The concrete floor in her house was cracked with potholes. It never seemed to get clean the way she wanted it to be no matter how hard she tried. Every thing around her seemed to be dull, gloomy and de-motivating. Housework, childcare, cooking, cleaning, the work never ended. The overwhelming responsibility of taking care of two children with cerebral palsy weighed heavily on her shoulders in a never-ending cycle of burden.
That was the story of her life.
Why was life so hard? Kanesgawary didn't find an answer. She struggled with guilt, exhaustion, and conflicting emotions as she carried on her daily life. She was not motivated to do more than what she was doing To make matters worse, there was no steady income stream for the family as her husband was often in and out of work. Leaving the home was not an option. Her children can barely feed themselves let alone use the toilet on their own. Besides, after years of isolation, Kanesgawary lacked the self-esteem and confidence to look for a better life.
In 2003, a good friend advised her to join Salaam Wanita's eco-basket project. And for her, the best thing Salaam Wanita offered her was to give her an opportunity to learn something new - weaving, handphone and financial management skills. She surprised herself when she started to earn income after mastering the weaving skill. She does not have to go outside of the house or leave her two children at home; she can receive and confirm her orders and schedule deliveries from home with the donated used mobile phone. She could finally earn an income and take care of her children at the same time. She no longer feels lonely as she can now engage in active communication with her fellow weavers, buyers and magazine donors.
Kanesgawary's economic stability and quality of life has improved greatly since then. She knows how to find information to do what she wants, like learning how to care for children with disabilities, and where to find used magazines. Seminars on spiritual healing also helped her to see through her perceived miseries. Surprisingly, her higher confidence level inspires her artistic creativity - something she never thought she had. Creating something new makes her excited. She no longer feels dull and lethargic.
Now she takes initiative to experiment with different weaving techniques and she is the creator of the Designer Laundry Basket in the SW eco-basket project. Her large laundry basket is a piece of art. In fact, she is the only one who produces such a basket. What made her to attempt to make such beautiful baskets in the first place? She says with a broad smile on her face, "I wanted to make something new and special because I had never done something like this in my life." Se her basket in the Live line of products.
Her husband, at first rather reluctant to accept the new Kanesgawary ,is now more supportive as he realizes that the income she brings in with basket weaving is vital to the family's well being. Kanesgawary now orchestrates her household with faith in herself and her future.
People who have known her before 2002 are surprised to see how chatty and cheerful she is now. She has changed a lot during these 4 years. She now talks with a smile, enthusiastically explaining how she tries out new designs for her laundry basket, and shares her techniques with others.
Kanesgawary stands proudly in her tidy home as her children color contently on the floor. The holes in her floor are filled. Her husband helps her to transport baskets to the collection area for Salaam Wanita as he has come to realize that his wife is his equal.