Meet Divya – a visionary entrepreneur from Mumbai who found her purpose by empowering a neglected community and providing them with financial assistance to grow. Read this inspiring article about Divya and her venture ‘Dhonk’.
Like most start up ventures around the globe, Divya Khandal’s ventures were sown in a tiny garage in her modest home. Inspired by her husband’s passion for wildlife conservation and her own inclination towards community participation, she started Dhonk.
Based out of India’s Tiger capital – Ranthambore, Dhonk sustainable textiles is a social enterprise that is weaving a fabric of change. Dhonk’s mission is to provide skill training to rural tribal women, who live harmoniously with nature surrounded by endangered Tigers and other wild animals.
The skills taught to them include embroidery, block printing, sewing and other such unique art based skills. Women at Dhonk are learning the trade of local crafts and generating an income that supports them and their community. These women are not only realising the potential of the local habitat but are putting it to optimal use for creating beautiful textile based crafts and designs using traditional yet contemporary mediums. For Divya – who grew up in a metropolitan city like Mumbai, settling in a village did come as a challenge at first. She regards her progress and success to her supporting life partner who has been an inspiration, philosopher and guiding light in her life. Here’s more from Divya:
“It brings me great joy to see the phenomenal progress we have made together. Today Dhonk has employed over 100 women, for whom becoming self dependent was once a distant dream. The revenue generated from our products, made by these talented women, has helped in the adoption of 20 girls, providing them with education and everyday basic necessities.
A part of the profit we make also goes in supporting @tigerwatchranthambhore – a wildlife and habitat conservation community. We also provide health care support, micro loans and girl child education sponsorships to our employees, making Dhonk a holistic community centric business. Through Dhonk as a medium, I try to do my part in reviving traditional practices and skills which are on the brink of extinction. I would like to credit the local communities for their cooperation, dedication and passion that has helped make this social experiment thrive, for all its dependent lives to unanimously flourish in.”
For Dhonk – Tiny steps, roaring changes isn’t just a motto but a principle they consciously live by.