Gaurilal Chaudhary is the owner and manager of a fair trade felt producer group that works with Manushi in Kathmandu. His producer group provides many of the beautiful felt products that Manushi exports all over the world. Originally from a small rural community in Nepal’s Terai region, Gaurilal worked as a farmer before moving to Kathmandu to seek out greater opportunities. Upon reaching Kathmandu, he was inspired by Nabina Dhakhwa Shakya, Manushi’s treasurer and marketing coordinator, to become involved with Manushi, start his own handicraft producer group, and provide employment and livelihood opportunities for women in Nepal. With only a small background on felting, he received skills and business management training by Manushi and started his business 7 years ago. Gaurilal’s producer group started out with only himself and 5 other women and has since expanded to provide fair employment to 25 women.
Gaurilal is now 41 and has two children with his wife, who works alongside him as one of the felt producers, living in Kathmandu. With the sustainable income that his family earns from felt production, he was able to purchase land outside of Kathmandu and pay for his children to attend college. He is proud to be able to provide fair livelihood opportunities for women producers and has brought several women from his old community in the Terai to take part as well. Gaurilal’s main hopes for the future are to further expand his business to include more women and provide a good life for his son and daughter.