I can forget all the bad days
A conversation on a train not only helped jewellery maker, Mansoor, to get orders for his workshop, but to give young men from his village a better future.
Like many children from his village in Bihar, Mansoor worked as child labour in Delhi to support his family back home.
"I came to Delhi two times when I was a child," he said. "I ran away because I did not like the work. I worked as a labourer and then I learned a skill. I have been working in handicrafts since I was 15 years old."
Initially we started with some small work
Six years ago, Mansoor was travelling on a train when he met Emam from Manjeen Handicrafts, which supplies Traidcraft with jewellery. He told Emam of the small workshop he had set up in Delhi, providing work for young men from his extended village family, and they exchanged addresses.
"Initially we started with some small work and we enjoyed that. Working with Manjeen we get timely payment"
Since then Mansoor's workshop - Barsoi Artisans Unit A - has completed several Traidcraft orders.
The four men in the workshop live in the same building as Mansoor's family and his wife, Nahida provides meals from them, as well as four her four children. "I feel happy cooking for them" she said. "They all belong to the family."
It's a sentiment echoed by Salam, who joined the workshop two and half years ago. "I am happy because I feel homely here."
"I never went to school," Mansoor said. "I think if I did not get my education at least my children can get a good education so I can forget all my bad days."
"I also think about these boys. I want at least they can also earn some money and help their families."
Manjeen Handicrafts Background
Manjeen Handicrafts is an organisation with a vision to promote an alternative trade system in the form of Fair Trade at grassroot levels to bring structural changes in the contemporary mode of trade, and increase the choice among the marganilsed artisans and their families for an improved quality of life, to help educate their children and improve working conditions.