Amidi: Embroidering for Change

The Israel Embassy in India in association with designer Sahil Kochhar, the European Union and Khushii curated a very special show to celebrate women coming together for social change. It was truly a night to remember and a befitting tribute to the ongoing celebration of 30 years of India and Israel friendship.  

“Amidi” – boundless, beautiful and majestic, was the most apt way to describe these women who walked the ramp today and complimenting their beauty was a gorgeous capsule collection created by celebrated fashion designer, Sahil Kochhar. Also present on the occasion was Honourable Minister of External Affairs and Culture for India Ms. Meenakshi Lekhi to encourage and support the initiative. 

L-R, Designer Sahil Kochhar, Orly Goldschmidt, Head of Public Diplomacy at Embaasy of Israel, H.E. Mr François DELHAYE, Ambassador of Belgium to India, Naor Gilon, Ambassador of Israel, Meenakshi Lekhi, Ugo Astuto

Speaking on the occasion, H.E. Ambassador Naor Gilon said, “Women and their power to drive social change needs to be celebrated across the different strata of society that they come from. Empowering a woman is equal to empowering a family. With this beautiful fashion showcase and this incredible group of powerful women coming from different fabrics of society, Amidi has been able to stitch together a beautiful narrative for social change through fashion.”

Ambassador of the European Union to India, Ugo Astuto said, “Women and girls are key agents of development and change. Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is vital to building fair, inclusive, prosperous, and peaceful societies everywhere. Investing in women’s economic empowerment is not only the right thing to do as a matter of justice and fairness, but it is also the smart economic choice to make.”

But this was not a standard showcase; the ramp was transformed to serve as a platform to bring together women from very different walks of life and allow some incredibly talented women from Khushii to be able to tell their inspiring stories. 

Taking centre stage were nine women who with the help of local NGO Khushii, despite their personal setbacks and challenges, have shown a unique determination to become successful and independent. These women are now helping others in their community to become successful and independent as well. Together with them were diplomats from embassies as well as members of the European Union Delegation, walking alongside and applauding their spirit and strength.

Working together on the show has given the young women a great sense of empowerment and the funds raised will further help in empowering and skill building of more girls from across communities.

Talking about the collection, designer Sahil Kochhar said, “I am very happy to come together with the Embassy of Israel for this very special initiative. This collection is personal and unique to me. It is a tribute to womanhood in all its forms coming together to celebrate these very special girls. I hope these young girls feel their very best while walking down the ramp as the stars that they really are.”

The Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium kindly hosted the event at his residence designed by celebrated Indian artist Satish Gujral, the perfect backdrop for this event. 

 About the participating girls from Khushii Foundation

Riya Kumari is one of three siblings and is from Azadpur, Delhi. Currently she is completing her second year from IGNOU. She aspires to be an independent woman who takes care of her family. She is studying towards becoming a nurse.

Hailing from Mukund, Bihar, 23-year-old Ruchi is highly passionate about stitching her own clothes or even suits for others and has trained herself in the art for the last 6 years. Through the constant love and support of her family, Ruchi imparts her knowledge to three students under her wing and hopes to pursue more opportunities in the stitching industry. 

Laadli is altruistic in nature. Determined to be able to help others as much as she can while thinking about herself the least, Laadli is a hard- working, sincere child. She has completed a GDA course and is interested in improving her skills in the field of design. 

Babita, a 29-year-old woman, first discovered the Khushii NGO while working in an anganwadi. After her marriage, she encountered several problems. She was encouraged to pursue a GDA course. After completing it, she is now interested in working in either the field of nursing or any other field where she can help others. She says she will always want to stay associated with Khushii. 

Nisha is interested in the field of tailoring and stitching. She completed a course for the same at Khushii and is looking to gain experience in this industry so that she can explore her interests as well as guide others. 

Poonam is curious about everything new that she comes across and is eager to learn more about it. She also took a tailoring course at Khushii to learn more about it. 

Manu is currently pursuing an MA from IGNOU. She has also completed a GDA course and is interested in being an independent, working woman so that she can support her mother, the way she supported her.

Kritika has just completed the twelfth grade and has taken an interest in stitching. She is a quick learner and aspires to be an independent working woman.