Category Archives: Working Women

“You are never a looser until you quit trying”. – Jane Addams

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50 year old Vanita is still as energetic and lively as she was as a young child. She does her work with complete zeal. Currently residing in California, USA with her husband and children she works at a Motel and earns the living.

She was born in Limbuda to a farmer. Although not born with a silver spoon, she always felt that she had the freedom to do what she liked. The parents never restricted her of education and tried their best to provide the necessary education. She helped her parents in farming and household chores. Not having enough money they couldn’t afford a servant and so she used to work in the day time after school and then study at night. Work in morning and study at night became the daily routine. After schooling she went on to pursue her graduation in BA. But when she was in her last semester of SY BA, she had to stay at home as the father didn’t have money to pay for the hostel fees. She did self study and went to college to just give her exam. After her Second year when she was 23years old, she got married to an NRI.

She had to stay with her in laws for 18 months before she shifted to USA. When she shifted to USA, she was lucky enough to shift to her own house with all the relatives besides her to help her settle in a new country. When she landed first, she felt it very different. She was from a village so the culture and lifestyle was a complete change for her. She didn’t even know how to speak English which made it a little difficult for her. She cried alone in the bathroom, feeling embarrassed as she couldn’t understand what people spoke, neither did she know how to speak. But she dint give up or just cry, rather she joined an English speaking course. She did it for 3 months and learned how to speak English fluently. In just one month of going there, she took up a job with a cable company. She was first placed in the packaging department and later was promoted as an operator. She worked Monday to Saturday 5 to 5 and then in evening did the cooking and other household work. She never escaped from working hard. Everything was going good but then suddenly there came financial crisis and they had to sell of their house and then moved in a motel. The husband opened up a liquor shop and then later started up his own business of laundry. They stayed for 12 years in a motel and then when business started working well they bought their own house.

Life was going good thereafter. They have 2 sons. Although born in USA, the kids always carried the Indian culture in their heart. The elder son played football and got much sponsorship and with that money he financed his studies. He also did part time work to support his parents. Even the younger son followed his brother. Both the sons took medical as their field of study. Everything was going good, but in year 2007 recession strike America. During that time, the business started making losses. They couldn’t find customers and slowly slowly they got under debt. But this was not it. Later in December 2009, something terrible happened which changed their life forever. They lost their younger son in a car accident. He was just 21 years old when he met with a horrifying accident. It is as if they got a lifetime of pain and punishment. At this point of time, the business went completely in loss, the husband fell sick and they lost their son; everything came up at once. But even after all this troubles she never gave up. She stood firmly against it. The loss of the son is irreversible but they are strong enough to fight it. They sold of their business and the house and shifted back to a motel again, from where they are again rebuilding their life. Things have already started to fall in place. The motel is working fine; the elder son is doing great in his study and also does his internship. He also got engaged some months back, bringing little happiness in the family.

Life always puts lot of problems in front of us, but Vanita teaches us that we have to fight them and not give up. As said by Jane Addams, “Anyone can give up; it’s the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that’s true strength”.

“A sense of curiosity is nature’s original school of education.”- Smiley Blanton

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Mamta Tamakuwala urf Bhavna Tamakuwala is a proud owner of Rajesh Dresses. They sell fancy dress costumes and navratri dresses on rental basis. She is into the business since 1995. The business was started with only 16-20 dresses and slowly increased the stock to around 500. Today, Rajesh Dresses is one of the most popular shops in the whole of Valsad district. She is married to Ramesh Tamakuwala and is blessed with 3 Laxmi’s- Mitali, Jalpa and Unnati.

She was born in Navsari, Gujarat in the year 1970. She has a younger brother. Her father used to work with a company and later started up his own mill to make flour. The business was going well and the kids always got things they ever wanted. But what they missed the most was the freedom. Both the children were not allowed to go to friends place or on picnics. No birthday parties and no roaming around. The parents did take them around places and got them all presents and things they required, but they never had any freedom of speech or action. The restrictions that were put on them made Mamta a very reserved girl as she never got a chance to go out in the world. She studied in a girl’s school, from where she finished her 12th. After 12th when she was just 17 years old she was married and could not continue her studies further. At the age of 18 she was already a mother.

Her life after marriage was completely different. It was better. Her family is very supportive and is always besides her in adjusting to the new place. They always encouraged her to get into the family business. The person to encourage her the most was her mother-in-law. In 1995, both the brothers separated the financial and the business. They took over the business of Rajesh saree. At first they sold sarees on installment basis and side by side also had some 16 chanyacholi which they sold on rental basis. She with her husband and mother-in-law got into the business of saree. But she took more interest in the fancy dress costume business and learnt everything about it. Later they completely changed the business from sarees to Rajesh Dresses. She was not even a graduate nor had any experience of running a business but still at this point she runs it successfully. She is so good at it that after some years from starting it, the husband started up a travel agency of his own and she handles the dress business. She is very curious in learning things. Even though she has never done any kind of accounting or billing work she brought new ways of keeping records. Initially her knowledge about the different leaders and politicians and culture of all states in India was low and to overcome it she stuck pictures so as to have an idea of the dresses. She kept on innovating. She always kept the shop very organised and hygiene too.

Customers for her are like God. She gives personal attention to all the customers and tries and full fills everybody’s need. Even if the customer comes at 10-12 in the night she would not deny them of any service. Even during family occasions she informs the customers and delivers the order on time. Till date she has never missed on any of her orders.  She brings new stuff in the shop every year and travels to distant places like Ahmedabad and Palitana to get new costumes. In the beginning they didn’t had much financials so both the husband and wife used to travel in local trains and carry all the stuff themselves. She has become very popular among all the schools and colleges in the Valsad district. Recently in the year 2011, the shooting for the serial Shobha Somnath ki was happening near Valsad. The director bought 50-100 dresses from her for the shooting of some particular episode. Even in year 2012, one of the schools in Kapdada, Dharampur rented 300-400 dresses from her for their function and she was also invited personally to attend the event.

Her life brings forth the fact that when you have support from your family, you can do anything. Nothing is impossible. You just need the curiosity to learn and act. From a business perspective, she teaches us that customer should be treated as King: it’s only because of them that the business works and grows.