Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Workmanship

In the  month of  January we permitted  a government approved  charity to  hold a small exhibition cum sale for  10 days  in a tiny corner of  our  church  campus.

This  charity assists  and  trains  underprivileged  young  women from  rural  and  semi rural areas  to  learn  various handicrafts  and  skills . After  attending  their  school/college and finishing  their  household chores  the  girls  come  together to  learn needlework skills.

They  then sell the  fruit of  their  labour in the city and handicraft fairs. The money they  earn boosts  their family  income empowers  them as  women and  gives  them  self confidence as useful  earning  members  of society at large.

If they  sell  their  products to  city  shops  and traders, they  have  to  contend  with middlemen who  buy them  very cheaply and  sell  them at  exorbitant prices. For  example they  would purchase  a  hand  embroidered  bed cover  for  Rs 300  or so and  sell it  for   Rs  1000 in  the  shops. The  girls  hardly get  anything  for their  labour.

The  government  has  instituted  an Handicrafts Association under whose umbrella charitable   societies  can run  training programmes and also hold  sales.   Financial  aid  is  provided  for this  purpose.

We  thought this  to  be  a  noble  idea , so these  girls  could display their  skills  and  earn  some  money on our  campus.

Have a look at their handmade  linen and  clothes















The  girls  came by and chatted  with  mummy and me.
We  asked  them about their  lives and  families.
Before leaving they said
we spoke so kindly  to them.
One girl remarked to my mother,
"Aunty  we feel  you  have  a  heart
of  compassion  for  the  poor".
 'Not  all  city women are  so friendly '.

All  glory belongs  to God.

A  few  days   ago I read in  my newspaper  that
my  state  of  Uttar Pradesh has  the  most
cases  of  human rights  violations
in  the   whole  of  India.
Most  of  these  crimes are  against women.
The  police  is  no  help
thousands  of  complaints
have   been registered against
the  police.
Read  a  report  about  this
from  The Times  of  India

I want  to  conclude this post  with a
positive note with
the following article  by Ravi Zacharias



Our Father, the Weaver

By Ravi Zacharias

Some years ago, I was visiting a place known for making the best wedding saris in the world. They were the producers of saris rich in gold and silver threads, resplendent with an array of colors. With such intricacy of product, I expected to see some elaborate system of machines that would boggle the mind in production. But this image could not have been farther from the real scene. Each sari was made individually by a father and son team. The father sat above the son on a platform, surrounded by several spools of thread that he would gather into his fingers.

The son had only one task. At a nod from his father, he would move the shuttle from one side to the other and back again. This would then be repeated for hundreds of hours, until a magnificent pattern began to emerge. The son certainly had the easier task. He was only to move at the father's nod. But making use of these efforts, the father was working to an intricate end. All along, he had the design in his mind and was bringing the right threads together.

The more I reflect on my own life and study the lives of others, I am fascinated to see the design God has for each one of us individually, if we would only respond.

All through our days, little reminders show the threads that God has woven into our lives. Allow me to share a story from my own experience. As one searching for meaning in the throes of a turbulent adolescence, I found myself on a hospital bed from an attempted suicide. It was there that I was read the 14th chapter of John's Gospel.

My attention was fully captured by the part where Jesus says to his disciples: "Because I live, you shall live also" (John 14:19). I turned my life over to Christ that day, committing my pains, struggles, and pursuits to his able hands.

Almost 30 years to the day after this decision, my wife and I were visiting India and decided to visit my grandmother's grave. With the help of a gardener we walked through the accumulated weeds and rubble until we found the stone marking her grave.

With his bucket of water and a small brush, the gardener cleared off the years of caked-on dirt. To our utter surprise, under her name, a verse gradually appeared. My wife clasped my hand and said, "Look at the verse!"

It read: "Because I live, you shall live also."

A purposeful design emerges when the Father weaves a pattern from what to us may often seem disparate threads. Even today, if you will stop and attend to it, you will see that God is seeking to weave a beautiful tapestry in your life.

15 Fertilize my soul:

Diane said...

What equisite work the women do! I know your church will be blessed for assisting them in finding a way to supplement their family income and for helping them to find purpose and value in their lives. It is the open door for introducing them to the Saviour! Thank you for sharing.

Many hugs............

Diane

Felisol said...

Dear Amrita,
You have found a good way to help young girls to dignity and self providing. What wonderful work both you and they are doing.
I hope you also in this way have been a good introduction to what real Christianity is.
I am proud by the good testimony they gave you.
from felisol

Amrita said...

Thank you for your positive encouragement Diane and felisol. I know you would have done the same if you were in my place.And you are reaching out to people around you too.
I have posted a newspaper link just now. Its about human rights violations in my state, thought people might be made aware of this too.

FlowerLady said...

I have read about this program or one like it before, and was very touched by the story. It is so wonderful that these young women have a place where they can sell their exquisite handmade work.

What a blessing for them to be able to have a sale there on your loving and caring campus. May Jesus Light touch their lives and fill their hearts.

God's Blessings on you and your Mom for showing love to these young women.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

Jeanette said...

I love both parts of this post, Amrita. The hours and hours and hours of careful work that have gone into that embroidery and sewing...I can't even imagine it. And to me, the most beautiful things are still made by hand.

And then the writing by Ravi Zacharias brought tears to my eyes. We don't always get to see the picture that God is weaving, but when He gives us a glimpse -- such as He gave Ravi at his grandmother's grave -- it is truly amazing and wonderful!

Dani said...

Beautiful workmanship by the young ladies....I really appreciate the fine quality of the work..
and yes, I've been reading about the violence in India..but didn't realize it was in your state...sending more prayers for your safety...

John Cowart said...

Hi Amrita,

This is exciting and wonderful news about how you are helping these young women become self supporting through their craft work.

One suggestion: think about setting up some sort of website where they can sell their handiwork on line to the world at large. Lots of work there, but with your computer skills that might be possible.

I also notice again how you yourself managed to weave a tapestry of words, experiences, newspaper clippings, and photos to portray Christ in India.

John

Ash said...

As always, an inspiring and uplifting post.

I love that embroidery, would love to wear that salwar suit :-)

Robin said...

Beautiful pictures of the clothing and embroidery-wish I could find that here in the usa. May God bless you as you share your life and heart with us as always:)

Becky said...

oh, the embroidery is amazing!

Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Oh what an inspiring post this is. Truly our heavenly Father is the Master Weaver, weaving different types and colors of threads to come up with an intricate design that was already embedded in His mind. And after the work is done, we see the most beautiful and awe inspiring finished product for all the world to marvel at. Helping the less privileged ladies in your place surely lighten the burden they have to carry on their tiny shoulders. Thanks for the post. God bless you always.

David C Brown said...

"She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands!, Proverbs 31: 13 - the woman of worth.

newlifeislikethis said...

It's been a long, long while since my last visit. So good to be here and touched by your posts, Amrita.

JI said...

A very inspiring post. I love the handicrafts displayed here. They are so colourful and pretty. I try to bring back a few handicrafts whenever I go to India.

I liked the quote from Ravi Zacharias. It's so true. God is the grand weaver.

Amrita said...

Dar frinds I thank each one of you for talking to me.

Indian women are slowly emerging and world changers - the ones from poor backgrounds I mean.
The elite city women are very smart. These are the ones who have to be given a hand up.

Dear John, the social organization under whose direction these girls work arranges for the sale of the items produced by them. I will suggest the website idea to their President.