helps us in commuting guests as he is one of the very few to have a car; her son and daughter assist the administration and operations at Himalayan Blooms.
We feel overwhelmed seeing how a small initiative such as this has started bringing in social change, where women are now encouraged to be empowered. The journey is going to be long, and challenging, but there is no looking back!
Today, she is glad that Himalayan Blooms happened, as it is providing her a platform, not only to get better knowledge and improve her skills, but also gives her better sense of direction to work. She says, “we love our jobs, as it is pleasure and work at the same time”. Being one of the first to join the core group and seen it grows, she wants to increase the reach for all their products. This is the cumulative vision that is helping Himalayan Blooms grow.
What started off as one of her time pass, today she feels like it has become her profession, and where there is value for what she does. She credits her husband for being her support. She says, “no work is big or small for me, I am willing to learn any task given on hand and would be glad to grow along with Himalayan Blooms”.
If you ever happen to visit Khetikhan we suggest you ask her to make a cup of tea, it is one of the most delicious tea you would have there… So don’t miss it!
Priyanka is the youngest one with education, and zeal to learn. Her journey started with getting training on a computer and understanding inventory management. She says, “for a person who never turned on the switch on a laptop, today I mostly work on excel spreadsheet, and tough it started six months ago, I feel I have come a long way.”
Though her origin is not from this village, her love for this beautiful place shows how anyone could just connect to this village. Her only motivating factor is to come to work to join Himalayan Blooms initiative, where handicrafts are being recognized.
Priyanka wants to be the front runner in making this project as her own success story; a win-win for all.
She has made her mission to improve the lives of women in the village of Khetikhan and surrounding villages. She is training them, organizing them and teaching them how to change their lives.
She is working side by side with the ladies and leading them to economic independence. Himalyan Blooms is as much a story of the ladies of the village as it is about sacrifices she has made to uplift the village.
After reading an article about my work and following a few phone conversations, he had trust to visit this remote village at the foothills of Himalayas to work on a project for empowering its people. Age has never been a barrier for him, as he travels across the world, regardless of the harsh hilly terrains. In that first visit, Mr. Kundra spent ten days learning and understanding about the people and their locality. From that point forward, he has been an integral part of this project supporting it financially and spearheading it in every way possible. His selfless involvement has added both warmth and momentum, all at once.
It is tough to keep up with Mr. Kendra’s energy and enthusiasm and we, the team here at Khetikhan, cannot help but get inspired and influenced greatly by his persona. Someone, I look up to. Always.
As he always says, “Let’s all succeed together”.
– Pratibha Krishnaiah
Anil Gupta(A Partner In-change)
On our very first display of Khetikhan products in Houston, Texas,
USA, at Arya Samaj of Greater Houston, Anil Gupta came as a customer to select few pieces for his family. Not only he bought the handmade items, he was moved by the resolve of the Himalayan women to market their generational knitting skills to improve the economic conditions of their families. The same evening Anil Gupta joined the movement to empower women.
From that day in January 2016 Anil Gupta became the team player and with team participation Himalayan Blooms USA was formed. He energized the team, injected new ideas and has been bringing in new resources to enhance the concept he strongly believes in, “Make the world a Noble place”.
In October Anil Gupta made his trip to Khetikhan. He spent few days with the knitters, and was greatly impressed by the high-quality products they were making and is all inspired. This has further motivated the ladies to continue on the path of economical independence.
After 20 years at sea Anil Gupta now lives in Houston with his wife, has five children, and two grandchildren. His family not only support his effort, but also join him to conduct sales at the exhibitions in the city of Houston to promote Himalayan Blooms products. Anil Gupta would do whatever it takes to make the change.” – Joginder Kundra
Dhanashree BM(A Partner In-change)
While in the village of Khetikhan, in early 2016, I received a call from Ms. Dhanashree BM from my home town Bangalore. I had met her few times before, but only as an acquaintance. Dhanashree expressed her desire to visit me in the village, spend some time to enjoy the beauty of the Himalayan Mountains, seeing the village life and what I was doing away from home. Just like many other people expressing their desire to come and help that rarely matures into action, I just filed it away. To my pleasant surprise Dhanashree not just came, she spent well over a month in Khetikhan, got immediately acclimated to the place, the weather and got herself totally immersed with the work the knitters from the area doing. Dhanashree started taking the product pictures, cataloguing them into spreadsheets for generating product folders, arranging for invoicing and inventory of finished product.
She would look up for the designs from the internet, paying attention to the minutest details to help the knitters adapting to the new designs. Her attention to the smallest of the details turns everything she works on to a marvel. Her visit to the village has all the ladies going gaga over her strength, dedication and grace. Despite her fulltime job in Bangalore, she continues to support us.
Dhanashree believes, “The best way to predict your future is to CREATE it”.
Since her visit to Khetikhan, Dhanashree has become a valued friend that we can depend upon for help, and a partner to change.