Seventy-year-old Mithipoov from Porthimandu in the Nilgiris, takes a 45-minute drive to Ooty every once a week with a bag of embroidered fabrics. The embroidery, called Toda embroidery, is the pride of her community and is practised by the women of the household.
“I get paid instantly for my work, which is a great source of income. More importantly, it is a matter of pride that my work is reaching the world. Earlier, it was challenging for us to sell our products,” she shares with The Better India.
For the past 15 years, she has been travelling to Shalom Ooty, founded by Sheela Powell to sell her products. Mithipoov is one of the 200 women who work with Sheela.
“This form of embroidery is only done by the Toda community, and if not preserved, it will eventually die,” opines 59-year-old Sheela. “India has so many such hidden artworks that are becoming a victim to mass-manufactured goods.”
She sits down to discuss her tireless efforts spanning over…