Laxmiben is one of the Master Cutter at Okhai and has been associated with the handicrafts project for the last 12 years. Managing a group of 20 women, she specialises in cutting and designing colour patterns.

Okhai has helped women like Laxmiben become monetarily independent while also helping them develop their individual skills. "While earlier we would do patchwork or embroidery for homemade blankets, today we work with bedsheets, cushion covers and kurtas to be sold at Okhai stores. At Okhai our designs are very intricate and it requires us to pay special attention to detail," says Laxmiben.

Okhai conducts frequent training sessions for rural women, helping them understand fashion trends and colour patterns. Apart from this, they also visit exhibitions across India. "Earlier we use to work with only four colours but after joining Okhai I understand more about various shades of each colour and also about colour combinations. We frequently visit malls, designer showrooms to understand fashion, understand details about handicrafts and gain inspiration."

Designing for Okhai has also changed over the years says Laxmiben adding, "All our designs are created keeping our customer in mind. While earlier we used to bring out new designs every six months, it is now updated every three months with there being certain times when designs are reworked every month."

Life has definitely changed for women like Laxmiben who previously had not even seen a bank but now travel to Delhi and Bengaluru without any fear. Her family has now shifted from a rented house to one of their own and she can also afford to send her children to private schools.