Known as one of the path-breaking designers in the Indian fashion industry, designer Anita Dongre has always gone out of the way to give it back to society. From backing the cause of sustainability and welfare of artisans, she has proved that fashion isn’t her only legacy in these two decades since she started her own brand. Post making non-surgical masses and starting a COVID-fund for all her artisans and employees, the designer has now teamed up with UN Women to upskill ladies with a low-income backgrounds in Maharashtra.
In collaboration with UN Women, Anita will aid women from disadvantaged backgrounds and provide them the professional skillset that is required to be employed. These skills include emotional intelligence, creative thinking, entrepreneurship and problem-solving tactics.
In a virtual interaction with Dr. Heena Gavit, chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on women empowerment, and UN Women Deputy Director Nishtha Satyam, Dongre reminisced the time when she was the first woman from her family who stepped out for work. “Because of our social conditioning, my parents were surprised that I wanted to go to college and take up a job. Neighbors used to mock my father that he couldn’t earn enough which is why his daughter was going for a job. I have been through all of this societal stigma, and I know what goes into making people understanding why I deserved to work. Eventually, my father gave me my first loan for starting my own business, and I am proud to say that I was able to return it in six months,” Anita recollected.
Since she has started from humble beginnings herself, Anita knows the importance of self-sufficiency for women. “Year after year, I have always wished for the same thing: that every woman in India gets to lead a life on her own terms. This change is going to happen and very soon. I believe that you can either observe it happening from the sidelines or become a part of it,” she said. The designer believes that women-empowerment is the only way to bring a change to society and it can go a long way. “Today, when I visit women from the villages that we support, I can see the pride that comes in them from financial independence. So many women tell me that they now don’t need to ask anyone for money and that their men treat them with respect as well. Women empowerment is the only way to usher in this change.”
(Source- Vogue India)