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IN CONVERSATION WITH NEERU SHARMA

With limited access to formal education, rural communities fail to generate sustainable income and pull themselves out of the poverty line. So it's heartening to hear of designers like Neeru Sharma promoting sustainable community development. Her label is an exceptional illustration of how the fashion industry is giving back… she has transformed the ancient handicraft of crochet with the most stunning on-trend ensembles while also providing economic security to women hired from rural communities.

 

''Handicrafts, particularly crochet, has been a passion since childhood'' she reveals. ''My grandmother taught me crochet and knitting at the age of 8. I honed my skills over the years and continually experimented with new, contemporary ideas for handicrafts. After a long career of teaching school kids, and becoming a grand mom, I took the plunge of pursuing a formal career in Fashion. With the vision of empowering rural women in Rajasthan by giving them work, I launched 'Ladli Creations'''. Showcasing in Jaipur means a lot to her. ''It's a grassroot enterprise comprising of me and an all-women workforce hailing from Jaipur and neighbouring villages and towns. Over the years I have been training these women through my NGO 'Ladli Creations Sansthan'. So this isn't only an attempt to cater to our fashion-conscious clientele but an earnest venture to employ women and invigorate the crafts of rural Rajasthan.

 

Speaking of Rajasthan Style Fest, it ensconces fashion, beauty, music and culture. Through this platform, I hope to reach out to people and promote handicrafts… to take the work of rural women who work with me, to a larger number of people. I'm pretty excited to showcase my collection! Layering is key so expect bustiers, shorts and dresses layered with crochet shrugs and throws!! Following Rajasthan Style Fest, I plan to hold workshops in villages across Rajasthan, where I would be teaching crochet and other handicrafts to women. I also plan to hold exhibits in Jaipur, Delhi and Mumbai and then in Mumbai and Goa through the store, O.M.O which showcases handicrafts made by my NGO.''
 

RAJASTHAN STYLE FEST
Neeru Sharma conducts a workshop in rural Rajasthan
 
18-JANUARY-2018
 
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