Meet Wahida Ansari
Wahida Ansari - Aashiyana Collective Since 2016
Her family says that Wahida has had a talent for
problem-solving since she was a young girl. Her life
has given her many chances to use this skill.
After her father's illness forced her to leave school, she earned money at home by sewing and tutoring younger children. Years later, her husband's work as a car mechanic fell off and he took a second job driving a taxi. When that was not enough to support the family of 6, Wahida joined the artisan cooperative Aashiyana. For the last 2 years she has worked there as a tailor and embroidery artisan. When her 12-year-old son began to get into trouble, she convinced her manager to allow her to work flexible hours so that she could supervise him and keep him on the right track.
She lives in a converted rooftop fitted with a tin ceiling which is too low for an adult to stand up. Wahida must move around in a crouch as she cooks, cleans, works and takes care of her 4 children. But she never complains; she plans. This is another problem for which she will find a solution.
Before joining the cooperative, Wahida had never traveled alone, even to school. Now she can confidently get around town and city. Her ambition is to see Aashiyana expand so that she can reach more women and tell them about her own journey, showing how she has grown both personally and professionally. She hopes this could help with the rise in unemployment resulting from the pandemic. Wahida's calm confidence would be sure to inspire them.