Power of the Human Spirit - 2

April 12, 2020
Power of the Human Spirit - 2

Shelter-in-place has been challenging for people all over the world. In India you hear heartbreaking stories of isolation, large families in very small homes, challenges of keeping kids and teens at home, not enough money to buy food, and more. The massive media coverage brings us sensational stories constantly from all over the world.

We wanted to bring you everyday accounts of how the women artisans in India are dealing with this difficult situation. An All-India shutdown (1.2 billion people) was declared on Tuesday, March 24. On Thursday, all the MarketPlace staff members started calling the artisans to check in. This is some of what we learned in our conversations with them.

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So many things have changed during the shutdown - including, it seems, attitudes about cooking. Previously preparing meals was pretty much just another responsibility for the women, to be fitted into a day full of work and chores. Now the women report that everyone at home is getting into the act. Husbands, sons and daughters are coming up with new recipes and enjoying different dishes.

Top Left: Safiya Sheikh from WARE Collective Top Right: Deepika Gond from WARE Collective with her husband Bottom Left: Surekah Machado from Ranphul Co-operative with her son Bottom Right: Suman Mali from Ranphul Co-operative


Like children all over the world, the artisans' kids have been entertaining themselves with crafts and creativity. Without a chance to plan or purchase supplies, they have had to make do with whatever materials they could forage at home. Using their imaginations and ingenuity, they have produced wonderful things. We plan to exhibit these creations when this crisis is over!

Top Images: Son of Zia and Shamima from Ghar Udyog Collective/Udyog Kala Kendra and his finished artwork Bottom Left: Son of Anita Sakhpal from Ekta Co-operative finished artwork Bottom Right: Daughter of Rita Singh from Shramik Mahila Mandal Co-operative


Conversations with the artisans have revealed one benefit of sheltering at home. Many of the fathers now have the time and opportunity to interact with their kids. The men are spending time talking, playing or making things with their sons and daughters. The children are thrilled to have this real quality time with their fathers.

Top Left: Anjum Ansari from Aashiyana Co-operative with her husband and grandson Top Right: Husband and son of Safiya Sheikh from Ware Collective Bottom Left: Husband and daughter of Reshma Parmar from WARE Collective Bottom Right: Aburkani from Sahara Collective with his son and daughter


Between the small homes and family members' different schedules, it normally was rare for whole families to eat together. Things are different now and the families find themselves eating together every day. They talk and joke and enjoy each other's company. Although, one problem is accommodating everyone's different tastes and preferences at the same time!

Top Left: Sujata Ambre from Ware Collective Top Right: Arti Sahu from Ware Collective with her family Bottom Left: Dipika Surti from Ware Collective having lunch with her family Bottom Right: Jenil Bhathiwala from Education from Life- His mother was unwell and he was hungry - so he made Maggi with instructions from his mother

Power of the Human Spirit - 1
Power of the Human Spirit - 3
Power of the Human Spirit - 4
Power of the Human Spirit - 5
Power of the Human Spirit - 6
Power of the Human Spirit - 7
Power of the Human Spirit - 8

Tags:   What We Believe  
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