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St. Mary's Mahila Shikshan Kendra

St Mary's Mahila Shikshan Kendra is a women's handicraft organization run by the Dominican Sisters in Gomtipur, Ahmedabad. This area of Ahmedabad, once known for its textile mills, suffered much unemployment since global competition closed the mills in the 1980s. It continues to attract landless laborers who come searching for work. Artisans of St. Mary's create embroidery in the tradition of the Kathiawadis, a craft more than a thousand years old. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from St. Mary's since 1987.

The artisans of St. Mary's share in decision-making and project responsibilities. The organization runs a dispensary and maternity clinic that caters to the poor and marginalized women in the area. It also runs health programs, a savings program, sewing education and children's education programs.

  • Threads of Sustainability

    Santosh Lauji’s nimble hands embroider intricate details into elaborate bedcovers and table linens. Using locally loomed cotton, a needle, colorful thread and tiny mirrors, she incorporates traditional Indian designs into stylish linens for your home.

    For 35 years Santosh has earned supplemental income for her family by doing embroidery work for Ten Thousand Villages artisan partner St. Mary’s Mahila Shikshan Kendra in Ahmedabad, India. Her work adds art to her daily life as she completes her embroidery between household chores of cleaning, washing and cooking.

    Her embroidery also represents threads of sustainability for the past 35 years. As a result of her work, her three children were able to attend school and her son currently studies computer engineering at the university, representing new opportunities for the next generation.

Handmade Products by This Artisan