Sadhna is a cooperative of women artisans operating in and around the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan. They work with traditional Rajasthani stitchery techniques of appliqué and tanka embroidery to create colorful 100% cotton bedspreads, tablecloths and cushion covers.
Sadhna is a division of Seva Mandir, a non-profit organization established 40 years ago to address the development needs of the rural, predominantly tribal populations of Udaipur district. The Hindi word sadhna literally means ‘moving towards a goal’ and Sadhna’s goal is to provide a means for rural women to make a living through producing quality handcrafted textiles for the home.
Twenty-five years after its inception, Sadhna, which started in 1988 with 15 women artisans, now has 625 member owners. Member owners share equally in the profits and vote to elect a managing committee that is responsible for daily operations as well as business development. Women applying to join Sadhna go through 3 months of skills training conducted by experienced artisan members.
Sadhna operates two retail outlets in the city of Udaipur and has expanded to cities like New Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, and Chennai. It also promote its products through participating in government sponsored handicrafts exhibitions as well as seeking out orders from retail chains specializing in home décor and textiles. Through this process Sadhna receives design and marketing ideas and offers skills and design development workshops to its members several times a year.
In addition to providing its members with the means to earn a livelihood, Sadhna’s mission also includes empowering them to become conscious agents of their own destiny. This is accomplished by creating awareness of educational, health, social and political issues that impact the lives of the members. Through their involvement with Sadhna’s unique model, the women become aware of their own ability to influence and direct their lives not only in the workplace but within their families, communities and beyond.