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Bond with hope

It was November when Neelima Dorke’s 15-year-old stamped his feet...

Written by Shashi Priya |
August 3, 2009 2:30:54 am

For the hundreds of women who turn rakhi karigars from February onwards to craft the bond of love,the festival brings added joy in the form of extra income to the family

It was November when Neelima Dorke’s 15-year-old stamped his feet,shed tears and launched an I-want-a-bicycle campaign. Dorke’s husband,a mechanic at a garage and Dorke herself a housewife had to look for ways to console the teenager,whose demand for the bike was strong enough to create a discord between the two. And the saving grace to the family feud came in February when,like many other women in Parvati,she too joined the rakhi making group. This is one group for which rakhi brings more joy than one — an extra source of income.

Every year,over 800 rakhi karigars engage in rakhi making to earn a considerable amount of money to add to their regular income. So it is not just gifts these women seek from their brothers every rakhi but also a gift from the bond of love itself that rakhi every year presents them in the form of monetary benefits. And as the festival is just round the corner,the families of these karigars silently join their hands to thank Rakhi – the festival that adds the extra glitter of hope to their lives.

While Dorke’s son Shyam will be flaunting his Avon bicycle,Kavita Tikhe another rakhi karigar will add extra Rs 5,000 to her bank account. “In one month we earn a minimum of Rs 3,000. Only by making rakhi,I was able to save Rs 20,000 in my account,” says 22-year-old Tikhe,who also supports her family from the money that pours in during the six-month duration. Tikhe has been bearing the expense of her younger brother’s studies from the money she earns by making rakhis. And it is not just Tikhe,who will add the extra amount to her account,Sama Jaan will be saving for her youngest daughter’s marriage and so will be Shanta Gavhane.

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“Most of them are residents of Parvati or Bibvewadi and the Peth areas who come to us on the lookout for a job. During Rakhi,all of us are in need of karigars so we employ them,” says Rajesh Narayn Das Zadiya,properitor,Heera Moti Rakhi,Ganesh Peth,who employs around 150 karigars every season during rakhi. The karigars earn a minium of Rs 3,000 a month. “We make 10 to 20 bundles in a day and are paid accordingly. The money we make is a boon to our families,” says Rama Tai,who has been a rakhi karigar for seven years.

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