Our Communities

The Maheshwar Community

Maheshwar is a large and bustling Nagar Panchayat town in the district of West Nimar, Madhya Pradesh. Maheshwar is divided into 15 wards for which elections are held every 5 years. The town has a population of 24,411 of which 12,447 are males while 11,964 are females according to the Census India of 2011.

Maheshwar is set on the banks of the river Narmada. The main road running through the town has a vegetable market with a magnificent array of fresh fruit and vegetables. There are many small shops selling everything from shoes, groceries, small electronic goods and clay pots to the renowned local Maheshwari saris. Colourful Hindu temples can be seen alongside white and green painted mosques, where children wave from the rooftops in the cool of early evening during Azam-the call to prayer. The houses are painted in shades of pistachio green, white, lavender and earthy pink. Local dogs sleep soaking up the afternoon sun on steps in front of doorways shaded with patterned curtains. Distinctive breeds of milky white cows local to the area and very beautiful, wander along the streets. The cows are on the look-out for tasty vegetable peelings which families who live in the small, neat houses will save for them each day. Diminutive roadside shrines with vivid orange-painted rocks iconic of the monkey god Hanuman can be spotted all over the town. There is very limited car ownership but more and more families own motorcycles which young men in particular, careen dangerously around the town in. Pushbikes and auto-rickshaws are a common form of transport.

Literacy

Children make up 13 % of the total population of Maheshwar. The average literacy rate of Maheshwar is higher than state average of 69 %. In Maheshwar, male literacy is around 88 % while female literacy rate is 73%.

Employment

Out of the total population, 9,436 are engaged in work or business activity. Of this 6,828 are males while 2,608 are females. The thriving local economy means everything from tea shacks, auto repair shops, grocers, tailors and jewellers are important sources of employment in the town. One of the main sources of local employment remains agriculture, especially during planting and harvest time for the large amount of cotton grown in the surrounding fields. A small but growing tourism industry is also providing new forms of employment for local inhabitants.

Literacy

Children make up 13 % of the total population of Maheshwar. The average literacy rate of Maheshwar is higher than state average of 69 %. In Maheshwar, male literacy is around 88 % while female literacy rate is 73%.

WomenWeave Gudi Mudi Project

WomenWeave has its head quarters, offices and weaving studios in the main part of Maheshwar town. The Gudi Mudi project employs a diverse group of women. Some 60-65% are Hindus and around 35% are from the Muslim community. Since they are non-traditional weavers, and took up weaving as an income earning activity they do not belong to one specific caste. If there is one thing that binds the women together at WomenWeave’s Gudi Mudi project it is the fact that all of them come from underprivileged backgrounds facing difficulties including being single mothers and differently abled.