The Optimist Citizen

A trip to the rural heartland in India which led a woman to start a non-profit to help women artisans from disturbed households

We often hear about tourists coming to India to relish its culture, diversity, to peregrinate and then ecstatically leaving for their habitation country. But Theresa of Chicago was not just one tourist who left blissfully. Theresa, a student at the University of Michigan first came to India in 2007 for a project to study how economic empowerment changes women’s life socially in India. Her study led her to work with an organisation that supports crafts group access to markets. For her, it basically meant spying on different artisan groups and livelihood creation projects and meeting individual women trying to make their way in the world by producing some sort of garment, accessory or handicraft. Theresa was deeply moved after she interviewed women who were tortured by their husbands, widowed with no way to care for themselves or their children or physically tortured by terms in living conditions at a very young age.

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