Resilience Redesigned: The MarketPlace Way - 4
Life was never exactly easy in the narrow lanes of the Santacruz, Mumbai slum. The coronavirus and lockdown restrictions have made everything even more complicated. Yet there are still inspiring stories from the staff at Share, MarketPlace Bombay, and MarketPlace Chicago. These are all accounts that have moved the staff whether it was another colleague or the artisans and their children. Refusing to be discouraged, they are finding ways to not only cope, but triumph.
GROWING WITH DEDICATION
By Natalie Johnson - MarketPlace Chicago
During the pandemic I have been impressed with the two new staff members we have at MPB. At the beginning of the pandemic our two interns from National Institute of Fashion Technology were brought on full time and joined the MarketPlace Mumbai staff. Despite the lockdown in India, Sanvritti and Shivani have made such an impact on MarketPlace in such a short amount of time. They have worked hard through these challenging times (sometimes answering emails at 2 am) and have helped set up new systems while working completely remote to help production in India run smoothly. I am really impressed with how much has been accomplished with the two of them only being with the company as interns for a couple of months before being brought on full time. They have truly put their hearts into their jobs and you can tell they care a lot about the artisans and the company mission.
By Bhakti Kabre - Production Manager, MarketPlace Mumbai
When I think back to March when the lockdown began, we coped with not meeting family and friends and working from home because we thought it would only last a short time. I realize now that we have to live with this virus for some time now.
There are two people I am so impressed with. Sushila, who assists me with planning production and quality control, resisted the pressure her family put on her to pack up and move to the village. She stayed in her home the first couple of weeks and since the beginning of April has been coming to the office every day. When we discussed the need to start quality control in order to send a shipment to MarketPlace, she did everything needed to make this happen. We were able to send small but regular shipment because of her. It was not easy, but she took all the precautions and was a motivator to others by her example.
Shravan, who is the cutter at Nirmaan Collective, did not live close. I looked high and low for someone nearby to come and cut for the sewing artisans. Since the artisans lived nearby, they could start work again and they were very keen on earning. Without public transportation it is very difficult for Shravan to come and it takes him over 2 hours one way. But he comes every day and is always cheerful and helpful.
By Shivani Gupta - MarketPlace Mumbai
Shivani, as a student at the National Institute of Fashion Design, did her final year internship at MarketPlace Mumbai. She is now doing a 6-month paid project there.
My work with MarketPlace has given me insight into the strength of the human spirit. These women face one challenge after another, but they come out stronger every single time. They truly believe in the motto "Dignity not Charity" and they work hard to realize their dreams. I have worked closely with Nirmaan group, setting up new systems and training the artisans. These women are such talented seamstresses who make beautiful garments.
Once a year MarketPlace holds an in-house sale and the women can buy and wear with pride the lovely garments they have produced. They had a great time mixing and matching and proudly came the next day wearing their purchases.
The artisans have become like a close-knit family to me as we have eaten together, laughed and, at times, argued. I have learned so much from them! It brings to mind a quote from Bernard Williams: "Man never made any material as resilient as the human spirit."
CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW FOR MORE STORIES.
Resilience Redesigned: The Marketplace Way-1
Resilience Redesigned: The Marketplace Way-2
Resilience Redesigned: The Marketplace Way-3
Resilience Redesigned: The Marketplace Way-5
Resilience Redesigned: The Marketplace Way-6
Resilience Redesigned: The Marketplace Way-7