A Day for Quality and Quizzes

October 2nd


Lalita Monteiro leaves for Chicago tonight.  It is her attention to detail  that actually keeps MarketPlace in business.  There are always last-minute things and so we spent the morning together outlining what needed to be done after she left.  For example, one fabric producer had to send a scarf, two bags had to be made, fabric for 2 tops is yet to be received, etc.

At the Producer group meeting we had a great discussion with the leaders, wrapping up the discussions of the last 2 days, making new resolutions and fine-tuning systems.  For example, MarketPlace-Mumbai will be starting a new group that will serve as a training ground for artisans who will then be placed with existing groups or who may want to start their own group.  Another point we discussed was quality checking.  In keeping with our philosophy, each group checks quality before it comes to MarketPlace-Mumbai.  At MarketPlace, representatives of each group examine it a second time.  Problems can still be discovered at this stage and the system was set up so that the problem would be written on the hang tag of the garment and given back to the group for repair at the end of the day.  This means that when they bring it back they have to attach a new hang tag.  Since this costs money, they wanted to find a way to identify the problem without having to replace the tags.  We discussed this a lot and then the final outcome was that  if any group’s quality issues exceeded 10%,  they would be put on probation and all the other groups would help them work on the problem.  If this happened a second time,  then the old system would be reinstated and ALL the groups’ problems would be identified on the tag.  In this way the all the groups were responsible for each other.  FANTASTIC!

After this meeting we all celebrated Gandhi Jayanti with the children of the Aarman Club.  October 2 is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.  Oftentimes the business leaders of the groups are very busy and do not know what actually happens at some of the social programs.  So this was an opportunity for them to see what the kids were getting out of the club, which will inspire them to work to get  more of the artisans’ children motivated to attend.

Kids attending the festivities of Gandhi Jayanti
Kids attending the festivities of Gandhi Jayanti

The program was scheduled to begin with  a welcome.  The girl who had been assigned to give the welcoming speech  was not able to come, and so a boy of about 12 years was asked to substitute for her with just 5 minutes to prepare.  You will not believe how well he spoke, in English and without notes!  His mother is one of the supervisors of the design workshop and she was beaming!  Then there was a quiz, a general knowledge competition.  The children were divided in 2 groups.  They were asked questions like, who is the Prime Minister of India, what is the longest river in the world, what’s the largest desert in the world, etc.  The winning  team  received ½ point because the other team could not answer this question:  Who was the first to climb Mount Everest?  Do you know?  I know I didn’t.  Well, my young friend who did the introduction did!

The kids during the quiz show
The kids during the quiz show

Then they performed a skit on the benefits of attending the Aarman club meetings and what they learn from the Life Skills Education curriculum that is being followed.  And lastly they danced to some great music.  It was great to see the business leaders and these young people (some of them their own kids) all dancing together.  This does not happen so much here as the generations are more likely to celebrate separately,  except for festivals.

Arman children performing a skit on the importance of children getting involved in the activities of Aarman club
Arman children performing a skit on the importance of children getting involved in the activities of Aarman club
The parents and some of the children watch the skit that the children perform
The parents and some of the children watch the skit that the children perform

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