Raksha Dhand


Story of a Woman Who Is Helping Phulkari Artisans in Showcasing their Rich Cultural & Artistic Work

Gone are the days when women were only bonded to work in the kitchen and were financially helpless. Earlier there were very few people who rarely acknowledged the fact that women were as good as men in parameters like hard work, intelligence quotient, and leadership skills.

Today also there are many women who are confident, passionate and have the enormous fire in their bellies and brains to take on the best in the business and beat in the real game. One such smart woman who is leading a self-help group cum business by using the creative skills of phulkari workers is Raksha Dhand. She is trying her best to keep the art of phulkari alive with new design trends and innovation.

Raksha Dhand is a resident of Chamkaur Town of Punjab and the president of Genda Self-Help Group. She formed this group in 2010 with the unity of 16 Phulkari workers. And after her phulkari handcrafted material cluster was approved by the Development Commissioner Handicraft (New Delhi), she never looked back. She started with a boom in upturning the Punjab’s traditional handicraft. After getting the approval, fashion designers were specially sent from NIFD to train the skilled workers under this group. Total 25 days of training was given to fully skilled workers, and gradually their work started getting admiration from the people. Slowly her group’s effort gained good numbers of customers and she started earning good profit. Today Raksha Dhand has its own shop with the name of Chamkaur Sahib Phulkari House in the same town where she lives and she sells cloth material designed, embroidered and crafted by her Genda Self-Help Group workers in the shop. Her son is supporting her with the work and all the exhibitions and events.

There was no compulsion, family pressure or financial problem which led Raksha Dhand to form a group and start selling their product. It was Raksha Dhand’s passion of showcasing the rich cultural and artistic history of Phulkari artisans and craftsmen and also to be independent. She always tries to motivate her group members and help her workers in making the use of different phulkari techniques combined with beautiful and vibrant designs to make the most attractive and unique phulkari suits, dupattas, shawls, jackets, and other products.

Currently, Raksha Dhand is living with her full-fledged happy family including husband, two sons, and daughter-in-law. Out of two sons, the younger one is settled in Australia and the elder one- Harsh Dhand is helping her mother in her business. Under her Genda self-help group, she also teaches other women the art of phulkari, so that they can also craft phulkari material and become self-independent. She buys raw material from the Ludhiana market and gives it to the workers under her group and workers spend their day-&-night to produce exceptionally beautiful phulkari products; as soon as they are done with the work, Raksha Dhand pays them on the spot. She doesn’t wait for the customers to buy the products because the workers working under her are all women and are from humble families and they also have to run their livelihood. She understands the situation of working women under her and that’s why she always pay them the right price for their work.

Future Plans:

In the future, she is planning to expand her business and make their handcrafted work get available to the people on the global level. Recently they have contacted India Mart to make a deal with them and sell their products through their website.

Message by Raksha Dhand
Every woman should be independent and do what she likes. Because if you are determined to build a future for yourself then nobody can stop you. I’m trying to give the women in my society a future, if you are also capable of doing so then take a step forward in helping the deprived females who come from poor background and teach them how they can use their skills and be independent and self-regulating.self-regulating.”