Every year, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day across the world to promote women’s rights and honour their achievements across the political, economic, social and cultural spheres.
This day is a reminder of the grit and determination of women all across the world.
There is no force more powerful than a woman’s determination to rise.
Every life begins with a woman. Respect and encourage every woman for what she is. Women, are always respected, loved and appreciated.
Theme for today’s International Women’s Day 2022 is…
“Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”
In our Business Entrepreneur series on the eve of International Women’s Day, today we are introducing you a very dynamic and popular Business Entrepreneur of Mumbai who is known for her remarkable and outstanding performance in the field of Manufacturing Paper Bags and Boxes who always believes in Women Empowerment. Yes we are talking about Samata Wakade, she shared her Entrepreneurial journey with Hello Mumbainews.com Correspondent Janvi Panjwani.
Find her on Social Media :
While expressing myself, I would like to share my recent experiences. I am an entrepreneur who runs an organisation called EAL (Every Thing About Learning) which works towards making the physically handicapped empowered. I recently won the title of Mrs. Maharashtra Icon 2021, I was also given the Samaj Bhushan Award by the Maharashtra Marathi journalist association 2022, and international proud woman award by the magazine Namaste India.
I once came across this Buddhist quote
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light”.
My victory is a product of experiences based on challenges and my subsequent triumph over it.
I had started Eal in the year 2019 EAL that time was Everything About Language. In the period of grief, Education gave me solace and that made me open an institute like EAL.
I had started this organisation just two years after my husband’s death. He had blood Cancer. After his death I was completely shaken, vulnerable , having no Idea whatsoever to how to cope up. I had been a housewife all my life. And suddenly I had to pick up all the pieces left and move on in life with my two very small children.
But , as the saying goes “the strength of love is beyond measure” and I realised my strength or inner strength came from receiving love as much as it came from giving it. Love came to me in the form of my parents unconditional love and support, it came to me in the from of the soothing comfort of friends, cousins, relatives and ofcourse in the innocence of my children.
And just after 1 year of my husbands death I went to the UK to pursue my degree in marketing. While there I also did a online course in TESOL(Teaching English To Speakers of other Languages) from the college of Birmingham. Later I also did a course in CELTA from the University of Cambridge.
EAL was doing well we started getting many students infact, I also had started a pre school.. things were going well till Corona happened.
Soon there was a lockdown which changed things for me 360degrees as it must have done for all of you as well. Infact circumstances and situations were so bad that I had to shut down my institute.
As Leo Tolstoy says “the two most powerful warriors are patience and time” I just needed to have patience with all things first of all with myself. I spent almost a year of my lockdown at home not knowing what to do next or what future holds.
“What is meant to be will always find a way”. I was contacted my by cousin and her friend who had a NGO of hers. They wanted to collaborate with me to start a therapy center for the differently abled, and since I had a background in English language training they wanted me to be associated with them in the language department.
While being associated with this one partner who had an NGO , we started interacting with a lot of differently abled individuals specially with the physically handicapped, while doing so we realised that these amazing individuals were not only talented but also hardworking.
This observation made all of us partners to come up with a strategy to work towards giving them an equal opportunity by giving a chance to show case their talent and capabilities, atleast in our organization.
Along with the therapy center we started a job placement services for the divyangs (differently abled). It was during that time that a group of physically handicapped people came to us with a project of paper bags and boxes.
This was the Start of our journey into the world of manufacturing of paper bags and boxes. After many initial challenges, setbacks and failures we got our first order of 1000 bags. After that though things have not been very smooth sailing because of the second and third wave of COVID, we have managed to sail through with the customized orders hand crafted by our wonderfully talented staff and also with the sale of generic white and brown paper bags.
The Last one year has been full of challenges for me personally and professionally. Personally I had suffered a major health setback wherein I had undergone a rare kind of surgery in the spine in which there was a 20% chance of me being paralysed . And professionally the two lock downs had almost taken a toll on us professionally.
But as it is said patience is not only the ability to wait but also the power to have a good attitude while waiting. We kept getting small orders from many Bakers, jewellers, soap makers, caterers .they kept coming back to us because of our unique designs.
Recently I was given an award by Maharashtra Rajya Marathi Patrakar Sangh for outstanding work towards the differently Abed. During that time I also had participated in a beauty pageant as it was my childhood dream and I won the title of Mrs. Maharashtra 2021
“People who live a life of Tenacity and challenge break through all the obstacles they face just as water eventually carves a path through rock, be strong like a constantly flowing water ever moving forward” -Daisaku Ikeda
EAL continues to grow despite of the challenges. At EAL we manufacture customized and generic paper bags and boxes. Today’s times where there is a ban on plastics, paper bags and boxes are the most eco friendly alternative. It also aids the government of India’s Clean India initiative.
In my journey till now love that I have received from my loved ones has been a significant factor for me to sail through life. It has helped me battle and conquer all the obstacles I have faced till now. As they say “WHAT LOVE CAN CONQUER IS NOTHING SHORT OF MIRACLE”,