With everything going on in the world today, it’s a pulsing reminder that there is still a lot of room for change and progress, especially for women. But celebration coexists with struggle and now, more than ever, we want to celebrate the remarkable resilience of women, individuals who find the strength and passion to go on despite their circumstances.
Sonica Sarna is the founder of Sonica Sarna Design, an ethical design production agency that engages artisans to create fashion products for global brands and designers. As an apparel and accessories designer based in India, we work closely with her to produce our garments.
She wrote to us about Project Thrive, an initiative she started in India to recruit at-risk people from local slum clusters and enrol them in a 45 day paid sewing training program.
I WANT TO CREATE VALUE WITH MY LIFE BY OFFERING OPPORTUNITIES FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO VOICE.
Many of the women have fought severe trauma and resistance in their homes to come out and fight for a right to work so they could earn wages for their daughter’s education. With Project Thrive, Sonica is looking to provide them a skill that would create employment options in the long run.
For Sonica, the motivation behind Project Thrive is “The call to justice. I want to create value with my life by offering opportunities for those who have no voice. I want to be remembered as someone who did the right thing and lived with happiness and love.”
I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED AS AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN WHO EARNED HER OWN INCOME, IS NOT DEPENDANT ON ANYONE ELSE, IS SAFE, AND HAS A TENSION FREE LIFE.
Sunita Saini is responsible for the sewing and hand embroidery work at Project Thrive. Before this, she took on contract jobs for garment thread cutting, then underwent training to learn how to sew. As a mother of three, working for her is a financial necessity. She sees it as a means of provision for her children; to be able to set meals on the table, send them all to school, and give them what they need without hesitance. As a woman, being a part of Project Thrive is an open door to what she sees to be her independence.
When we asked Sunita what legacy she wanted to leave with the life she’s living, she shared “I want to be remembered as an independent woman who earned her own income, is not dependant on anyone else, is safe, and has a tension free life.”
Sangeeta currently focuses her training on garment cutting and measurement checking. Her journey to this point of her life is one of toil and hardship. At the age of 14, she was married off and since had 6 children. Yet before she could fully adjust to her identity as a mother, 3 of them passed away as she was too young to bear them.
HAVING LIVED THE LIFE WITH THE LOT SHE’S BEEN GIVEN, SHE DIDN’T WANT THE SAME STORY FOR HER DAUGHTER.
When Sangeeta learned of Project Thrive, she fought with her in-laws and husband to enrol in the program. They were all against her leaving the house to work, and didn’t find any value in her intentions – but she went ahead anyways. For her, being a part of the program was an opportunity to earn the wages to pay for her daughter’s place in school. Having live the life with the lot she’s been given, she didn’t want the same story for her daughter. By providing her daughter with an education, Sangeeta hopes that the narrative of tribulation is one that ends with her generation.
THE FIGHT FOR GENDER EQUALITY, AFTER CENTURIES OF BOUNDARY-BREAKING, IS STILL ONGOING AND IT IS THE REMARKABLE RESILIENCE OF WOMEN THAT KEEPS THE PROGRESS STRONG.
In a culture where financial stability is often interrelated with freedom of choice, Project Thrive seeks to give voice and independence to those unable to have either. Through Sonica’s intentions, Sunita’s perseverance, and Sangeeta’s determination, we are reminded that the fight for gender equality, after centuries of boundary-breaking, is still ongoing and it is the remarkable resilience of women that keeps the progress strong.
Tell us about a female figure in your life (and not your mom, because we all know they hold a special place in our hearts) that embodies remarkable resilience at firstname.lastname@example.org