Slide toggle

Welcome to Sahaj

Women’s work cannot be understood within the dichotomy of paid and unpaid, or the public and private. May it be the unpaid, invisiblized and unacknowledged household and care work, or the paid participation in the labour force, or the subsistence activities women engage in, women’s work is always mired within the politics of gender.

Sahaj – An Organization for Women’s Development

Have a Question?

3802, 2nd Floor, Above Hutaib Stationary, Kathiria Bajar, Dahod. Gujarat. 389151. 0091 7016415689

Category: Handmade

SAHAJ: Simple Efforts To Increase Incomes Of Rural Women

SAHAJ: Simple Efforts To Increase Incomes Of Rural Women

You enter the place and you see pretty looking colorful beaded jewelry, bamboo articles, quilts, decorative handicraft goods & accessories and a bunch of women thoroughly enjoying themselves making those pieces. A fun place to work at -that is exactly the kind of impression you get when you walk into SAHAJ’s premises.

Situated in the Dahod district of eastern Gujarat, SAHAJ has been working towards its mission of “empowering tribal women by providing livelihood opportunities and choices for earning and living a better life” since 2001 as an established organization. It started informally in the year 1994 as a branch of N.M. Sadguru Water and Development Foundation. SAHAJ provides off-farm income generation opportunities to the rural women of Gujarat by making use of their handicraft skills and creating a niche market for tribal handicrafts.


From providing employment to 12 women artisans at the time of its inception to helping over 1400 artisans add significantly to their household income, SAHAJ has come a long way. SAHAJ has fair trade as its core value and believes in the way of trading wherein the producers benefit from the structure unlike conventional trade where the artisans are exploited.


Before getting the artisans started with the work, SAHAJ ensures that they have enough skills and are well trained to do their job in the best possible manner. SAHAJ organizes over 300 training sessions each year, reaching about 2000-2500 artisans producing different crafts. Alongwith the initial training sessions for beginners, SAHAJ offers skill upgrades, design workshops, bank linkages and awareness programs to help the artisans enhance their expertise. To keep its people motivated, SAHAJ lets the producer groups participate in their exhibitions as well. The producer groups visit the place of exhibitions and are taken on a day tour of the city on the last day. Participation in exhibitions is also a great learning experience for them in terms of interacting with new people, learning about consumer behavior and getting a taste of the urban life.

What sets SAHAJ apart from any other cottage industry is its “Cluster approach”. Keeping in mind the challenges that the village artisans face even while working part time, SAHAJ has made it easy for its people in common-craft groups to work together at ‘Common Facility Centers (CFC)’. CFCs are support-centers where artisans working on a particular craft come together and work. This makes it easy for them to leverage each others’ expertise in producing high quality craft. Also, the decentralization of these centers makes it easy for the artisans to participate since all of them do not have to travel to Dahod. At present, SAHAJ has 7 successful CFCs in Gujarat.

For developing products that appeal to the masses, SAHAJ does its own research work. It has a design cell where various designers from NIFT and NID give their recommendations on products like jewelry, furniture, garments and toys from time to time.

True leadership lies in making yourself redundant in the process. That’s exactly what SAHAJ does with its employees. It encourages their independence in the long run by providing them many business development services. SAHAJ provides the artisans opportunities to undergo extensive training sessions and become a part of every aspect of production. SAHAJ also provides them with business infrastructure and support services like finance, education and counseling.

SAHAJ has helped thousands of women in Gujarat find pride and a higher social status. One such woman is Shardaben Kochra who says “I used to migrate as a construction labor before I started my work with SAHAJ at the age of 31 years. I am at present the head of 50 women working mainly in stitching and embroidery. The financial stability that I have gained by working with SAHAJ has allowed me to educate my children in private schools.”

There are many such happy stories and many more are yet to be created. It wouldn’t be long before other states start replicating SAHAJ’s model and improve the quality of rural life of their people.

To know more about SAHAJ, you can go to:

Beadwork – In Depth

Beadwork – In Depth

The art of creation glass beads probably originated in Venice, Italy. From early 14th century, the production of beads started. From there the production of beads encouraged to other parts of Europe, the most prominent being Bohemia, France, England, and Holland.
But this art came in limelight in Gujarat from 19th century and flourished till 20th century.
Gujarat is considered the centre of bead craft in India. This craft was first produced in Junagadh and was practiced for several years. Now it is also practiced in the Saurashtra region, Rajkot, Amerli, Ahmadabad, and Dahod. Skilled tribes make delicate and beautiful items using beads and string them together.
Beadwork is basically a craft that is done by stringing beads together and forming beautiful and colourful pieces like showpieces, jewellery, handbags, clothing and so much more. Popularly known as Moti Bharat across Gujarat and it is performed by local craftsmen.
Gujarat actually specializes in the art of stitching beads onto clothes so as to enhance their appeal and make them look more beautiful. There are rows of beads that twirl to form floral and geometrical shapes. All these beads flow over the clothes with vibrant and vivacious energy.
Beadwork techniques are broadly divided into several categories, including loom and off-loom weaving, stringing, bead embroidery, bead crochet, bead knitting, and bead tatting. All are suited to the apprentice but you need to desire project carefully.

Beadwork – In Depth

Bead Stringing

Bead stringing is the most straightforward form type of beadwork. But it is not simple. It involves adding any beads to the string of any material and forms single, multiple or braided strands. These strands can be used as necklaces, earrings, rings, or bracelets. You can use your creativity and form a beautiful jewellery piece.

Off-Loom Bead weaving

Off-loom beadwork is done by needle and thread and beading stitches to create a chain /fabric of beads. Bead weaving is a seed bead (small beads). Small beads are called seed beads where it resembles a seed. Seed beads are different range, vary from size to size. Seed beads also come in different shapes rather than round like cubes, bugle beads, and drop beads.

Loom Beading

It is a device called a bead loom used to weave beads into a cloth-like beaded fabric. It is used to create strips of larger-sized beaded panels or flat beadwork that can be used in purses or any artwork. Loom beading faster than off-loom.

Bead Embroidery

Beads are sewn onto fabric or stitched. Bead embroidery can be used in quilting. It can also be used as cross-stitch.  Bead embroidery is one of several beadwork techniques favored by Native Americans for embellishing clothing and other items.

Beadwork has become a living for so many tribal women’s and yet it has given them a better future and present.


Beadwork in Sahaj

Beadwork is our identity; we use beads in various ways in almost the entire product range of Sahaj. It took years to achieve this; we have continued investing in skill development and skill up-gradation of our artisans. Sahaj continuously works on design development, colour combinations and have strict quality parameters. This makes our artisans master in their work and it creates beautiful products. Our Bead work is not only appreciated in Gujarat but worldwide. Sahaj is considering as the best beadwork in eastern Gujarat.

Beadwork – In Depth
Beadwork – In Depth
Block Printing – From 4000 Years Ago To Sahaj

Block Printing – From 4000 Years Ago To Sahaj

Block-printing is also known as Woodblock printing. Block printing is the process of printing the patterns on cotton, silk or linen using the wooden block. Wooden blocks are incised on the cloth. It is the earliest and slowest of all methods of textile printing aka block printing. Block printing is a very slow process by hand. It is, however, accomplished by yielding highly artistic results, some of which are unattainable by any other technique.

Block printing is a very old and heritage method. It is said that it is originally from china over 4000 years ago before coming to Asia and throughout the world. Block printing is the favourite of the builder of the Taj Mahal – Shah Jahan. It is said that he has an expensive taste in textile printing. This process is very similar to painting, dyeing or weaving. Wood is cut or carved to make impression on the surface. In India, block printing was introduced in Rajasthan by the old chippa community in the bagru district. There are various methods in block printing that are passed down by generations like bagru printing, sanganeri printing, kalamkari block printing, ajrakh printing and dabu printing. The state is known for its colourful prints of gods, goddesses, humans, animals and birds is the famous centres in Rajasthan are the cities of Jaipur, Bagru, Sanganer, Pali and Barmer. While Bagru is renowned for its Syahi Begar and Dabu prints that come in yellow and black and are done using the resist printing technique, Sanganer is famous for its Calico prints recognised by their dual colour prints done repeatedly in diagonal rows and Doo Rookhi prints that come on both sides of the fabric. Barmer is known for its prints of red chillies and trees featuring a blue-black outline, while Sikar and Shekhawat prints feature motifs of horses, camels, peacocks and lions.

Block Printing – From 4000 Years Ago To Sahaj

Block-printing in Gujarat

The Paithapur families of Gujarat passed the knack of block printing from generation to generation, forming the trader or sodagiri print. The Kutch district in Gujarat was, and still is, a place where block printing thrives, not only Kutch but also in eastern Gujarat. The Ajrak print is said to have originated from this region. Ajrak incorporates bright colours such as red or yellow printed on dark blue-dyed or black-dyed fabric. Ajrak prints can be identified by their elaborate geometrical patterns.

Block Printing – From 4000 Years Ago To Sahaj

Block printing in Sahaj

We start block printing years back; we celebrate the art of block printing on fabric. Sahaj builds its own blocks and uses them to design products. However, the block printing procedure goes afar from pressing blocks onto fabric. There are so many steps involved, from carving each wooden block to preparing fabrics, mixing dyes and applying final touches. Each block printing technique requires artistry, skill and patience. It is the sum of these tasks that produce our gorgeous block printed fabrics. We are pioneers in eastern Gujarat who created block print art with tribal artisans. At Sahaj, we have designed special blocks on pithora motifs and other designs. We at sahaj make sure every product/design done by block printing is taking utmost care and patience. We create products like sarees, bags, coasters and danglers in vibrant colours.