You’ve heard the women at MarketPlace tell their stories, you’ve read about their lives and aspirations. But here are some key men associated with MarketPlace in Mumbai who are as important to the organization as the women.
Sheikh Abdullah, or as we know him- Abdul, first started working with MarketPlace in 1995. “I used to work in a general store back home in Kerala. But I always wanted to work in a social organization where I could use my skills to better the lives of others and learn from them in the process”, says Abdul. Abdul is the head of Nirmaan Collective and very recently he has been to Delhi to learn more about cutting patterns and garment production.
Abdul has 2 sons in the 3rd and 7th grade, both active members of the Armaan Club. “My older son is passionate about football and has recently been selected by Bajaj Allianz for a football match. If his team wins he will get a chance to go to Germany for further training!”
Joseph heads the group WARE (Women Artisans’ Rehabilitation Enterprise) and has been working with MarketPlace since 1986. He set up a tailoring unit in his house in Mumbai in 1995, working with about 45 people. “WARE specializes in making garments and recycled accessories like bags, baskets, runners and jewellery. My group also developed this (pic below) one-of-a-kind home accessory- the toran– which is traditionally made of fresh flowers to decorate the entrance of homes in India”, Joseph tells us.
Joseph lives with his wife and 2 children. His younger son is in the 8th grade and his older son is in the final year of college where he has been studying business management.
Abur Gani, the head of the Sahara group, has worked with MarketPlace for 20 years now. He started off as an apprentice to Zia Bhai in the Ghar Udyog Collective in 1992, and is now a successful entrepreneur. He started his own unit is a very small way with a rented sewing machine and 4 artisans. The unit grew slowly with some financial help from MarketPlace in the form of loans. “At present I have 28 artisans and my workshop is spread out over two floors. My unit makes bags and garments for the local and international market and I hope we can grow bigger in terms of orders and production capacity”, says Abur Gani.
He has two young children who participate in all the activities of the Armaan Club and can often be seen running around his workshop. Abur Gani’s wife has been working as the supervisor of Sahara for a year and a half now.