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Chhoti Si Asha

Chhoti Si Asha is rHope's partner in Chandigarh, India. It is a volunteer-driven social enterprise that propels underprivileged youth and women in Chandigarh to build sustainable livelihood. Founded in 2006, by Liza Chawla Chhoti Si Asha operates a livelihood program, Stitch-a-Living, where the community members learn vocational skills for making handbags, file folders, office stationary and lifestyle decor products. In addition to the vocational skills program, Chhoti Si Asha assists its community in availing government schemes in education, health, and the public food distribution. CSA is currently being run by Liza and Indicorps fellow Divya

Besides building financial independence for our team members, we place an emphasis on personal growth and hold workshops on meditation, theater, and co-operative game playing.

The products presented in this website are made as part of the "Stich-a-Living" program of Chhoti Si Asha. This program provides an avenue for women from the slums of Chandigarh to earn a sustainable income. Our initiative builds off a skill set that the women already possess, stitching. Women are trained to make high-quality contemporary and niche products, including handbags, conference and event merchandise, home accessories and jewelry. As an organization that embodies fair trade principles, the women are paid fair wages.

The slum community where the women reside, is predominately composed of migrant workers from the villages of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. According to age-old social norms, most women are forbidden from leaving their homes during the day. Thus the women that we employ are change-makers who break the cycle of oppression by leaving their homes, earning a living (that often compares to their husbands) and participating in important financial decisions for their families. The women have told us time and time again that the avenue that Chhoti Si Asha has given them for an interaction with a world outside of their home has given them confidence and assisted them in discovering their own strengths and agency.

Each woman has a unique story. Each piece of their story become part of the products. Through this website you are invited to join us as we continue to build our narratives and dreams. We hope that you too will play a part in our story.