‘Illuminated’ painting by Mercedes Collado
The future is built on hope. This is what Gandhi taught us through his words and his actions. Today, when hope is tested in so many ways, we turn to the “Father of India” as a powerful reminder that we can create the future we want to see. At Novica, this begins with choosing handmade.
Gandhi, too, understood that handmade crafts were intimately linked to economic freedom and self-determination. He championed the movement of Swadeshi, which celebrated local craftsmanship, particularly around the production of cloth and indigenous weaving practices in India.
Today, artisan empowerment is as important as ever. As we celebrate Gandhi’s birthday, we remember his enduring legacy of hope and the change that is possible when we put it into practice.
Putting Beliefs Into Practice
We asked Indian artisans what inspiration they derive from Gandhi and how they put his teachings into practice in their own lives.
“Gandhi’s principles have taught us a lot, and one we strongly believe in is simple living and high thinking. We practice sustainability by reducing waste, making useful products from scraps, using natural fabrics and materials, avoiding harmful chemicals, and supporting small businesses rather than fast fashion. Two and a half years ago, we turned vegan, which has impacted and inspired family, friends, customers, and suppliers.”
“Our society teaches us to believe and live in a caste system and to treat others that way. Being a Brahmin girl, I was born into a high caste whose traditional occupation is Hindu priesthood. But my thoughts have evolved, and I am proud to work with minority communities. I don’t treat them differently. They are my friends, my brothers, and sisters. I have created my own personal relationships where society’s thoughts don’t come around.”
“I put Gandhi’s teachings into practice by trying my best to be truthful, non-violent and provide selfless service. I also try to boldly express my views, suggestions and thoughts. I work to provide education to the family members of the artisans I work with who are unable to study because of financial problems. They are the future of our country.”
“Family bonding is the change I want to bring about. Nowadays people prefer to live only in a nuclear family. But for me, extended family togetherness is the strongest power one can have to stand firm in your life. I take initiative to arrange family get-togethers and spend time with one another. Together, there is no limit to Happiness.”