#AidToMaid: Pallavi Jaipur empowers her artisans
- IWB Post
- March 8, 2015
The campaign is joint effort towards International Women’s Day where jewelry designer Sonal Sawansukha invites Jaipur women to collectively pledge for the empowerment of maids at home and workplace. Celebrity Fashion Designer Pallavi Jaipur shared with us how she had been working for her women workers in the fields of finances, health, relationships, security, etc.
Pallavi introduced us to her 4 women artisans at her workshop – Santosh, Radha, Reeta and Sumitra.
Pallavi Jaipur – They have been working with me for 5-7 yrs. Though, our schedules are very busy, especially during wedding season, we still manage to chat with one another. After all, we are women. We need to talk.
JWB – What kind of relationship do you share with them?
Pallavi Jaipur – All 4 of them are older to me. Radha ji is 60+ and I call her amma. Rest of us call each other ‘didi’. I know most of the things about them excluding Sumitra ji who has started working with me 6 months back.
Sumitra didi, why don’t you tell me more about your family! What does your husband do?
Sumitra – He works right here, in your workshop! Didn’t you know? (She pointed towards him)
Pallavi Jaipur (laughs) – Oh lord, no! But you two never come or leave workshop together.
Sumitra – I go earlier, as I have to go home and cook dinner.
Pallavi Jaipur – Is it really difficult to handle work and your homes?
Reeta – We are now habitual. To maintain a descent flow of money at home, we prefer working.
JWB – But amma is quite old. How do you manage?
Radha (amma) – I love my work here. I have always loved designing and stitching, and I would want to work till the last breath of my life.
Pallavi Jaipur – My motive is to support older women who generally don’t get employment after the certain age. Here, they just have to sit down and work with less physical load. Can’t you see pride on their face? I think they are financially independent.
JWB – Does anyone of you want to ask anything about finances?
Radha (amma) – I want to know about Bema policies.
(Pallavi patiently makes amma understand the benefits of the insurance)
Pallavi Jaipur – Most of the time it is their husbands who take care of finances. Except Santosh, who has been a sole victor for more than 6 yrs now.
Sumitra – But my husband takes advice from me.
Reeta – Even my husband takes my suggestion before putting money into anything.
JWB – Wow Pallavi, you have got a strong women’s team working for you.
Pallavi Jaipur – They are very strong women, just their energies are to be driven in right direction. Just another day I scolded one of them for wasting money in superstitions. She had given a ‘pundit’ a good chuck of money to pray for her family’s good fortune.
Lack of education results in activities like this. For this we, as high title-holders, must guide them to the right path.
JWB – We see, most of them are from Bengal region.
Pallavi Jaipur – That’s true. But migrating here and finding a proper place to live is a difficult task for them. In that case, I become their guarantor.
JWB – What is the best thing about your female workforce?
Pallavi Jaipur – They are not hesitant to say anything to me. We discuss family, money, workload, and of course design. Daily we talk about their favorite looks from the TV serials they watched a night before.
JWB – It is important to be one among them.
Pallavi Jaipur – Very true. I don’t feel different sitting on the ground with them to stitch or make a new design. We are a team. Today I am successful because I have got women like these.
Pallavi is determined to make elderly women artisans powerful both financially and emotionally. These women surely have a strong after-retirement life.
Pallavi pledged how she will continue working on her determination. She wore a cleaning glove and took a mop showcasing her dedication to clean the lives of her female staff.
With a beautiful Jewel Saga emerald bracelet on her wrist as a symbol of her master-position, she wrote the following pledge:
‘The ups and downs in life teach us the strengths of ‘give & take’. I am fortunate to have the strength of both in my life – women I work with and women I work for.
Photographer: Vinod Singh Gusain