The T+L Champion of Women Empowerment is Princess Gauravi Kumari. In a conversation with the publication, the royalty talks about the Princess Diya Kumari Foundation, its initiatives to help women, and more.
Excerpts from the interview with Princess Gauravi Kumari
T+L India: Tell us about PDKF. How did you become a part of it?
Princess Gauravi Kumari: The Princess Diya Kumari Foundation (PDKF) was started by my mother, Princess Diya Kumari in 2013, for the upliftment and welfare of the women in the rural areas of Rajasthan. It was always close to my heart as it was for her. After my graduation I started making an active effort in getting involved with the foundation activities. It was during COVID-19 that I really took on the responsibility to work on the designs and outreach of the foundation. I started The PDKF Store in 2021 with a friend and French designer, Claire Derro, and together we introduced a range of contemporary products using traditional techniques that held a global appeal. We began with creating an e-store to give a wider platform to these women, so that their talent could reach beyond the walls of the City Palace.
T+L India: What are some of the recent initiatives of PDKF that are affecting change?
Princess Gauravi Kumari: Our recent project, ‘Shakti’ offers free certified courses to girls of all age groups from disadvantaged backgrounds in stitching, basic computer skills, beauty therapy, and tourist guide courses. On completing the course, we offer certificates to these students, which further help them to prepare for future employment opportunities. We have also started a new centre in Ajmer where women are being trained in stitching and other traditional handwork techniques.
T+L India: How does travel help you in your pursuits?
Princess Gauravi Kumari: I think travel keeps my ideas fresh, and also allows me to understand the international market for the type of things that our lady artisans at PDKF can produce using traditional craft techniques of Rajasthan but adjusted for the design sensibilities of the West. It also keeps my mind open to understanding different thought processes, and helps make me a more well-rounded human and citizen of the world.
T+L India: Which is your favourite travel destination?
Princess Gauravi Kumari: My all-time favourite travel destination has to be New York because I went to university there and it feels like home. I love the energy of the city, shopping, restaurants, and how everything is easily accessible. I also always enjoy travelling around Italy, Paris, and London.