Taavi: A Beacon of Hope for Women Artisans During the Pandemic
Thirty-eight-year-old Guddi’s eyes sparkle when she talks about her work with PDKF and Taavi. From being a school drop-out to becoming an independent working woman, Guddi is an inspirational example for many young girls and women in Rajasthan, where girls are, more often than not, raised to take care of domestic responsibilities and discouraged from taking up jobs.
Guddi works with Princess Diya Kumari Foundation (PDKF), a philanthropic social outreach initiative that partners with Myntra to create products for its multi-cultural lifestyle brand, Taavi. This, in turn, helps to augment income opportunities for many struggling artisans, including women and young girls in Rajasthan. Guddi, along with her team of women tailors and craftspeople, has been associated with Myntra for almost a year where their handiwork is used on Taavi garments.
Over the last five to six years, Guddi has honed her skills in tailoring, embroidery, and other crafts such as appliquing and tassel work. She specializes in the craft of applique and tassel making, which originated as a domestic art and now finds their space in a wide range of decorative products. Despite falling demand, Guddi is hopeful that their handicraft will evolve to satisfy changing aesthetics and market demographics, and that her craft will see a better future.
Taavi to the rescue during lockdown
Lajwanti and Nandu Devi, among others, have been working with PDKF for more than seven years, and have actively trained many other women in stitching and embroidery skills. For them, Myntra proved to be a silver lining during the pandemic when most of the craftswomen like them lost their livelihoods. As part of Taavi, they created masks from their homes to protect thousands from the coronavirus, while simultaneously supporting their family financially during the lockdown. They are proud to associate with Taavi, and feel relieved for all the help and support they’ve received.
Anticipating a much longer stint with PDKF and Taavi, they hope to diversify their artwork across different kinds of products. Guddi, Lajwanti, Nandu, and many other artisans working with Taavi dream of providing a better future to their children with their earnings from PDKF.
Myntra launched Taavi in 2018 with the aim to revive the languishing textile sector and the local artisans. Apart from providing them a chance at financial stability, Taavi and Myntra also fuel creative innovations within craft clusters, helping them evolve their mindsets and techniques for a changing time and making them more relevant to the Indian youth. It empowers 10000+ artisans and weavers specializing in traditional embroidery and printing techniques such as Lambani, Kasuti, Dabu, Bagru, Ikkat, and Chikankari, thus taking the reach of traditional Indian textile arts and crafts to a larger audience.