Parmaben Channabhai Rabari

Parmaben was born in Makhiya (Anjar). Her father 
had sheep and goats, and migrated nearby. She was married in Bhadroi. Her husband also had sheep and goats, but he sold them. Twenty years ago they moved 
to Kotay, where her husband takes the village cows of
an Ahir to pasture.

They have one son, four daughters, and ten grandchildren, and live with the son and a daughter who studied to 6th grade.

Parmaben learned embroidery from her mother when she was a child. She embroidered her own work, as was the custom, and did a little embroidery for sale within the community. When her eldest daughter was about to present her dowry, the Dhebaria elder council instituted the famous embroidery ban.

Parmaben stopped embroidering then, but in the past three years, has embroidered again for Kala Raksha. Traditional work was good, she says. Embroidery was part of our life. But the tradition was stopped. Now, we do labour embroidery, the quality of which is difficult to evaluate. About the future of embroidery, Parmaben is not sure. "Now it is in our hands," she says.

From the Kala Raksha Vidhyalaya course she is sure she will learn. "My daughter-in-law will say an old lady learned something," she laughs, "and she will want to go herself." Parmaben dreams of having her son make a big bungalow.