Meet Vinita Vishvanath Desai
फुल नाही तर पाकळी सही, which means ‘even if it is just the petal and not the flower, it is mine’ says Vinita. ‘I have earned it and am proud of my accomplishment.’
Vinita’s story of grit and determination, reflects the self-belief that Ohrna aims to create. She had to overcome many hardships and opposition to reach this point.
Born in a typical rural family where the main source of income is dairy and farming, Vinita studied till the 10th grade but then dropped out. As a young girl, she dreamt of wearing nice clothes -- an opportunity she got once a year when her uncle who lived in Mumbai brought them gifts for the Diwali festival.
Vinita often went to Mumbai to look after her aunt who frequently fell ill. That’s when her tryst with stitching began, which she learned from a neighbor and would repair and stitch bags there.
She got married at 23 and worked on the family farm while also managing the house. Working on the farm severely strained her back and she was immobile for a while. It was only when she moved to Lonand village in 2011 that she gradually recovered from the crippling backache, and was eager to ‘do something’.
As luck would have it, Vinita’s daughter met Pournima from Mann Deshi who introduced her to Ohrna.
Vinita was very excited to work with Ohrna. She found that it was not just money and art, but working with an organization that was very fulfilling. She has become more courageous and self-confident. She has learnt many values of which she was unaware. Quality is a very important aspect of Ohrna products and so Vinita has also learned to be a perfectionist. She enjoys her new found skill in embroidery and loves making mats and runners.
Her husband supports her passion and tries to help his mother understand the value of Vinita’s work.
She dreams that her children will not struggle like she did and is saving up all she earns towards their future. She thanks God for rewarding her efforts and on pay-day, she places all her earnings at God’s feet before depositing it in the bank.
Today a confident, self sufficient Vinita wants to march into the future along with women like her, who do not have the independence to leave their homes to go work outside.
Work at Ohrna has made empowerment possible while balancing the home front and will help her children have a better life.