Not being able to afford shoes for her daughter led Moirangthem Muktamani to build Mukta Shoes. Her handcrafted footwear now sell in countries worldwide.
Adversity in this world is filtered through the strength of a parent, who bears all of the pain and does not reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s due to financial constraints, illness, or a lack of resources, the willingness of parents to sacrifice is beyond comprehension.
Moirangthem Muktamani Devi did not give up when she faced difficult times. Because she couldn’t afford to buy her daughter shoes, she began knitting woollen footwear. This led to her Muktamani to become a well-known artisan shoe maker in Manipur, India.
This ordinary woman turned her incredible talent into a creative profession while working on her feet to raise her children.
Muktamani was born in December 1958, and her widowed mother raised her. She married one of her classmates, Kshetrimayum Naran Singh, when she was only 17 years old. They had four children together.
Muktamani would work in the paddy field during the day and sell homemade eatables in the evening to support their children and meet their needs. She was an expert at knitting and would make carry bags and hair bands at night to sell for extra money.
She didn’t have enough money in 1989 to buy her daughter new shoes. It had a strong impact on her, so she knitted one with woollen threads. That led to the birth of Mukta Shoes that was founded in 1990. The company now exports handmade shoes to countries such as Briiain, Australia, Mexico, and even some African countries. Mukta Shoes quickly became well-known and was registered in the District Industries Center under the wool embroidery section. She encountered significant challenges while raising funds for the business because she had not one, not two, but three children who required her constant care and attention.
Her determination pulled her out of the struggles over the years, and it was only a matter of time before her business expanded internationally, claiming awards and recognition along the way.
Over 1,000 people have been trained by Muktamani. Mukta Industry, her shoe factory, creates handcrafted and affordable footwear for men, women, and children.
This year, National Insurance partnered with The Telegraph to host the True Legends Awards 2018.
The ceremony was held to honour 11 people who have positively impacted society and their own lives. Muktamani is one of the winners of the award, and she said she would dedicate the honour to the women who have helped her along the way. She has also received numerous awards.
When one considers Muktamani’s family’s proud expression, it is clear that parenthood can be defined in ways other than hardship and struggle. It also demonstrates that an act of endearment can change people’s lives, inspire and give birth to change, which is the greatest gift anyone can give.