Before starting with the WARE cooperative six years ago, Deepali worked in various jobs as a seamstress, but her skills were limited. Through her work with WARE, she has developed significant skills as an artisan and important life skills as well. When she began, Deepali was only able to stitch shirts and pants, but has learned to stitch dresses, torans, bags, and other specialized projects: “I am confident I can learn how to stitch almost anything now.” She has also been able to add to the family income, supporting her son as he pursued a bachelor’s degree in commerce and sending money to support the farms in her home village.
Her work as an artisan has helped Deepali enrich her own life as well, giving her energy and purpose. Before she worked, Deepali often found herself bored, depleted and sickly, but her job turned this around. “I love coming to work because it helps me stay active, I laugh and interact with others and have a lot more energy than I ever did.” It has also empowered her to reach out to her community. She has begun performing in street plays that shed light on domestic violence, and she has even developed a reputation as an excellent actress. Deepali describes the changes in her life quite simply: “I have learned a lot at MarketPlace that helps me lead a more fruitful life.”