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Good piece in the NYTimes today (the Fashion section, no less) about Kakuben Lalabhai Parmar, an artisan from India whose story embodies "a half-century of global feminism and the evolutionary arc of modern India."

“My group was treated as untouchables,” said Ms. Parmar, 50. And if the community was untouchable, its female members were still more disadvantaged by being invisible. ...

“Yet here she was in Midtown Manhattan last weekend, wrapping her arms around the strangers who gather there regularly to dispense affection, some of them understandably astonished at the apparition clad in a mirror-spangled skirt and a tie-dyed shawl, her throat and hands and arms lavishly adorned with the homemade tattoos that are a form of what Ms. Parmar termed 'affordable beautification' in the far reaches of Gujarat.”

Stories like this—of women's empowerment and community transformation—are familiar to Heifer supporters. In the upcoming issue of World Ark magazine, Heifer writer Annie Bergman takes a look at the transformative power of Heifer in the lives of women in India. Once forced to live a life, literally, behind the veil, these women now recognize their own worth. (Read Annie's blog posts from the trip.) Photos for the story are by renowned portraitist Brigitte Lacombe. Look for it the end of August.

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Heifer International is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization working with communities to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth.

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