Bilkish was only 16 years old when she married and came to Kaithoon, a village in Kota district of Rajasthan. Bilkish was not only unskilled but, unlike other weavers, she have never seen the craft then. Gradually, she started learning about the craft and, after some time, she organised a group of weavers.
Over a period of time, she encouraged more weavers to join her and eventually formed the SHG called “Kota Women Weavers (KWW)” in 2005 with 13 weavers. Since then Bilkish is a lead weaver in the group.
For the last 18 years, Bilkish and her other weavers have been a part of this group. Rajasthan Government also built and set up a Common Facility Centre (CFC) to help and encourage the group to manage their day-to-day activities.
Earlier, the women were shy, and communication was a barrier. Today, they feel confident, and the women weavers travel to various places to participate in exhibitions and trade fairs to market their products. The weavers have overcome their initial hesitation and now talk freely to their customers and government officials.
Bilkish says, “Ever since we have formed a group, we can introduce the craft of Kota Doria to the world. In addition, we procured the geographical indication (GI) tag.”