Namaste. My name is Munni, and I make bags for you. I live in a village nestled in the Indian Himalayas.
My day starts at 5 AM. I get up, make breakfast, send my two little children off to school and then head to the forest to collect firewood. I used to have long, hard days farming, but since I learned to stitch, I have a better life.
I love sitting in the sun with my friends, making tassels. It feels like we are all in this together. We support each other through life’s ups and downs. I used to rush into my day, often on an empty stomach. I now have more time, to eat breakfast, to take care of myself and to enjoy my children after school.
I sometimes wonder about the woman who buys the bags I make. If we ever met, I would say thank you repeatedly.
I used to dream about being a teacher. Or perhaps having an office job. But none of that was possible so now I stitch, so that my children can have a better future. Maybe one of them will even become a teacher.
My name is Sara, and I live all alone in the remote Himalayas because my husband left to find better work opportunities at a nearby village. He took our only son with him so that he could go to school there. I only see them once every two months.
I’ve been sewing for three years now. At first I did not even know how to sew a straight line! But I worked hard and pushed myself to get better and better and am so proud to see my income grow.
I used to tend to my cows and forage for firewood in the forest, without even taking the time to wash my face or comb my hair. Now I make the time to eat my meals and take care of my health.
Sewing has allowed me to worry less. I want you to know that with every bag I make, I keep improving my sewing skills, so that I can progress in my life. And perhaps one day see more of the world like you.