Ruma Devi: Living proof that you don’t need to be rich, well-connected, or civic to be a trendsetter.


Enlightening and supporting the women of India from the very basics, Ruma Devi has laboriously worked her way up to be the face of the fashion street. In a field where being either rich, well-connected or civic makes a person reach the top, Ruma Devi stands out as an epitome of brilliance and sheer determination. She stands with her head high in the face of the world to prove that excellence is all you need to make your way to the top.


As simple as a person’s life can be, Ruma Devi also started her journey of life with the simplest of people, places, and possessions.

Ruma Devi was born in the year of 1989 in Rawatsar, a small city in Barmer, Rajasthan. She was born and brought up in a poor household where even the availability of drinking water, transportation, and schools was a luxury.

Due to unfortunate events, Ruma Devi could only complete her education till 8th grade. But her willingness to learn the art of embroidery, knitting, and sewing started to sow its seeds at the beginning of her childhood. She learned the skills of embroidery from her grandmother who had needlecraft expertise. 

Ruma Devi was married off at an extremely young age of 17 years old. She was blessed to give birth to a son but unfortunately, she lost her son within 48 hours of giving birth to him.


Ruma Devi is now widely known as a traditional craftswoman promoting the locally handcrafted art of tribal women globally. She is also popular for being social activist gathering women together and enlightening them with her knowledge and experience.

This beautiful journey of becoming a handcrafted artisan started at Ruma Devi’s own home. With the considerate help of Mahila Bal Vikas Group, she could successfully gather 10 women to start a Self-Help group. Each of the women in the group would contribute Rs. 100 and then buy second-hand sewing machines to start their small business of making cushions, bags, and other products.

Later, with the rightful guidance and adamant support of Vikram Singh, founder of an NGO, they could start making more and more intricately designed handcrafted products with flying colours. Their consistent efforts and adamant devotion led numerous women to come up and join them and in no time, they started training over 22,000 artisans from around 75 villages.

With a positive aim of empowering women artisans and providing rural artisans with sustainable living, Ruma Devi started her own Self-Help Group widely known as “ Gramin Vikas and Chetna Sansthan.”  Together, they work on intricate styles of embroidery, patchwork, knitting, and other printing techniques. Later on, Rumi Devi became the president of the NGO and continued to work towards the development of rural artisans.

In 2012, Ruma was offered to launch her handcrafted collection of work by fashion designer Anita Dongre in the Lakme Fashion Week, but she denied the offer due to a lack of confidence. In 2015, she took a leap of faith in herself and showcased her work in the Lakme Fashion Week. She even featured on the cover of “India Today Magazine.” Ruma started modeling and ramp walking herself to display the art of rural people at state and national levels.

Soon, Ruma Devi’s work caught the attention of famous workplaces and people.

Her work is recognized and appreciated by the British Patchwork and Quilting Magazine which gave Ruma an amazing opportunity to display her work all over the world including London, Singapore, Germany and Colombo.

In 2019, Ruma Devi was invited on an episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati 11 along with a Bollywood actress, Sonakshi Sinha. Ruma gifted one of her fine works to Amitabh Bachchan on the show.

Ruma Devi has been given so many honourable awards which hold so much significance in the world of a city person. Her numerous achievements deserve the recognition and applaud of the entire world. Ruma Devi keeps on working each successive day to support the tribal artisans and women of the country. She is indeed a motivator for many.

Written by –

karuna arora
Karuna arora
19 years old
Indirapuram, UP

2 thoughts on “Ruma Devi: Living proof that you don’t need to be rich, well-connected, or civic to be a trendsetter.

  1. This was an amazing inspiration to me like all the women especially believing to poor background.
    The success of her journey motivates us to fight against all the wrong things. This was greatly appreciated. Thank you being an inspiration to all us

  2. Ruma devi is an embodiment of sheer will and determination. Fashion world is considered to be a rich men’s arena and for a woman from an Indian village to become successful in the field is highly improbable. Still with her passion to create and experiment with garments she wielded her way through. Her story is such an inspiration for youngsters to work with perseverance and to achieve their dreams.

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