Meet Kajal ChavanNovember 17th, 2022
"Working here has taught me that I'm more than just a mother and wife. And I have come to see that it's important to share what I learn with the community. It is my duty to give back to society."
EMBROIDERY ARTISAN, AT ARPAN COOPERATIVE
Kajal has had a long journey - literally - in her time as an embroidery artisan. She has belonged to several different cooperatives that work with MarketPlace, some close to home and some she had to travel over an hour to reach. Most recently she had to move to live farther out of Mumbai, so although her current group is close to her former home she faces a long commute from her new house. Hard work, long hours and traveling distances have never stopped Kajal from pursuing her employment and her goals. Having to travel to work has also reinforced some skills. "It has taught me the value of time. There are limited connecting trains so I have to make sure I complete everything and reach my workplace on time."
Kajal's employment has made many things possible. "My husband and I both believed in educating our son and daughter. To do this we had to take out loans to pay for fees and tuition. My earnings were crucial to our being able to repay the loans." In addition to enabling her to educate her children, Kajal's experience in the cooperatives has had other benefits. "Working in the cooperatives has taught me so much and I know I am more than a mother and wife. Through my training I have come to see that it's important that I share what I learn with the community. It is my duty to give back to society." And, of course, there is her immense pride in her children's accomplishments: "My son Bhusan is a software engineer and my daughter Kiran has done her Masters in Commerce and is working in the loan department of an established bank."