Aarti Singh radiates power, pride and joy. She went to school till 12th class standard. As a young girl she dreamed of becoming a police woman, but coming from a conservative family who did not support this bold choice, she never pursued it. But some eight years ago, Aarti did start a career at Women on Wings’ partner Jute Artisans which changed her life completely.
The 41 years’ old mother of two daughters is happy to talk to Disha Rathour, senior business consultant at Women on Wings, who worked with the Jute Artisans’ management in Lucknow last month. But Aarti may look happy today, there was a time when she was not happy at all. She got married at the age of twenty one in the month of May. Says Aarti: “I remember it was extremely hot. It was an arranged marriage, and I was scared and nervous about my future life. I came to live in a joint family and soon, the burden of all household chores was on me. My husband never supported me in anyway, like financially or emotionally. Weirdly enough, my brother-in-law used to take care of my finances. So, my situation was not good, I had to choose working outside my home out of compulsion. I never wished that.”
Job brings income and independence
During her days of struggle Aarti used to cross the path in front of Jute Artisans’ office, but never realized that she could work there. Until one day someone told her about employment opportunities at Jute Artisans and she applied and got the job. Aarti never wished to work outside and leave her comfort zone and initially thought it was her misfortune. But now she looks at her job as a blessing in disguise: “Ever since I started working I feel empowered and more outspoken. I have full control over my earnings and make sure my daughters get good education so they can get good jobs and a better future. I can now travel to anywhere on my own and I feel more secured than before I worked.”
Role model for daughters
No one in Aarti’s family takes care of her and her daughters. But her income makes her capable to take good care of them and herself. Having learnt not to depend on her husband, Aarti fully focusses on creating a good future for her daughters. “I have no dreams for myself. My only dreams are for my girls. My work at Jute Artisans gives me so much. It makes me happy to work with other women and create beautiful products, and I feel relaxed. I now go to nearby villages and small cities like Gonda to train other women artisans. By showing my daughters my independency, I hope I am a role model for my girls and they too will become independent women who will make their own choices,” Aarti concludes her conversation with Women on Wings’ Disha.