Artisan Organization: Yusra
"I'm from Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh. I have been deaf from birth. My family and friends describe me as a sharp-minded girl with the ability to understand things very quickly. I love to travel and appreciate the beauty of nature. I also love to dance, which I can easily learn by watching others.
"I attended school in Aligarh but couldn't continue my studies after tenth grade. The school authorities were reluctant to let me continue my education since I was a girl, and they were afraid that something bad would happen since I cannot hear or speak.
"Ever since my childhood days, I have been fascinated by the craftwork that my uncle did. He used to make boxes and other decorative pieces. I would sit and watch him work for hours. At times, I would help him in his work, which gave me satisfaction and happiness. I earned a diploma in crafting from Aligarh Muslim University. Paper quilling fascinated me the most, and I decided to try my hand at it.
"I use recycled paper, glue, and acrylic paints to create amazing baskets. They are made entirely by hand. First, the recycled paper is cut into strips of all different sizes, which are then rolled to create the desired shape. It is then decorated with fabric paint. The strips or shapes are then joined together with glue to create the desired design. I work by myself, assisted only by my mother and sister. My uncle's craftwork still inspires me.
"I dream of having a workshop of my own and making more wonderful designs in the future. I also wish to teach other people who are interested in this craft so that we can make beautiful things together and spread them all over the world. I am thankful to you for giving me an opportunity to showcase my talent through my work.""