It’s amazing how intricate threadwork can help weave strength into the lives of the less fortunate. Rehwa, a non-
profit organisation that helps promote traditional Maheswar’s textiles (that were initiated by the Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar, the ruler of Maheswar), supports 150 families of weavers.
Richard Holkar, president of the NGO, along with his wife Sally, revived the dying Maheswars Handloom by granting $10,000 to help women weavers, and founded Rehwa Society in 1978. The society was formed with just eight weavers, and now boasts of 150-160 in number. In Rehwa one can find careful embroidered work on saris, dupattas and fabrics in various colours, which are crafted by weavers in Maheshwar, and designed by Mira Sagar.
“Rehwa supports the education, housing, health and financial requirements of weavers who work with the Society, and their families,” says Sunanda Dawar, who designs the home linen for the collective. Rehwa has also come up with Jugalbandi, a creative fusion of Maheswari apparel and home linen from the looms of Maheswar, which are hand- embroidered by destitute women and orphaned girls of Ashraya Niketan, a charitable trust based in Bangalore.
“Together, Rehwa works towards the upliftment of its in-house weavers and the weavers of Maheswar on the whole,” adds Dawar.
You can read more about the Society on www.rehwasociety.org . Rehwa store in the city is at: 51-52, Mehar Chand Market, first floor, Lodhi Road