On the last day of the previous India trip I was walking through little cute shops of Arambol Beach back to the guest house where I was staying. There was one particular shop that attracted my attention. Natural and earthy colors of the softest woven scarfs, shawls and blankets were displayed there along with the brochures of what this place was.
“I am blind BUT I can Weave”- one of the photos on the brochure said. I felt a calling to walk in and check it out.
This was a fair trade shop of the organization called Yes Helping Hands Handicrafts, and as I learned at the shop, they provide practical training and employment opportunities for people living with disabilities in Nepal and Ladak, India. They started with supporting deaf and blind people and now extended opportunities for people with a range of disabilities.
Beautiful scarves, shawls and blankets are handwoven with so much love and care by blind, deaf and disabled people. Incredible.
“I wish I could buy them all!”, - I thought at that time, but funny enough I had neither money nor space left to buy any of the pieces from this shop.
They didn’t offer shipping and the only two locations you could technically buy their pieces were the only two shops: Arambol beach and Ladak, India.
I grabbed the brochure and heading back to the United States. Upon arrival I put all the receipts, business cards, brochures and flyers from India trip into one place and forgot about them. But the destiny had a different plan!
A year passed by and I started packing to go back to India this year to continue the work with Ammachi Labs on empowering women from rural villages, teaching them sewing skills and co-creating together.
Neither Arambol Beach nor Ladak, India were on the route this time. However, when I stumbled upon this brochure from last year I put it back into the bag, without even thinking twice about it... I just loved the story so much, as it was also resembling the project I am doing with Ammachi Labs, so I figured it would be a nice emotional support on the trip.
I arrived at New Delhi and checked in at the Hotel in Parahganj neighbourhood (where I have never been before in my life). Next morning i walked outside, turned around the corner- and there is was - Yes Helping Hands Shop - same beautiful creations, same name, even same brochures displayed at the entrance!
I walked in into the store and asked them: “Hey, have you expanded? I saw your shop at Arambol last year” , and they said: “No, we actually closed that location and opened new one here, in New Delhi”.
What are the odds that I would book a hotel around the corner from this new location!
This time i had enough funds and plenty of luggage space not just to buy a couple of pieces from them, but to make the wholesale order!
So, Heads Up Dear Friends! New glorka collection of ponchos and scarves from Nepal and India coming this Spring Season handwoven by blind, deaf and people with other disabilities!