Meet Pournima Vivek Nanaware
Pournima is a trainer at Mann Deshi in Lonand and a leader at Ohrna.
Pournima’s father passed away when she was 7 years old. They went to her mothers’ parents home where one of her 2 sisters passed away in a year.
Her mother started tailoring in order to earn a living. Her mother would always tell the story of how as a child, Pournima used to sit quietly with hands folded on her lap watching her mother sew, never disturbing her. That’s probably what started her journey in crafts and sewing. Her father was very creative, making models with different materials at home and she believes she also gets that from him.
Her father was a schoolteacher while her mother had not completed her primary education. Her uncles deprived her of her husband’s savings and also urged her to stay home and sew. She refused and decided to look for a job. The only salaried job she could garner was in the local municipality as an attendant. The family heavily opposed this and stopped speaking with her. But she was determined, worked and also sent her 2 girls to hostel, to ensure both their education as well as their safety while she worked outside home. After their 12th grade, she got them back home so she could spend some time with them before they were married.
Pournima got married in her second year of college so her sister could get a better education, which she did. To her luck, Pournima married into a family with a tailoring business while her sister went on to become a Tehsildar (revenue officer in the government). Her mother tried a lot for a government job for her too, but it never worked out.
Pournima had a drive and urge to always do something and kept at it, as and when she was able, never being idle. She started with teaching mehendi (henna) classes, then rangoli (decorative floor adornment in front of God or at the entrance of homes), embroidery, garland making, knitting etc.
She also started teaching children at home. She had learnt tailoring in her first year at college and learned also to make sponge bags, which she soon started selling from home or at stalls when possible.
When Ohrna came along, she felt that she found her calling. She was interested in arts and crafts always, since childhood. ‘This is my path, I got an opportunity within my sphere yet in a bigger and more professional setup, so I am really happy. It’s as if everything came together for me at Ohrna’.
‘Ohrna’s future is bright and so is mine’ believes Pournima. 'Jute, a natural material is its focus. There are people in the world who love that. This will move forward far and we will all move with it'.
Pournima is very enthusiastic about finding, selecting and training the right women. ‘There are a lot of needy women, willing and eager to work. I will focus on getting work to such women and we will take them along with us. Going out to work is a blotch on the reputation of women in these communities. When we give them work, we don’t just provide an income, but also save them from social stigma. So Ohrna is not just creating employment, but by creating opportunities to work from home, it is also creating self-respect’.