Shakti.ism are on a mission to empower, employ and encourage entrepreneurship in disadvantaged women in India, particularly those who are at risk of being impacted by gender-based violence. As a not-for-profit social enterprise Shakti-ism aims to preserve local skills and traditions, and to empower women by providing dignified employment and fair living wages.
Handmade using upcycled traditional saris by empowered women in Pondicherry, India.
Meet the artisans. The Pondicherry Shakti.ism tailoring team members are from the semi-nomadic Narikuravar “gypsy” tribal community in Southern India. This indigenous group of people has faced discrimination against them since ancient times, primarily because of their nomadic lifestyle and consumption of animals, considered taboo by Hindus and upper-caste communities within India. The gypsy communities of India sit at the absolute bottom of society, even below the caste system. Poverty, illiteracy, diseases and discrimination are the major issues that confront the Narikuravars. Girls within the community are often married off once they begin to menstruate and many of them become mothers when they are as young as 14 years old.
The institutionalised social stigma faced by indigenous and tribal communities across India continues to be the force of oppression that keeps them trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.
By purchasing this item, you are helping to empower and provide ongoing employment income for the women who make these handmade products. The demand for Shakti.ism’s products provides these women with dignified employment, a living wage, hope and opportunities for their children. Together we can provide alternative options for disadvantaged women with the aim to lift them out of poverty and help them to become self-sustaining and independent.