Dukhani is part of the workforce at the Little Flower Khadi Village Leprosy Rehabilitation Center in India that spins silk, dyes the yarn and weaves it into scarves for export. She is also on the management committee of the unit representing the original members of the colony affected by leprosy.
“I came to Sunderpur Hospital when I was about 20 years old. My parents died when I was a child and after I got leprosy my sister did not take proper care of me so I decided to come here. Soon after I arrived they gave me work here in the weaving unit. Baba was in charge then and he realised that I could not stay unless I got married so he found me a person and arranged my marriage. My husband did not have leprosy, he was happy to marry me even though I was already disabled.
I have been here about 30 years now. I feel as if I only really started my life after I moved to Little Flower. I have a son and a daughter. My daughter is already married and has three children of her own. My son is a school bus conductor, he earns but spends the money on himself. My husband used to work in the cattle farm here in the colony but he died about five years ago and without much support from my son I must work to earn for myself.
I learned how to do charkha winding and always do that work. I supply the bobbins of silk yarn for the weavers who are making silk scarves. The more orders we have the more I can earn for myself. It is financially hard for me when there is not much work. But still I would rather be here with the other women and earn something than sit at home and feel sorry for myself and worry about the future of my wayward son.”
The Little Flower Khadi Village Leprosy Rehabilitation Center is one of the groups that TLM Trading has been working with for a number of years. Because TLM Trading works with artisans affected by leprosy and disability who create unique products for their catalogues and online shop, The Leprosy Mission Australia also sources from them. We trust you will enjoy their handiwork!