Entrepreneur Devika Gurung is the founder of Fidgety Fingers, a social entrepreneurship project launched on 1st September, 2015 with two main objectives. Firstly, to empower underprivileged and rural women financially and socially and secondly, to reintroduce and preserve the vanishing art form of fibre craft. Women mainly belonging to underprivileged families, school drop outs, young mothers and from rural areas are trained to knit, crochet and craft. The training is provided free of cost and after the training they are free to start up on their own or work with Fidgety Fingers.
A total of 60 women have been trained out of which 47 women have been trained in association with North East Rural Livelihood Project (NERLP) in rural areas of South Sikkim, namely Tokal Bermiok and Sumbuk. 13 have been trained at Sichey, East Sikkim, who are at the moment working with Fidgety Fingers. The source of income through Fidgety Fingers may be an alternative, however, it’s sustainable.
Currently, they have been training the women inmates at the State Central Jail, Rongyek.
‘We further plan to cover all four districts of Sikkim and establish proper working units for such women,’ says Devika.
Here’s the excerpts of Devika’s Conversation with Anita Sharma of Wandering Souls of Sikkim:
Wandering Souls of Sikkim (WSOS): Kindly share us something about your growing up years. Devika Gurung (DG): Though I belong from Namthang, South Sikkim, I was born and brought up in Gangtok. I completed my schooling from Holy Cross School, Tadong and went to Kolkata for my further studies. My love for writing ended me working for a local media house after I returned home from Kolkata. I have always loved any form of art. Nature has been my greatest inspiration and my life and works have been highly influenced by the life and works of Frida Kahlo and Vincent Van Gogh.
As I grew, I was sure about where I wanted to be more than what I wanted to become. And I was very much sure about one thing that I am never going to settle for a government service.
WSOS: What are your visions for Fidgety Fingers?
DG: I want to make Fidgety Fingers a well known and trusted brand just like those giant fashion and lifestyle brands which people are fond of.
WSOS: What do you think of the existing entrepreneurial scenario in Sikkim?
DG: Entrepreneurial scenario seems progressive in Sikkim, which is a good sign. People have now understood that entrepreneurship is not the last resort, but the need of the hour. The best thing is, we are a peaceful state and for anything of flourish, peaceful environment plays the main role.
WSOS: From your facebook and instagram posts, it seems you are a fanatic about art and literature.
DG: Whether you like it or not, art and literature is a part of us. If you watch closely, everything around us is art. It does not need to be particularly painting or poetry. The way you live your life is an art. You yourself is an exclusive work of art. Knowing art and literature is knowing thyself better.
WSOS: Who is your favorite author/novelist?
DG: Pablo Neruda
WSOS: Do you have any suggestions for the young people willing to take up entrepreneurship as a venture?
DG: Entrepreneurs are problem solvers. So if you have a problem solving attitude, you can become an entrepreneur. All you need to do is dream big and work hard towards achieving them. Your venture should create an ecosystem that not only empowers you, but empowers others as well. There is a sea of opportunities in Sikkim; all we need to do is stop complaining.
WSOS: Your feedback for Wandering Souls of Sikkim?
DG: It’s a wonderful initiative and proves to be a medium of motivation not only to the youth, but people of all age groups.