Clutching a box of beads in her hand, Sonali sheepishly says, "Come, I’ll show you." Kneeling down, she opens the plastic container, revealing glittering plastic beads of pink, white, green and yellow. She takes a pink thread and, peeping through with one eye closed, runs it through the needle head first time with precision.
As she ties a knot at the end of the thread, she starts narrating the process of making a bracelet.
"Now take the needle and run it through the two beads of the same colour. Interlink them and create a pattern. This is how I made anklets and necklaces."
Working at five
Sonali was five years old when she made her first piece of jewellery. Turning a blind eye to education, Sonali’s family kept her at home, where she assisted her mother in crafting intricate jewellery.
Her father’s daily earnings of US$1.60 a day rarely went towards supporting his family of seven, instead more commonly being spent on alcohol, which he consumed in excessive amounts.
"My father was unable to work much, so there was not enough money in the house; that is why I had to help my mother make jewellery," says Sonali.