8 Year-Old Aryana Sahai Created A Line Of Bracelets To Help Girls In India Escape Poverty

Don’t ever let anyone tell you age is an important factor when it comes to changing the world or making a difference, because as 8 year-old Aryana Sahai from Florida is showing everyone in her community is that you should never underestimate youth!

Aryana is the founder and CEO of her own jewelry company which came about after a very impactful trip she took with her family. Aryana traveled to India when she was 7, where she saw first hand the poverty many people live with on a daily basis. She was devastated by what she saw, especially when it came to other young girls like her, and couldn’t ignore what she had been confronted with.

“I remember being approached by a girl my age with a baby on her hip begging for food. Her clothes ripped and the baby naked. I felt helpless. I started to give away whatever snacks and toys I had in my backpack. It felt good to give them my things but it also completely broke my heart that they lived in such bad conditions,” she shared on her website.

She learned about an NGO called Ladli.org, which helps impoverished girls in India with education and healthcare, and counseling. They also empower the girls by making jewelry to give them a skill they can use to earn money from.

“It was a very surprising fact to learn that everyone does not have access to education. There is so much you miss if you cannot read books or have the ability to learn anything in school or on your own. I learned that education is the key to helping girls become independent. In this moment, I was inspired to make sure every girl has the opportunity to go to school,” she continued.

Aryana came up with the idea of starting her own company, Ladlis, paying homage to the NGO, and created it to be a brand with a mission behind it. She worked with the young artisans to create the Aroma Collection: a custom, handmade set of bracelets with natural gemstones and one lava stone, which acts as an essential oil diffuser. The bracelets are created to inspire mindfulness, meditation, and positivity. 

Aryana brought the gemstone bracelets back to the United States to help fund girls’ education. She purchased the bracelets using her own money, and the first batch sold out immediately. The sale of every bracelet funds one month of a girl’s education. In fact, she funded 237 months of education in her first year, which is such a powerful testament to the difference one person can make. 100% of the proceeds go to empowering lives and driving freedom. 

We spoke with Aryana to learn more about her mission, the bracelets, and why she considers the girls she helps through Ladlis her own personal heroes.

Aryana Sahai on her trip to India

Tell me about the first trip you took to India and what you saw that affected you so profoundly?

I was profoundly moved by the poverty I saw in the streets of India. I had seen homeless people in America but not like this where so many girls were begging with babies on their hip. I don’t mean teenagers, I mean kids my age. 

Why did you decide you wanted to help the young girls you saw who lived in poverty?

Helping the girls in poverty was the only way I could keep my heart from breaking. I stopped feeling sad and started to feel like I can make a difference. When I visited some organizations that support rescued girls like ladli.org and I-India, it sparked a passion in me to help them make a difference and spread awareness. 

You partnered with an NGO for a bracelet collection which has grown to become a source of support and empowerment for these vulnerable young girls. Can you tell us how they are designed?

When I visited them, I had the pleasure of working with them on a design that involved real gemstones. We picked natural material including a cotton thread to create a bracelet that would adjust to a kid or man’s wrist. My mom loves essential oils so we decided to incorporate a lava bead to let people roll their oils on it. 

What do the proceeds from the bracelet sales go toward? 

100% of the proceeds go to funding the making of the bracelets and donation of one month of education per bracelet. My mom is funding our marketing efforts at the moment. 

You are no doubt a role model to so many girls in India and in your Florida community. But who are your role models?

You can see a video of one of my role models, Roshni, on my website. She was rescued from a child marriage and then she turned her life around and now helps to teach girls in the same position. She took a bad situation and is giving back in a huge way. My parents are also my role models because they support my education and all my activist efforts. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time? 

UNESCO estimates that 130M girls will never enter a classroom. In ten years, I hope to find a way to drastically change that statistic. I believe for every girl we educate, she will educate at least 5 more.   

Can you tell us why more people should pay attention particularly to the education and wellbeing of young impoverished girls around the world?

Education is the only way to give girls power to change their circumstances and help them fight against injustice. Also, once a girl is educated, she will educate her family and community. There is a domino effect that can be powerful, and I want to bring focus on the importance of education for these girls to the US where we don’t even realize it is a privilege.  

What do you want customers to know about the bracelets they buy from Ladlis? 

I want them to know it is more than a bracelet, it is a story about freedom. It is a reminder to be mindful and kind while enjoying good vibrations from doing good in the universe. 

How would you encourage other girls to create change in their lives? 

If you see someone that needs help, find a way to help them.  Kindness also has a domino effect. You can make a difference that may seem small at first but has a huge impact.

Head to Ladlis.com to purchase a bracelet and help a girl in India escape a life of poverty.

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