Artisan Organization: Anil Khandelwal
"I'm from the vibrant state of Rajasthan. I come from a humble family of farmers, as this is the main activity in our village. We were a big family of six brothers and three sisters, so it was great fun growing up together. I remember my childhood and youth as being fun and simple. Back then there, were no such things as video games or amusement parks, so my friends and I would ride our bicycles in and around the village, and played outdoor games like marbles, badminton and football.
"I studied up to 10th grade and, since my village didn't have schools of higher education, I went to Alwar to do my further studies. I was always very keen on studying so, after finishing high school, I moved to Jaipur to study, first a Bachelor's degree in commerce and then I later studied law.
"After I finished my studies, I got a job in Rajasthan roadways and, during that time, I was introduced to Babulal. He was already in the handicrafts sector and he was looking for some trustworthy person to help him. Ganpat, my friend and a featured artisan, introduced me to Babulal and I started working with him. I learned a lot, including embroidery work, block-printing, and more. Once I started working with him, I realized this is where I should be and left my job at the Rajasthan roadways.
"We do all kinds of home decor and small furniture, and have shown our works in exhibitions in India and abroad. We work with many women artisans who specialize in hand embroidery, mirror work and patchwork, as well as in dori, or 'cord' work. Altogether, we work with many artisans in a number of villages, and it makes me very proud to be able to help artisans by providing them with work.""