Meet Jagruti and Rutuja AcharekarJune 8th, 2022
"The collectives are like our extended family. We've found so many new friends there and feel completely at home. The support we've received has been remarkable."
Jagruti Acharekar & Rutuja Acharekar
EMBROIDERY ARTISANS AT WARE & NIRMAAN COLLECTIVE
Jagruti and Rutuja are not only sisters-in-law, they are also kindred spirits. They share a loving and supportive extended family where they feel respected and understood. They are proud that they are earning, making important decisions and giving back to the community.
Four years ago, Jagruti joined WARE Collective, located in her neighborhood. She loved how the group celebrated festivals together and supported one another. "WARE is like my extended family. I have found so many new friends here and I feel completely at home. The support I have received has been remarkable."
When Rutuja lost her job during the pandemic shutdowns, Jagruti wanted to share her good fortune. She introduced her to Nirmaan Collective, and Rutuja was able to join as an embroidery artist. "I was so happy to be given a chance to be a part of Nirmaan Collective because I saw how happy Jagruti was working at WARE. Nirmaan is very similar and working there gave me confidence, independence and an opportunity to have new friends."
"Both our husbands support our work and, more importantly, our individuality," explained Jagruti. She described how their husbands share in the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning at home, giving the women more freedom to pursue their own activities - such as the annual artisan ladies' picnic. She continued, "We attribute this positive and progressive environment to our father-in-law, who accepted us as his daughters when we got married to his sons." They have a friendly relationship, even sharing jokes.
"As a family we are very close but working at WARE and Nirmaan we became part of a very strong and vibrant community. And we are all reaching out to the larger community to make it a better place," said Rutuja. Jagruti describes how the social worker helped her navigate hospital procedures and insurance details when her mother had a heart problem. When her group's supervisor faced a similar situation with her husband, Jagruti and her husband were able to help her in turn.