“Being a part of Sundara has resolved my financial problems at home. We women from Northern India don’t get to go out of our homes for work. That used to be my case…. this job is giving me opportunities I never dreamed of.”-Kanchan
Kanchan Kashyap is 36 years old. She came to Mumbai 7 years ago from the state of Uttar Pradesh in Northern India to find better work for her husband and with the hope to send their two children to school.
Her husband, like many migrant laborers, struggled to find work and what he did find was either inconsistent or dangerous. Currently, he is a painter on a Bollywood film set, but the work isn’t steady and at times he’ll go months without a work assignment.
Kanchan wanted to bring in money for her family, but it proved to be a challenge since she had trouble understanding the local Marathi language. She would make jewelry in her home and sell the pieces by walking door-to-door, but was often turned down. The rejection fueled her embarrassment from not being able to communicate well, but it also inspired her to find another outlet.
Feeling the pressure from her family’s finances she decided to join a women’s self help group, in hopes of finding a job herself. This group connected her to Sundara. Sundara works with local woman, like Kanchan, to provide working opportunities that wouldn’t normally be presented to them.
Through Sundara’s training program she became a soap recycler and hygiene ambassador. We enjoy partnering with Sundara because they work in many ways to best serve the communities where they work. Not only do they provide soap to those in need, but also hygiene education and job prospects. They continue to encourage community growth in all they do.
Two years into her job and Kanchan is now bringing home a higher salary than her husband. This is something completely unheard of back in her hometown– and something she never dreamed of for herself.
“He sees how nice it is to have a wife that makes good money. We are even traveling to Goa and Pune for work to teach at schools.”-Kanchan
Now she has the money to pay for her son’s school fees – and she plans to send her daughter to school next year too.
Partnering with Sundara has been, and continues to be, an incredible experience. The work that they do, and that you support with your purchases, is not only providing hygiene products and education to people in need, but also job opportunities. They truly are building up the communities they serve.
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