Pleasure and Purpose through Beautiful Baskets

"I love to do the floral patterns and design on the baskets. It is very joyful and satisfying to see the finished work. It is also very humbling to see how much creativity and talent the Lord has blessed our sisters with as they weave beautiful baskets."
Basket weaving was introduced at Mukti by Manoramabai, Pandita Ramabai's daughter in 1917, over a century ago, to empower the blind women in the mission. In the beginning grass was washed, dried and coloured to make the baskets, then banana leaves and today they are made from sisal fibre.

The work requires time and patience, taking a month to make a basket. When the work is in progress, Susheela, the supervisor, constantly guides the women as they weave. Shopping, fruit, sewing and waste paper baskets are created.

Many visitors appreciate this unique work, baskets are sturdy and durable and much in demand. The ladies have an elephantine memory and remember the visitors by name. They love the work that they do and are proud of it. As they weave they sing, composing beautiful songs as they raise their voices.

Ranjana sums it up:

“I love to do this work of basket making. We begin our work each day with prayer. I have been making baskets for the last forty years and this gives me a lot of happiness. Being creatively and productively occupied gives me an immense sense of satisfaction.”