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Archana found her way to Samoolam because of admiration. She’d watched Anju Devi, who lived right across from her house, work skilfully with thread and needle to create lovely little crochet pieces every day. Archana was unemployed at the time, and stayed at home to take care of her sick mother. Her mother encouraged her to find some work and earn money for herself, so she approached Anju Devi who happily took her to Samoolam. She showed enthusiasm for learning- her mother encouraged her to learn something to earn money with. She worked hard at creating crochet pieces, and has been working in Samoolam for eleven years now.

Archana had always dreamt of working at a bank, being well respected as a working woman. Her dream quickly dissipated into thin air as her mother fell sick, and she had to drop out of school in eighth grade to take care of her. She’s always wondered what her life would have been like if things were different, but she’s made peace with her present life after joining Samoolam. After all, part of her dream had come true. Her family did not have to worry about her needs, and she could help her family should they ever need it.

She jokes about how, even though Usha is her superior at work when they all sit together and patiently help each other learn new designs, she feels like she’s sitting with her family. Samoolam has evolved into a second home for her, as they celebrate and overcome obstacles together. It is her hard work, of course, that has led to all this.

She thanks her mother for teaching her the basics of crochet, and Anju Devi for showing her a whole new world of crochet. And she thanks Samoolam, for helping her realise her dream of being a respected working woman.

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