Tanushri Shukla Tells Us All The ‘Chindi Ways’ In Which She Is Empowering The Women Of Mankhurd
- IWB Post
- January 8, 2018
The number of environmental startups around me makes me feel guilty about not being able to contribute to the environment as much as I’d like.
And, then I meet people like Tanushri Shukla, who are not only redesigning the term environment-friendly but also empowering women in the process.
Ah, if only I’d be as chindi as Tanushri. Okay, so before you think I’ve lost my mind. Let me tell you a little more about Tanushri’s brand Chindi.
It all began when Tanushri saw the textile waste of her family garment business. She wanted to make something of it. And thus, to reinvent the scrap, chindi was born.
Tanushri took it forward with starting Chindi Women’s Centre in Mankhurd. Well, you know the curious cat in me, I had to dig more.
We use the word ‘chindi’ almost every day! How is your definition of ‘chindi’ different from ours? Use it in a sentence.
Tanushri: Haha, I use Chindi more than ever! “Chindi se do baskets banani hai,” etc. It’s really different from the way the rest of the world uses it. *wink*
I usually use it for Blogger Jayati when she brings only a small bowl of delicious dal for the lunch.
One change you have seen in your women employees over the span of working with ‘Chindi.’
Tanushri: Oh, there’s been a visible change in the general sense of confidence that shows in the smallest of things.
Sunaina, a woman who works with us, once shared an incident. She makes amazing crochets, and one day her husband came up to her while she was working and asked her to do something for him, to which she responded, “I have some work to do first.”
It was the simplest thing, but she felt so happy and confident!
Who is the brainchild behind the designs?
Tanushri: Oh, we have a technical guy with us. His name is Ateev Anand, and all the beautiful designs you’ll find on our website are done by him!
One overheard conversation that made you laugh!
Tanushri: I’m loving these questions! Haha, since they talk in Bhojpuri, I don’t understand much. My mom, who also works with me, sometimes helps me with understanding what they’re talking about.
Do the women ever assist you with developing designs?
Tanushri: Of late, yes. One of our women has, in fact, become the main instructor. She takes it upon herself to guide whoever is going wrong. I also seek her help when I need to brainstorm ideas for different collaborations with the textile industries who are looking to upcycle their waste.
How do you help them expand their creativity?
Tanushri: For once, it’s beneficial to have a professional designer who gives us some reference images. I also show them videos on YouTube, and when they call it easy, they respect themselves even more considering the kind of hard work they do.
One magic move by the textile industry that can control the fabric wastage?
Tanushri: Simple! They need to upcycle their wastage. I know it’s a little inconvenient. It should be like hygiene, you know. It needs to be kept clean.
One product you cannot wait to launch.
It really is! Could we steal a DIY tip from you for recycling old clothes?
Tanushri: Haha, of course. The easiest thing to do is to make your t-shirt into a bag! Cut it into two halves, sew it up from one side, and use it as a bag.
One entrepreneurial key that was your learning experience?
Tanushri: I don’t know whether it’s relevant or not. But, I really feel that ideas are cheap. It’s easy to come up with a concept. What matters is the hard work that goes into implementing it. There will be many obstructions and distractions on the way. It takes a lot to sit through it all and make it happen.
One story of a woman working with you who dealt with domestic abuse?
Tanushri: Domestic violence is common in rural areas. And so much, that it isn’t a big deal for them. They don’t even consider it to be a problem. The women in my team usually go and share their problems with my mother, as they consider me to be a baby! *Laughs*
Though there was one story, in particular, that was heartbreaking. One day a woman came to us to say goodbye. She was running away from her home since she’d had enough violence from her husband. We never saw her again.
Share a quote from your baggage of experience.
Tanushri: “Start where you are, use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear:
Handmade by mom;
Handmade by dad:
Tanushri: Mutton Curry!
Tell us how different entrepreneurial Tanushri is from Tanushri at home.
Tanushri: I’m much more impatient than the Entrepreneurial Tanushri! Haha.
Want to support Tanushri in her endeavor to make this world textile waste free? Start here.