ART, ACTIVISM, EMPOWERMENT & SUSTAINABILITY
" Education, safety & nourishment are not luxuries, but rather basic human rights that are everyone's right regardless of personal wealth & gender. "
ABOUT OUR INITIATIVE
Handmaking Hope is a Non-Governmental Organization focused on attempting to help raise funds for the education of the girl child in India: a country where girls are denied education and seen merely as objects of the patriarchy. Handmaking Hope has conducted a series of enterprising fund-raisers at the intersection of art, activism and Indian culture.
Handmaking Hope was founded in 2016 by Yukti Agarwal & her grandmother. Her parents and her grandmother fought with society to provide Yukti with the best education she could get, and having seen the hardships her family had to endure to send her to a good school for her primary and high school education, and then to the United States for her Bachelors Degree, she decided to create a platform to help other girls like her to get the education they deserved.
The name 'Handmaking Hope' comes from our inexplicable love of everything handmade. The history, love and delicacy that is interlaced in the very fabric of handmade entities is what we value and what we hope to spread through the lengths and widths of the nation. We handmake HOPE through our philosophy of sustainability where we ensure that each woman, and each girl child can sustain themselves through a practice of craft. The use of the present participle is used to make sure that we are always handMAKING hope, each day, each moment, and with each project.
All of our projects begin with an in-depth exploration of a topic that we wish to immerse in. We begin by identifying a threatened group of individuals within the nation state of India and researching specifically into the position of the girl child in that society. Our research is not about going into a community as an outsider, but rather to serve as a mere spectator and understand WITH the community. We collect information through primary research which is almost always on-site, and secondary research which relies on scholarly insight.
We design with the community, not for the community. Our design philosophy aims to support the local artisans and craftsmen of India. Our design empowers those who handmake within our society. We practice sustainability to encourage our local arts: hand weaving, hand making paper, hand screen-printing and discourage the use of powered tools such as power looms, hot press papers, and powered printing.
Our outreach program goes towards spreading the love interlaced in everything handmade around the country and even around the world. The money raised by spreading our handmade love is what funds the handmade hope spread to the girls around India. The money, through entirely transparent channels, goes directly into funding the education of the girls who are most in the need for it. The education they receive hopefully helps them foster hope for a brighter future than the one that was charted out for them.
Yukti Agarwal is currently a student at Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design. She started Handmaking Hope as a place for solidarity for the girl child in India while she was in school in Mumbai. Nestled in the bustling city, the J. B. Petit High School for Girls is an all-girls school which was started for Indian girls to get the education they were denied during the British Era. Inspired by the strife to provide every girl child with an education, and her the struggle that her parents and nani (grandmother) faced to provide her with the best education, Yukti embarked on her own journey to extend this initiative beyond the walls of her school to Indian girls from communities that deny women education. As the first girl in her family to receive an education abroad, Yukti values the power of knowledge and education and is persistent in her strife to give each girl the education she too deserves.
EDUCATION IS OUR BIRTHRIGHT. TOGETHER, LET'S CLAIM IT.
Masthead Image by Pavanee Giroti