Kruti Women – Anita
Anita is one of the few people who walked into the Kruti offices tugging years of experience alongside her. After two years of fashion design theory, a spell in a Pune boutique enabled her to polish her skills. Word of her talent soon whizzed out beyond the city, and soon Harsha requested her to sew bags for students from Norway. Anita’s nifty fingers and needles flew, and in no time she had completed fifty of them. That’s when she wowed the Kruti founders enough to be offered a spot at the enterprise. Then, Kruti was still a fledgling initiative and there were only a couple of other girls. She however, appreciated the “freedom to run my house but still be independent and work.” She did not hesitate to nudge other young women in this direction. “I feel like we’ve inspired girls from the villages to be free” she says serenely.
Anita speaks softly, almost playing down her remarkable work in training streams of new girls. She likes seeing the spaces get a little more busy each day. “This is a place for us girls to meet up and work together,” she says. “I’ve made a lot of friends here. I even get calls from them at odd hours, asking me about the work and how I’m doing!” Her tone steadies. “Starting this is a good opportunity for girls in the village.
We can earn for ourselves.”
She is no stranger to work though, and according to her, neither are the other women. “Nobody just sits around” she says, most work in the fields. It might not be the same as wading out to meet new people, buts it’s hard work all the same. I get the sense that Anita then did not join Kruti as any outlet for her energy, but because she specifically loves dressmaking. It isn’t always a smooth ride, a bout of ill health and too many household chores left Anita ragged. Some people wondered if she’d continue stitching. She even was chided for not putting enough weight (though plenty of girls here would ‘jump at the chance to lend some of theirs!’ we say, and she chuckles.) Yet, she refused to dump her job or get married in haste. “If I’m not allowed to work after marriage then I won’t get married” she says quietly. And as we thank her and rise to depart, her concentration locks on the half-embroidered cloth once more.