We think by being a bit formal and having a bit of competition we can help women sharpen their focus.
So we started showing different types of work- some one side will be used, a lot of our work is reversible. There is a different approach for both. ....many things to instil in women, keeping work clean, being timely with completing work, speaking up if you don't get it, we are happy to be patient and train as quality is important, we are impatient of careless work.
I am so impressed with Praveen....not long ago he knew nothing of stitching and was so shy in front of the women, now he is comfortable and confident to explain how we are working, say wait a minute improve it this way, etc, etc.
We intentionally held the training day in the workshop, wanting to get women used to coming in here, learning something new, meeting the rest of our gang, and getting a glimpse of how the workshop runs. Next visit I will show them pictures of the day on the internet and explain the reason we want their name on their work is because the people who buy it are genuinely interested in where and who it comes from.
Locally the word for Mrs is related to the caste someone comes from...so rather than Mrs Om it is Om Kanwar which would tell me she is from Rajput caste....someone else might be Sanju Devi who comes from a different caste, not as high as a Kanwar....and on and on it goes.
In our workshop we ignore caste and religion for that matter...work is what matters so I consciously and respectfully call everyone Ji or Madame....Ji is a general honorific in Hindi and Madame is what everyone calls me.
I noticed some of the women reacted to the different castes here...politely we try and show it is not important. Praveen very much seconds this.
I also noticed the ladies watching and laughing at Praveen and I, in a nice way....Om-ji is very fond of us and you could see here almost saying to the ladies she brought- look at that loving couple. We are obviously a team as well as husband and wife and best friends....for most here their friends are the women of the family and their husband is their husband but not a friend as such.
I write these blog entries but Praveen listens to what I have written and his comments are added in...as a team I am the writing walli [ hindi for person or fellow in the feminine form] and he is quite often the speaking wallah [hindi for fellow in the masculine form] he gets to translate what we are trying to say into Hindi.
I think it went well..... yeh.