Meet Shivangi MestryMay 15th, 2023
""When our group won the beauty contest at the Women's Day celebration, I felt a new confidence in myself!"
TAILOR AT PRAGATI CO-OPERATIVE
When Shivangi Mestry reflects on her life, she sees a clear distinction. "Before I joined the cooperative I was at home doing nothing. When I joined I did not really have any expectations. But suddenly I found myself with an identity and life of my own!" She happily outlines some of the many new experiences she has had as part of the group, including celebrating birthdays and going for picnics. One event in particular proved to be especially meaningful: "When our group won the beauty contest at the Women's Day celebration, I felt a new confidence in myself. I love dancing, but there was no opportunity for dancing before. In one year as part of the cooperative I have performed three times, the fulfillment of a dream!"
Pragati Co-operative is the newest group to join the MarketPlace network. Pragati ("Progress/Improvement") overcame the challenges of the COVID restrictions to make a cohesive group out of a handful of inexperienced strangers. Membership currently consists of 3 tailors and 6 embroidery artisans. Many people lost their jobs due to the pandemic, so this business was critically needed. It is located in a semi-rural area outside Mumbai where there are limited opportunities. The women have had to learn everything very quickly, not only the sewing and embroidery skills but also business skills including production, planning, cash flow and finances. They have also embraced the social programs that are an important tool for empowerment for the women and their children. Their success is reflected in their chosen identity terms: Unity, Responsibility, Happiness and Work Satisfaction.