In Amta town, along the Damodar river, agriculture and fishing are the main occupations. The women here also do piece-rate work on chiffon and georgette  sarees – they embellish them with small stones and turn plain sarees into works of art.

In many homes across rural West Bengal, women are engaged in this work; it gives them an income, a means of contributing to their family’s expenses, and a sense of independence.

The finished stone-studded sarees cost upwards of Rs. 2,000 in the shops of West Bengal, but the women get paid only a fraction of that amount—around Rs. 20 per saree.


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Mousumi Patra, a piece-rate worker in Amta, decorates sarees using ornamental stones

Sinchita Maji
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Sinchita Maji is a Video Coordinator at the People's Archive of Rural India, and a freelance photographer and documentary film maker. This story was done as a part of her 2015-16 PARI fellowship.

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