While talking to Sanjana, who has been practicing the wax-resist dyeing technique of batik for 6 years, you get a clear understanding of not only the working conditions of the artisans associated with this NGO, but also of their lives outside of work. It is difficult for women to find work opportunities in the area, because their available time is limited by traditional family duties. Working for an NGO not only is more secure than industry jobs, but also more flexible with hours. Many women are able to work out of their homes, so that it is easier to combine domestic duties with making a living.
The rural development NGO from where batik products are sourced is very supportive of artisan growth and empowerment. They support workers to not only grow within the organization, but even to start their own businesses if they are motivated to do so. Ankita, shown here, began by sewing as a sample maker, but went to receive training in cutting and now works as the master cutter – a very rare position for women to hold.