Meet the Artisans of Mahaguthi
Mahaguthi is a Nepalese not-for-profit fair trade organisation that supports over 1,000 Nepali artisans. Most of these artisans are from remote and mountainous areas where work opportunities are very limited. Among them, 85 percent are women who use traditional craft skills while working from home. This allows them to earn a sustainable income while looking after their families. Artisans receive medical and education allowances, paid leave and maternity leave.
It was also Tulsi Mehar's vision to establish an ideal residential type of training centre in Manohara, Kathmandu for the care of widowed and abandoned women. In 1977, he received the "Nehru Award" as recognition for his social service and donated the whole amount of 145,000 Rs to establish a residential type training and rehabilitation center for the betterment and upliftment of widowed and destitute women of the society. This center, named after its founder the Tulsi Mehar Mahila Ashram has living quarters, a small community hospital, production workshops, a kindergarten school and a play area for children. The ashram offers a 2 year program free of charge with training in weaving, sewing, knitting and literacy classes to destitute women as well as education to their children. Tulsi Mehar died on September 27th 1978, shortly after the opening of the ashram. Today, the center is financed by 40% of Mahaguthi's yearly profit and has approximately 80 women each year in its training program. Tulsi Mehar's vision for self-empowerment and self-reliance still guides the efforts of Mahaguthi and its Ashram in its activities.