Her children left her but, she still has a family

Basanti, Kakku, Bikaner

Wool Spinner Basanti from Kakku Bikaner

“Namaskar, my name is Basanti. Like the girl in the movie “Sholay”! I have been a katwari (wool-spinner) for 40 years now. I have been working for Jaipur rugs for almost 20 years. The women in Kakku (a village in Rajasthan) are mostly farmers and katwaaris. We work in the fields for four months in a year, July, August, September and October, that is when the monsoons start and the sun is bearable, while rest of the year we work for Jaipur rugs. Before bhai saab came to kakku, our life was very hard. The contractors were not very just to us. They never gave us anything that we deserved. So, along with spinning wool I also made bricks. That was a very difficult job. The heat is unbearable in the summers and we had to make bricks outdoors. The sun here is not very kind. I used to get paid only Rs. 500 for making one thousand bricks, after draining out all my energy in the souring heat. But now it is not like that. I still work very hard, eight hours a day but, inside a godown, with fans and get paid well for it. My children have all grown up and gone away from home. When I come to work I don’t feel so lonely anymore, there is a sense of family among the workers here. This money is a good source for my survival too. I really like the work. I am comfortable and I feel like I can take care of myself without anyone’s help. I am grateful for what bhai saab has done for us here. He is a good man”.