Weaving and earning at 15: Keneisalie Rutsa


BY | Sunday, 12 November, 2023

15 years old Keneisalie Rutsa from Kohima Village P.Khel is a class 10 student of Christ King Higher Secondary School. A very hardworking and humble student, Rutsa is known for weaving plastic wire baskets to earn his own school fees at a very young age.

Rutsa is the son of Lt. Theyiechülie Rutsa and Neilhoubi-e Rutsa, whose parents are both farmers. A skill that was developed during the COVID 19 lockdown, Keneisalie learned at the age of 12. During the pandemic he would get bored and go to his neighbour’s house where he often saw the women weaving and admire their skills. “I would sit with the mothers and watch them weave those baskets. Then I would come home and ask my mother to buy materials for weaving baskets,” says Keneisalie Rutsa.

Recognising his talent and passion for weaving, his tuition teacher, Vizokhonuo Rutsa, started teaching him and also supplied him with necessarily tools.

When Keneisalie first requested his mother for materials, his family assumed it as a joke, but having noticed his interest and talent, his mother provided the materials. Gradually, Rutsa started weaving the baskets in all sizes, which he was able to sell within the range of Rs. 300 to Rs.800. Then he started receiving orders from neighbours, family and friends.

“I earn around Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 10000 per month according to the demand of the order. This covers my pocket money and school fees,” says Keneisalie.

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According to Rutsa’s family, Keneisalie is a precocious child who started taking his own financial responsibilities at a young age by paying his own school fees and pocket money through weaving baskets. Helpful with household chores, Keneisalie also performs well in his studies.

“He is a little naughty like every other kids but very diligent in studies and obedient too. And he is great in weaving basket and never neglect his orders,” says his tuition teacher, Vizokhonuo.

While basket weaving has provided earnings to the young Rutsa, it is also a favorite hobby for the Class 10 student, as his sister informed that the family had to stop him from weaving for his upcoming board exams. “If we don’t stop him, he will put all his time into his favorite hobby,” quips the sister.

“I love what I do and I will continue to weave even if I get a job someday,” says Rutsa who credited his tuition teacher and family for supporting his passion.


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