In Tripura, women are finding different ways of becoming financially independent. And doll making is fast emerging as a preferred choice of profession among rural womenfolk.
Namita Mallick, a resident of Hapania village near Agartala, is a housewife. But, owing to her special skills in making dolls, she has now become a well-known entrepreneur in the state.
In 2005, Namita formed a self-help group and started making dolls, bags and other decorative items. Her work has inspired local women and over 10 women work for her. Many work from their homes as well.
"I thought instead of sitting at home I should do something. I was familiar with this work before my marriage. So, I started making dolls myself and then formed the SHG. We are able to earn quite well through this work," said Mallick.
Namita and her group are regular participants in fairs held across the country. Last year, the group exhibited their creativity at the annual India International Trade Fair in New Delhi.
Namita has till now trained more than 250 women at various skill development workshops so that they can work and earn in their leisure time.
"We formed a SHG in 2005, and one of our group members, Namita, taught us to make various things like dolls, garlands and many other items. After finishing my domestic chores, I work here," said Jotshna Adhikari, a member.
These women are able to make good money by selling hand-made items. Doll making has given new hope to women in the state who can now use their creativity to earn a livelihood.