Shanti Bai

Shanti Bai

AGE: 38 years

Experience: 19 years

Education: NA

Status: Married

Category: Hand-knotted

Design: Traditional, Transitional & Modern

Quality: 10/14, 11/11, 8/8

Currently Employed: YES

Date of Birth: 1979

About the Weaver:

Shanti Bai is from Manpura, a village in Rajasthan. She is 38 years old. Shanti Bai’s journey of struggle started even before she stepped into her childhood. Her paternal family was a family of 7 members. She has 3 elder brothers and a younger sister. Her father died when she was only 3 years old due to ill health. Hence, to meet the household and other required expenses became the sole responsibility of her mother. With nourishing and educating the children, her mother used to grind wheat on mill, gather wood from the forest, worked as a mason at only 10 rupees a day. All of them used to have only one pair of clothes. They used to wrap themselves with towel till their clothes dried after taking bath. Later, Shanti Devi’s eldest brother became a teacher after he studied till 11th grade. He used to teach students from 5th grade. That is when there came a change in their financial state.

Shanti Devi was married at an early age of 14 years. She says that she was always unhappy with her marriage as it took away her childhood from her. Unaware of the challenges to be faced as a married girl, she stepped into a new family. At an age when children are supposed to play around and learn at schools, she was married and after a couple of years she had her first baby. After her marriage, she continued weaving but her in-laws took away whatever she used to earn. Since, her husband was unemployed, so her in-laws would always demand money from her. After she had her second child, they had frequent fights at home with their in-laws and then they decided to get separated. Although they continued staying at the same home but they used to cook separately. She used to take her kids to the loom and work as there was nobody at home to take care of them.

About the Weaver’s Family:

Her husband’s name is Prabhu Dayal Kuldeep who is 45 years old. She has 6 children; 5 daughters and a son. Her eldest daughter is a Graduate in Arts, second daughter is in BA 1st year, third and fourth daughters are in 10th grade, fifth daughter is in 4th grade and her son is in 1st grade.

Transformation through Weaving:

Shanti Devi says that in the name of going to school, she used to learn weaving without the knowledge of her parents. That is how she gained expertise in weaving with the time.

When she started weaving, she worked under the contractors. She gathered other women from her neighborhood and involved them in weaving at her loom. But the contractor took the carpet and did not pay her for her work. It took 3 months for them to complete the carpet, and Shanti used to pay the weavers by borrowing money. This had put her in great trouble. She had to sell her silver anklets and repaid a partial amount of the debt.

Shanti Bai along with her husband and children shifted to Manpura village 11 years back. After shifting to Manpura, her husband joined a leather company being responsible for managing all the goods at the company at 65 rupees wage per day. Shanti Bai stopped weaving after shifting to Manpura as working with the contractors used to be troublesome. Somehow she came to know about Jaipur Rugs from the Branch Manager. She was extremely delighted to know that the company provided doorstep livelihoods and will allow her to work from home that will help her in managing her work and time. When she approached the Branch Manager, she was denied to be given a loom at her place as she did not have a shade. She borrowed a sum of 10,000 rupees from her brother and put up a shade and then she was given 2 looms. Today, Shanti Devi has 6 looms and 25 weavers at her center. This was the first ever loom center at Manpura.

She dreams of educating all her children and wants them to work and become independent.