Kavita dreamt of being happy with a complete family when she was young, but her life took a different direction. After a marriage full of struggles, she and her husband separated. Fortunately, things changed for the better when she started working for PakshooPakshee in 2021. Kavita told her story to a Women on Wings’ team that visited the PashooPakshee center in Panna early March 2022 to work with the PashooPakshee team on structuring its financials. PashooPakshee is a social enterprise that sells wildlife inspired souvenirs handmade by – mostly – women.
Life was tough
Kavita’s life has not been easy. She got married when she was young. She does not exactly remember how old she was, but she was somewhere around 15 to 17 years. She was scared and excited both when she got married. After her marriage her life was terrible. She says: “My husband did not work, and I did not know how to make ends meet. It was tough and humiliating living with him and my in-laws.” This was the reason that she and her husband separated. Kavita and her children are now living with the family of her married brother. “My life was bleak after my separation, and I could foresee no future for myself and my kids.” she adds.
What a difference a job makes
Luckily, she was offered a job by the local coordinator of the PashooPakshee center when he came to the village. It changed her life completely. “I have become so independent,” she proudly says. “I was shy, would not speak with anyone outside my family. Now I come to the center on my own, meet and interact with everyone there, and even with visitors.” Even her clothing has changed. From saris to the more comfortable salwar suits. With so many women working now, it is changing gender dynamics in the village. According to Kavita some men and in-laws also help in the household chores now.
Future looks much better
Kavita aspires to get good education for her children to help them get proper jobs. She is thrilled she can now take care of her children with her own money. She adds: “My children are so happy and proud that their mother has a job and earns money. Now I can afford to buy things for them without asking my brother for money all the time. I am also saving for our better future. I feel respected by my family. I can dream of a future for us, a life of dignity.”
Image | Kavita at work