Meet Tasleem Alauddin ShaikhJune 5th, 2023
"I think access to knowledge is the most important thing in life." "
Tasleem Alauddin Shaikh
EMBROIDERY ARTISAN AT GHAR UDYOG COLLECTIVE
Tasleem had her doubts: "When I first joined Ghar Udyog Collective, I was told that I would have to attend meetings. I was not very happy about that. I just wanted to earn money." The cooperatives have organized a variety of projects and meetings which are designed to supplement the artisans' work experience. Through discussions and actions, they become more independent and confident, which helps to ensure that the changes in their lives are meaningful and long-lasting.
Tasleem admits, "But in the last year and a half, I have learned so many things through these meetings. Sometimes we battle with what is right and wrong and when we talk about it with others we come to understand so many features of the issue." Some of these talks have helped her to understand her own acts and motivations.
Married at age 16 with no experience of bringing up children, she struggled on her own. Sessions with Rupal, the Therapist helped Tasleem to see how her actions were affecting both her and her children and how to find a better way. "I learned that one chooses one's actions. Therefore now if there is an issue with my children I try to resolve it through conversation and understanding."
She recalls another session when Rupal spoke about how we hold onto problems but forget to appreciate the good. "I am conscious of this now and try to change how I think to focus more on the positive."
Positive actions and self-reflection have contributed to improvements in her life. "I now share a very warm relationship with my oldest son, Jasim. He confides in me and I value his support for all family-related decisions." Through the Social Worker she has learning about many training programs and courses which she thinks will benefit her children - and which are free of cost.
"Through the meetings I am learning so many life lessons that are making me think, change my way of thinking and acting and making me more content in my life. I think access to knowledge is the most important thing in life."
Ghar Udyog Collective One of the groups located north of Mumbai city, Ghar Udyog ("Home-based Industry") is in an area that resembles a large traditional village spread out along the coast. Consisting of 27 tailors and embroidery artisans and one supervisor, it is a mixed group in a couple of ways. It consists of both young and older members, and they came from different parts of India. Sharing a common goal, they committed to helping one another professionally and personally. The group started out making patchwork for a local buyer, and since 2008 they have taken on increasingly complicated garments for MarketPlace. Although their homes and workshops are scattered across the area, the women have prioritized staying in touch and getting together for programs and activities. They felt that the ideas of Teamwork, Unity and Support for each other reflect their group culture.