She Empowered Hundreds Of Women In Sikkim By Building A Strong Social Enterprise

This happy news comes to us from Sikkim, India.

A woman who was forced to become a doctor had the ambition of building a social enterprise thereby changing the lives of hundreds of women. She is none other than Devika Gurung who was given education at the Holy Cross School at Tadong and was later sent to Kolkata for further studies. However, with no interest at all to become a doctor or an engineer, she realised that her love and passion is towards art which will take her to another level in life. This made her give up the studies of medical degree and went on for a Diploma in Photography.

She realised that there is a difference between love and passion and so she quit photography and joined a BPO for a living. But she left that too and went to Gangtok where she joined a local media house as a writer. There she wrote on society related issues especially on women. It was then when she decided to do something for the upliftment of women along with continuing her passion towards art and craft. This made her start a social enterprise named ‘Fidgety ‘Fingers’.

This enterprise was started keeping two things in mind, the first being the empowerment of underprivileged women by providing financial and social independence for a sustainable livelihood and the second being the reviving of traditional forms of art like knitting and needle work. A total of 60 women have been trained till date under different projects. Devika was born in the Gurung community who were basically weavers and shepherds. Right from childhood she had been learning the weaving and knitting work which made her determination towards the same stronger.

At Fidgety Fingers, toys, shawls, home decors and many more things are made following traditional techniques. Ethnic designs and great color combinations result in awesome products. The price of the art ranged from Rs. 10 to Rs. 5,000. It also received the Special Mention’ Award in the UPSTART, Northeast Startup Challenge and Festival 2016-17 held in Assam under the category of social sector services.

The work at Fidgety Fingers is not a play and requires much confidence, patience and dedication and the women working there are prepared for the same. They have positive attitude towards life and are recognised as real heroes by Devika. She wants to expand her business to all the four districts of Sikkim and wants to empower and uplift more women.

According to Devika, anyone who can solve problems can become entrepreneurs. She not only set a path for herself but also took others along with her and made them self-reliant. May this success grow more and more and lighten up the lives of many more women.

Image Source: Book Of Achievers

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