NOT DETERRED by lack of education or entrepreneurial skills, 31-year-old Pabiben Rabari, from Bhadroi village in Anjar taluka of Kutch, used her embroidery skills and now runs her own entreprise ‘Pabi Bag’.
Pabiben, who had studied till Class IV only, was honoured with the “quality mark women award” by an Ahmedabad-based trust at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on Sunday. She was accompanied by her husband and two sons — aged 10 and two-and-a-half.
She had started her entreprise two years ago and now employs 50 women from her village, and dreams of giving jobs to at least 500 women.
“The community leaders had banned the hand embroidery in our village as girls would get too much involved in it and made it their top priority, which resulted in their marriage getting delayed. Such was the case that women would reach the age of 35 and not get married. So, the hand embroidery was banned,” Pabiben told The Indian Express.
However, she persisted with her interest and decided to promote hari jari embroidery and stitch designer bags. Now, according to Pabiben, bags prepared by her unit are not only sold across India, but also shipped to international clients with the help of her website.
She was one of the 3,000 artisans from across the world to be invited to the recent Santa Fe Folk Art Festival in the United States. Pabiben, however, said she could not get a visa.
The awards were given to 60 women, including two physically challenged, from 7 to 70 years of age from nine states. They were honoured by chairperson of Gujarat women commission Lilaben Ankolia.
Among the awardees was Darshita Shah (50), an Ahmedabad resident whose 90 per cent body is affected by polio. Working as officer on special duty at Apang Manav Mandal in Ahmedabad for eight years and also founder of a charitable trust, Shah had received the National Award for the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities in 2013. She is also named in the Limca Book of Records for having 18 education degrees, including five master degrees.
“I only want to tell all parents to not differentiate against their children if they suffer from physical disability and promote them as my parents did,” said Darshita.
While Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla and MoS for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti were also listed as guests of honour for the event, they did not turn up.