Twenty-nine years ago, Moirangthem Muktamani Devi, a resident of Kakching in Manipur would have never thought her life would turn out the way it did.
Would you believe it if I said that in 1989, Muktamani lived in such conditions wherein she was unable to afford a pair of shoes for her daughter?
Her second daughter had a torn shoe sole that needed immediate mending. Muktamani proceeded to knit a pair on the sole of her torn shoe with woollen threads. The next day, her daughter entered school anxiously because she knew that her shoes did not conform to the prescribed uniform.
The teacher walked up to her and asked her who made the shoes she was wearing because she wanted to get similar ones for her daughter. That was perhaps how an entrepreneur was born.
59-year-old Muktamani Devi is a well-known artisan today. In 1990-91, she set up Mukta Shoes Industry. She won National and State level awards for her work.
Over the years, she has trained more than 1,000 people. The Mukta Industry produces handcrafted shoes and sandals for men, women and kids. Priced between Rs 200-800, the products are popular not only in India but all over the world! This enterprising lady also exports shoes to Australia, United Kingdom, France, Mexico and some African countries.
National Insurance, in association with The Telegraph, honoured 11 individuals in an award ceremony aptly called ‘True Legends Awards 2018’. Men and women who have positively changed the lives of themselves and others in unique ways were honoured.
Muktamani spoke at the event which was also reported in The Telegraph. She said, “I would dedicate this award to women back home who have been working relentlessly along with me. In the beginning, I only knew how to make ends meet in my family, but today I am proud to bring in so many women like me to follow their dreams. My story of adversity gave birth to Mukta Shoes Industry.”
For Muktamani, life seems to have come a full circle–from making a shoe for her daughter to adorning the feet of many across the state and the world.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)