Meet Darshana HemadeMay 1st, 2022
"I look forward to coming here in the afternoon. I am able to relax, laugh and chat with everyone while doing embroidery."
EMBROIDERY ARTISAN AT RANPHUL COOPERATIVE
"Hardworking" does not even begin to describe Darshana. Her long days are jam-packed with jobs, chores and other responsibilities as she endeavors to secure a better life for her family. She starts out at 5 am in the fields of a local flower farm. After picking flowers for the wholesaler, she proceeds to her next job at a dairy farm. There she fills milk packets, getting them ready to be delivered. She then prepares food for her family before setting out for an Anganwadi (preschool) where she works as a teacher's aide. Finally, in the afternoon, she goes to the workshop for her embroidery work. "I look forward to coming here in the afternoon. I am able to relax, laugh and enjoy chatting with everyone while doing embroidery."
Her resilient personality has served her well through some difficulties. "I got married at 18 much against the wishes of both our parents. We lived with my in-laws, but there were constant arguments, so we moved to my parents' home." This was not ideal, either so Darshana came up with a plan: to earn and save enough money to build a floor atop her parents' house. Although technically living in the same house, the new construction will provide a separate, private residence for her family. She recently revealed that she has saved enough money to start building. "All we want as a family is to live in peace." Darshana's family includes her two children, daughter Mansi (17 pictured above) and son Ritesh (13). Mansi's ambition is to become a lawyer to fight for the rights of children and women. She was inspired in part by her mother's involvement in mobilizing the community to seek justice in an attempted rape case. "In our tribal community," Mansi explains, "there are not many people to take our voices forward." Darshana intends to support her children in realizing their full potential.
"Being part of MarketPlace and SHARE has been a completely new experience for me," says Darshana. "There were so many things I did for the first time. My favourite memory is of the dance we performed on Artisan's Day in front of all the artisans. As a child I never participated in any school program. This was my first-ever performance on stage, and everyone liked it and appreciated us so much. It was a really special moment for me."