Maa Manasha SHG
Naya Village (Paschim Midnapore District)
West Bengal, India
The village of Naya in Bengal is home to the chitrakars, a unique group of traditional Indian folk artists whose vivid colors and detailed paintings bring the legends of Mahabharat and Ramayana to life. However, hidden behind these ornate tapestries is the bleak reality that these artists live in, a world plagued by uncertainty and economic instability.
It was with the aim of creating more financial security not just for themselves, but for the sake of their children, that Jamela, along with a few of her friends, came together to start the Maa Manasha Self Help Group. Jamela started selling paintings when she was only 20 and has been doing this work for over 25 years now.
This self-help group helped create a platform for them to sell their canvases and clothing items, each one featuring a carefully hand-painted image created using natural paints that the women make themselves. These items often showcase stories and elements from the stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana.
Things were finally starting to look brighter for them, with the group traveling across the country to sell their handicrafts.
However, the novel COVID-19 has once again propelled them back into the darkness, leaving them without food on their plates, even for the young children.
They have been forced into the bleak world they tried so hard to escape from, with seemingly no one to support them. To them, it seems as if the financial security that was tantalizing close has disappeared again, but this time with the fear of a global pandemic.
Help us help the women of Maa Manasha SHG
to get back on their feet.
Your donation will go towards helping the women fund their production process so they can begin selling their products again.
For every donation you make, the Self Help Group would like to extend their gratitude to you by sending you a special gift, handcrafted by them, as well.