Our Journey

How Pirul was Started


The beautiful village of Khetikhan is situated in the hills of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 1815mts above sea level.

The village is blessed with a scenic view of snow-covered Himalayas and the vast expanse of pine forests.

The major occupation in the village is cattle rearing followed by agriculture.

The majority of men have migrated to the cities in search of jobs, thus the responsibility of agriculture and cattle rearing along with household chores is solely shouldered by women of khetikhan.

However recently the change in cropping pattern due to climate change, erratic rainfalls, and increased menace of wild boars the efforts of the women do not bear many fruits.

The income from agriculture is just meager.

Also because of back migration and loss of jobs to men due to Covid, the villagers are held in a financial crunch.


Owing to this situation there was an immediate need to create an alternate source of livelihood for the families.

After contemplating on few ideas we decided to make use of pine needles which are present in abundance in the area.

These pine needles degrade slowly in the environment and are a major cause of forest fire in the area Pine needles are also responsible for increasing surface runoff of water and decreasing the groundwater table.

It is thus very important to clear these pine needles from the forest surface.

With this concept, we, along with 15 other girls, started picking up the pine needles from the ground and learned the art of coiling baskets from PIROUL (pahadi term for pine needles).

Young girls help with household chores and mostly get married at the age of 20-22 and are burdened with all the responsibilities. “The girls feel like they are trapped in a small place where their work is not valued and their aspirations suppressed. They wish to be financially independent and fulfil their small wishes”.

We are happy to have a women’s team at Pirul. No Indian craft is purely decorative, it is also a way of self-expression.

We at Pirul, strive to find our identity through this initiative.

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