Saraswati Devi lives alone in the Indian Himalayas, a common occurrence for women living in the remote village. Her husband left for better
work opportunities at a neighboring village, and her son lives with him to attend school. The 34-year-old only sees her family once every
Her days used to be long, hard and lonely, waking up before sunrise to forage for firewood in the forest. She made very little money
and worried often about her well being.
Now she makes money by sewing, an opportunity made possible by the Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey and Village Ways Charitable Trust. In addition to the
financial benefits, sewing has also brought her closer to the other women in the village, and has lessened her loneliness, talking
to her colleagues while working and sitting in the sun.
This partnership has also brought in master health educators from Delhi to teach Saraswati and her friends about good health, hygiene
and nutrition. Saraswati often worked on an empty stomach, but now she understands the importance of investing in her own health and
eats at a low cost, but balanced breakfast before starting her chores. She also learned to keep typhoid and jaundice at bay by using
water sanitation tablets.
Thanks to Ann Taylor, LOFT, Lou & Grey and Village Ways Charitable Trust, Saraswati has been able to grow her skills, and her income. Most importantly, she
worries less about her daily life and dreams more about her future.