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reCharkha - Our EcoSocial Tribe

Amita Deshpande

AMITA

Founder & Director

Amita has worked extensively in Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility since the past 14 years. An IT Engineer by basic education, she went on to do her Masters at Purdue University, USA with a focus on Sustainability. She worked with CSR teams of multinational corporations, consultancies, non-profits, and community-based organizations in the United States and India and eventually founded Aarohana EcoSocial Developments with the rich experience she has gathered. After leading Aarohana for 7 years, she went on to found reCharkha. With her EcoSocial vision and boundless energy, Amita designs our EcoSocial projects, heads our communication and awareness generation efforts, and looks after overall management of reCharkha and My EcoSocial Planet. Amita’s long-standing dream is to develop a sustainable village and live in it herself, which she wishes to fulfill through reCharkha and My EcoSocial Planet.
Naresh Khawale

ABHISHEK

Manager - Production and Logistics

Abhishek comes with 8 years experience in Manufacturing operations. He holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering, specializing in Lean Operations Management, from Detroit, USA. He has worked in a variety of industries from foundry, forging and automobile. His strong experience in machining will help us enhance our traditional equipment and techniques of upcycling. In addition, he brings in new methods and systems to streamline our production processes. Abhishek has also worked in the field of Nutrition and Fitness, hence brings in a different expertise required for our rural community initiatives, which is a part of our non-profit entity "My EcoSocial Planet". We are thrilled to have him onboard and look forward towards our journey ahead.
Manisha Vaidya

JAEE

Co-Founder

An IT Engineer by education, Jaee’s love for art and craft, always had an upper hand. She has worked extensively on Handmade Paper products. ‘It’s my meditation’ says Jaee. A beloved Customer of Aarohana EcoSocial Developments, Jaee wished always to someway contribute to the cause. She joined and worked for Aarohana for over 3 years, and now is the founding team at reCharkha.

Naresh Khawale

Operations Head

Naresh is an Army Veteran and has recently joined reCharkha. He has served extensively for 26 years in Army’s Logistic Department. During his military career, he was close to nature in the mountainous terrain of Sikkim; Kashmir and he strongly believes that if we protect nature, nature will protect us. He is highly motivated by the steps undertaken by reCharkha towards conserving the environment and sustainable developments. Therefore he wants to be a part of the journey and choose reCharkha as his second career. At reCharkha he manages the day to day functions related to operations, administration and finance.
Aalam

AALAM

Artisan

Aalam who hails from Bihar has studied till 8th std. He was previously working in Hyderabad with a private tailor and learned to stitch. He has more than 5 years of experience in bag stitching and is very good at his skills. At reCharkha he is one among our tailors who makes our designed products to come alive. Now he lives in Pune with his joint family.
Mumtaz Shaikh

IMRAN

Artisan

Imran, is our new tailor who has an experience of 14 years in the bag making industry. He lives with his wife and a cute 2year old daughter in Pune. He loves to play cricket and travel with his family. Initially, he thought it will be difficult to work as the fabric is different than what he was used to ie. the cloth. Now, he is loving the work because it's different. He said, "Mujhe bohot acha lag raha hai, kuch hatke kaam hai aur paryavaran ko bhi bacha raha hun" (I am liking the work, it's different than usual and I am protecting the environment with my work).
Vandana Vartha

VANDANA

Artisan

Vandana is a tribal youth, belonging to the Warli tribe of Western India. Due to the low educational standards of the local school, she dropped out of school after 9th grade. Being the eldest girl of her family, she started helping her mother with housework and stayed mostly at home in her village, with limited exposure to the outside world. When reCharkha came to her village with an opportunity to work, she immediately joined us. She joined as an assistant artisan and soon picked up weaving as well. She now does other processing work as well as weaves fabric. Despite her petite structure, she is a strong young woman and doesn’t get tired with an all day’s work. She is always cheerful and given a chance, loves to design her own patterns in the fabric.
Kiran Baddha

KIRAN

Artisan

Kiran is a tribal youth, belonging to the Warli tribe of Western India. Due to the low educational standards of the local school, he dropped out of school after 9th grade. His 8 member-family is mostly dependent on rainfed agriculture, hence, being the eldest son, had to start earning to support the family income. Lack of employment options in his village, Kiran had to move his base to a nearby town in search of work, where he worked as a migrant laborer. When reCharkha came to his village with an opportunity to work, he immediately joined us and is now our lead weaver. While working with us, Kiran also gave his 10th and 11th grade exams. He is a bright and funny young man, who loves to crack jokes on his teammates. With him around, everyone laughs and has fun, while working equally hard for their living!
Manisha Vaidya

VRUSHALI

Office Assistant

20-year old Vrushali, who completed her education till 12th grade and aspires to continue her education in B.Com. But since her family needed some financial support, she joined reCharkha. She stays with her parents and 2 siblings in Pune. “I was in shock”, says Vrushali when she heard for the first time about reCharkha and how it makes beautiful products from waste plastic. She feels happy to continue her education and also be working with us in her free time. Here She mainly involves helping tailors at their work and quality check of the finished products.
Jitesh

JITESH

Artisan

Jitesh belongs to the Warli tribe and is mute and deaf by birth. Due to lack of special schools in the village, he remained illiterate, and hence never got a steady job. As he grew older, he started working as daily wage labor at construction sites in nearby towns. These jobs were never stable and sufficient to take care of his mute and deaf wife and two little daughters. He found reCharkha's work in his own village and was delighted to start working with us! He is very focused and rarely gets distracted from his work!
Sumitra

SUMITRA

Artisan

Sumitra is a Warli tribal, like all of her coworkers. She is a mother of four and lives with her eight-member family. Her family is engaged in rain fed agriculture and daily wage labor, which are both unreliable sources of consistent income. Hence, she is very proud to earn for her family and send all her four children to school. She works very hard and has learned the art of weaving quite quick to become one of our lead weavers in just 4 months.
Saraswati

SARASWATI

Artisan

Saraswati is a Warli tribal and has completed her education till 10th. He father does a petty job in the village and mother stays home to take care of her 2 younger siblings. Being the eldest daughter in the family, Saraswati has taken up working with us responsibly, to support her family of 5 members.
Saraswati

RENUKA

Artisan

Renuka is a Warli tribal living with her family of 5. Her father works in a nearby town to earn an income for their family, while her brothers are still studying. Renuka studied until 12th grade and now works with us to support her family’s income. She wants to pursue her further education, in parallel to working with us!
Suhana

SUHANA

Artisan

Suhana is a Warli tribal, living with her parents and two other siblings. Suhana has completed her education till 12th grade and now works with us to support her family income. Suhana is a smart girl, who has a very good eye for design. She has mastered the art of weaving very quickly and also supports office administration work on behalf of her team.
Kokila

KOKILA

Artisan

Kokila stays with her grandparents and her two children. She studied until 9th Std, and had been married at a young age. She looks after her family as well works with us to support them. A bit shy kind of person and does not talk much among the team. Joined reCharkha in April 2019 and has been involved in cutting and the weaving of plastic.
Kalpana

KALPANA

Artisan

Kalpana has studied till the 8th Std and left school due to illness. Thus, was not able to go back to the school to study more. Kalpana stays with her parents and husband who works at the factory. Her motto is “better to get involved in any work instead of sitting ideal at home” and that was her reason to join reCharkha. Joined in the month of April 2019, Kalpana is involved in the cutting of plastic and is slowly trying to learn the art of weaving too.
Savita

SAVITA

Artisan

Savita is a Warli tribal and is a mother of two smart children, one of them being our oldest employees Vandana. With children grown up now, Savita realized that she can start working to engage her time and hone her skills by learning our art of upcycling. She is very sincere and hardworking, and has already won the hearts of all other women in the team quickly!
Sunita Surji Bhondwa

SUNITA

Artisan

Sunita has been part of our team since Sep 2019. Studies till 8th class, lives with her mother, brother and sister-in-law. She could not continue her studies after her fathers death and started working to support her family financially. She worked in a factor for 4 years but could not continue because of health issues. She knows how to sew and is learning to weave too. Sunita is happy to have found work in her own village! She loves working with our team.
Lalita

LALITA

Artisan

Lalita stays with her joint family of 11 members, comes from a tribal family. Her father is a farmer and her mother helps in the fieldwork. Lalita has done her education till 8th Std. Being a newcomer to our team; she has been into cutting of plastic waste. She feels happy to work with reCharkha as the workplace is near to where she stays and does not have to go to other cities looking for a job.
Rizwana

KAPILA

Artisan

Kapila recently completed her 12th grade and joined our team for upcycling plastic waste. She is a bright girl and has been able to pick up the craft very quickly. She has two younger siblings, who are still in school. Her father works on daily wages in a nearby town and her mother works as a sweeper at the village school. Kapila is proud that, now, she will be able to contribute to her family income.
Sukanya Patil

SUKANYA

Volunteer - eCommerce and Communications

Sukanya is an Engineer by basic education and worked for 3 years in the IT Sector. She developed a hobby of making gifts for her friends using household waste, which eventually led her to discover upycling and a whole new way of managing waste. Thats when she realized that she wanted to pursue her passion for art and craft fulltime. She stumbled upon Aarohana, who worked in her area of interest plus supported the conservation of our environment. Now, at reCharkha, Sukanya volunteers to handle customer relations (online and offline) and helps them shop for EcoSocial alternatives from our exciting collection of UPCYCLED-HANDWOVEN products.

Contributors

Mahima Naik

MAHIMA

Business Development

Mahima recently joined Aarohana as an intern. She is currently in her last year in Product Design at MIT Institute of Design. She loves to dance, swim and paint. Here is help us in Photoshop of the products images, product design and takes part in the events. She wanted to do something unique while it parallels saving the environment.
Sapna Rajpurohit

SAPNA

Graphic Designer

Graphic designer, nature and animal lover! Loves hiking ,travelling and gardening. Prefers working hands on especially on letters. Always ready to do something for the environment through art or act.