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Savitribai Bommai

Savitribai Bommai

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“If you are an Indian woman who reads, you owe her. If you are an educated Indian woman, you owe her. If you are an Indian schoolgirl reading this chapter in English, you owe her. If you are an educated international desi woman, you owe her,” says Thom Wolf and Suzana Andrade's piece titled 'Savitribai and India's Conversation on Education', published in the Oikos Worldviews Journal in 2008.

Social reformer, educationalist, poet, Savitribai Phule is often called the Mother of Indian Feminism. The first female teacher in the first girls’ school. The child bride who fought for women’s rights in the 19th century.

Recognised by her simple tilak, covered head, and nauvari saree, Savitri is a reminder not to take the empowerment and education we have, for granted. Not to take a saree-clad woman who was married off at the age of 9, lightly.

Made of pure cotton, Savitri Bommai can be dry-cleaned or wiped clean with a damp cloth. With her trademark tilak and bangles embroidered on, she wears little cotton chappals, and carries a handcrafted cloth book. Her pre-stitched saree can be put right back in place with a few press-buttons that are easy for little fingers. Her clothes are washable and the saree is end of bolt fabric, sourced from local manufacturers. As a result, your Savitri Bommai might not arrive wearing exactly the same saree you see in the image.

The Savitri Bommai comes with a little sleeping bag and pillow that make for neat storage.

The Smritsonian is a pandemic baby, born as much out of necessity and despair, as optimism and solidarity. Journalist and writer Smriti Lamech found herself confined to a cottage in the Palani Hills, due to the unexpected and ill-planned lockdown. She was not able to head back home to Gurgaon, and her work. Instead, she chanced upon a couple of women’s self help groups that found themselves strapped for employment and income.

She took it upon herself to create business for them, and also used the opportunity to fulfill a dream – feminism taught young. She hit upon the idea of creating ragdolls out of the materials available in the little town, designed them, and worked with the ladies to help them stitch them.

Committed to reducing environmental impact, and supporting local businesses, each purchase takes the ladies one step closer towards independence and self-sufficiency.

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