Pushpaben, Soft-Toy maker

Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Pushpa behen, 40, was born in Benaras, far away from the city of Dehradun, where she currently lives. She had finished her 10th class in the year 1999, when she was married off. “He was only 8th pass and drove trucks for a living.”, she says. After her marriage, she had to shift to a region completely unfamiliar to her own lived experience.

When her husband’s income began dwindling, she became a member of SEWA Uttarakhand. She began stepping out of her home, to attend SEWA’s gatherings where she met other women. This, she says, breathed new life into her. 

She became part of a local handicrafts group, Tantook, thus beginning her entrepreneurial journey. She has been working with wool for many years, making soft toys, shawls, coats and mufflers. Whether it is a ‘Snowman’, ‘Mermaid’, or ‘Santa Claus’, she is a quick learner who instantly picks up any design. “When I look at a design, I feel like taking it up. It boosts my morale when I earn money for a design well-done.” Despite the pandemic dampening livelihoods, Pushpa behen is confident of her own ability to take up any challenge in life.

SEWA Uttarakhand works closely with 24-25 women in Dehradun who do woolworkMarket linkages have been a major struggle for these women. SEWA is helping them tackle the pandemic by training them to embrace digital platforms for marketing their products online.

Pushpa behen is a #MahilaMicropreneur