B'luru Techie Quits Job To Empower Female Artisans In Uttarakhand

Starting with just 12 women, Himalayan Blooms now engages a community of over 250 women from Khetikhan and surrounding villages, offering them a platform to grow.

Pratibha Krishnaiah
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Himalayan Blooms

This isn't just another story of an IT professional quitting their job to follow their passion. This is a story of transformation, not just for one woman, but for an entire community in the foothills of the Himalayas.


In 2014, I took a leap of faith and left my job in Bangalore to join the 13-month Youth For India fellowship Program offered by the SBI Foundation. The opportunity to serve in a rural setting far from home was incredibly appealing, and I embarked on a journey that would change countless lives, including my own.

The Youth For India fellowship provides a platform for young professionals to work at the grassroots level, driving impactful change. When I joined in November 2014, I was assigned to work with the NGO BAIF Development Research Foundation in the remote village of Khetikhan, Uttarakhand. For a year, I embraced the local language, culture, and community, gaining their trust and becoming an integral part of their lives.

And so, my transformative journey began.

In 2016, with the mission to create employment and empowerment opportunities for rural women through the handicraft sector, I, along with Anvi Mehra and Dhanashree B.M. (trustees), founded Himalayan Blooms India (HB), a not-for-profit social enterprise. In the villages, I noticed the women’s hidden talent for knitting and crocheting and felt that with the right training and opportunities, they could become skilled artisans.

Starting with just 12 women, HB now engages a community of over 250 women from Khetikhan and surrounding villages, offering them a platform to grow, network, and become changemakers in their community.

Himalayan Blooms


Fairness and dignity are at the heart of HB’s mission. The local market for crochet and knitting offered low prices. We sought to change this by offering a good wage hike, and providing fair compensation that honoured their talents. Despite initial skepticism, the project thrived, with women now earning over ₹5,000 per month. More than just financial gain, the women have gained confidence and the ability to contribute meaningfully to their families.

Himalayan Blooms' product range has expanded from Rakhis to include customer favourites like crochet toys, home décor, apparel, and pet accessories. Our reach extends beyond India to the USA, Japan, and Europe, showcasing women’s talents on a global stage.

The transformation goes beyond economic empowerment. Women who once never touched a laptop now confidently operate software like Tally, MS Office, navigate the internet, even utilize AI tools, and manage marketing and customer relations, effectively running the foundation themselves. Their pride in mastering these skills extends to their homes, where even their children admire their mothers for running a social business with such expertise.

These women understand that their journey of learning and experimentation isn’t just for themselves; it's paving the way for others, offering a guiding hand to more women in their community. They have truly become inspirational leaders, lighting the path to empowerment for all around them. This initiative is a powerful example of grassroots efforts leading to meaningful change, highlighting the potential for empowerment in rural India.

Every woman, regardless of her background or circumstances, deserves a chance to shine. I continue to live among the women of Uttarakhand, weaving a future for myself and my community, one thread at a time.

This article is in collaboration with SBI Foundation Youth For India.