Mijwan Welfare Society
Kaifi Azmi's belief in gender equality and social justice was most powerfully reflected in his famous penned lines 'Uth meri jaan mere saat hi chalna hai tujhe' (Aurat, 1945). He began his tireless struggle towards economic independence for the women of Mijwan and neighbouring villages in Uttar Pradesh. In 1994, Kaifi Azmi Embroidery and Sewing centre was set up on land donated by him. This Centre began in a small two room building with one sewing teacher, Rampher from the village. Kaifi lobbied with Runa Banerjee of SEWA Lucknow to send trainers to Mijwan to teach the craft of chikankari. Soon the embroidery centre under the trainer Sanjogta Devi from Mijwan was contracted by SEWA. In year 1999 Nilima Sabharwal, the founder of Home of Hope Inc. helped construct a production centre and donated several sewing machines to Kaifi Azmi Sewing and Embroidery centre. Under the leadership of HOH's Nalini Bhatt various training programmes were initiated towards capacity building. She linked MWS to Crafts of Hope founded by Rupali Saiyya based in California engaged the services of the girls to produce crochet articles to be sold on ebay. In 2009, renowned fashion designer Anita Dongre visited Mijwan and was impressed enough to take them on board under her label AND grassroots. This was a huge boost for the girls' sense of self-esteem. In 2011, leading fashion guru and Bollywood designer Manish Malhotra visited Mijwan and was enchanted by the fashion show put up by the girls from ...
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