reCharkha - Our EcoSocial Tribe
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.
Co-Founder & COO
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.
Business Development Head - Global
Ashwini our Business Development Manager has been a huge support and strength for reCharkha. A ’97 batch- Post Graduate in Computer Science, she worked extensively in the field in both India and the U.S. before moving back to India and starting her own business for primary and pre-primary school products. She also, being a strong advocate for sustainable living and keeping the environment clean, started teaching the technique of waste segregation through awareness sessions and cleaning drives to the residents of the apartment complexes around her. “Today after 5 years, I see all my neighbors segregating waste at source and this gives me contentment” says Ashwini. Realizing that working towards a healthier environment is her true passion, she joined reCharkha. In the coming months, as we plan to expand our tribe, she will set base in Netherlands as our head representative in Europe.
Business Development Head - India
Sayli started working in her 20’s and used to travel to far for her work. She did not have had any specific goal towards the sustainability back then but wasn’t happy with the way people used to throw the garbage/ rubbish out from train window or on the road. She used to tell them not to throw the garbage but to keep in their bags, hardly people would listen. She worked almost for 8 years but was never really satisfied with the work she did. Everyday there were system upgrades, process changes and many things which dint make any difference at the end and no value add to anyone. Hence she decided to quit her job in 2019 and with the desire of doing something of her own but again she did not want to do business just to earn money or have lavish lifestyle but to be able help the nature and people around her to live a sustainable life style. And here she is one of us now, working towards betterment of planet and people!!
Abiramie is from Pondicherry and joined reCharkha as a design intern back in 2018. It was after working here that she got introduced to the concept of sustainability. She later went back to complete her graduation in Textile Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India. Post that, she immediately joined reCharkha as a full time employee and is now our designer. She loves to play with colours, fabrics, patterns and textures in a sustainable way, and enjoys the surprise of colours and patterns that the waste brings out in the upcycling process. You will always find her brainstorming on new products and designs along with our team of tailors. She says,“After joining reCharkha, I've discovered and learned new ways of sustainable living and designing....still learning the ways”
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.
Pournima used to work with our founder's uncle. She knew about reCharkha work and had also bought one of our EcoSocial products. After working there for 25 years, she was looking for a change. At that time, reCharkha also had a vacancy for the post of a Production Head. Pournima took the opportunity and immediately joined us. She loves the cause that reCharkha works for and is glad to be a part of this small contribution towards the environment. She is 50 and always up for learning new things from all the other younger ones in the office. A mother herself, she makes sure everybody at the office has lunch on time. She says, "At this age, the work becomes hectic at times, but I love to work with all of you at the office." Also, she is the most enthusiastic dancer we have, always ready to shake a leg. Swipe and check out a video of her dancing during our new year party at the office.
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!
Vandana or 'Vandu' as we call her is our senior most female weaver. She is a tribal youth, belonging to the Warli tribe of Western India. She dropped out of school after 9th grade. Later at home she started helping her mother with the household chores, which meant limited exposure to the outside world. But borrowing money from her father everytime, did not feel right to her. So, when #reCharkha came to her village, she grabbed the opportunity to work. She joined #reCharkha as an assistant artisan and then soon picked up weaving as well. She now does other processing work, sets up the beam, creates new designs as well as weaves fabric. Being the senior weaver, she also teaches our new artisans and weavers. 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.
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 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.
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!
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.
Radha is a Warli tribal who lives in our village with her family of 4; her husband and 2 sons - 7 and 10 years old. Her husband is a daily wage labourer and does seasonal jobs.. However, since last 2 years, he hasnt got any work due to the prevailing Covid situation. Hence, Radha had to set outside to search for work, to feed her family. She found reCharkha's work in her village very interesting and decided to work with us. She now works with us, as well as takes care of her family!
Kunta is a Warli tribal, who lives in our village with her family of 6; her own parents, husband, 1 sons and one daughter. Her husband is an auto rickshaw driver but has lost his work due to Covid situation. Rest of the family is in agriculture. With rising expenses of the family, Kunta decided to take up the job at reCharkha, as it is close to her house as well as pays her decent wages to take care of her family, while being able to help with their family's agricultural activities.
Manjula is a bright young girl! She completed her 10th grade studies and had taken up a job in a nearby industrial town, which took about 2 hours travel time back-and-forth. Due to the Covid situation, she lost her job and had to stay home to work with her family on their farm. When the opportunity of working with reCharkha opened up, Manjula decided to take up the job and earn an additional income for her family of 4.
SONAL is one of the newest people in our EcoSocial Tribe at reCharkha. She is a quiet young girl, who completed her studies upto 10th standard. She stayed home to take care of the house while also engaging in seasonal farming with her family. She has a large, 12 member family with parents, three elder brothers and their families. Sonal is the youngest of all and has now decided to work with us to supplement her family's income. She segregates the plastic into colours, cuts it and also spins it on the charkha. She's now learning to weave the fabric on the handloom and is very excited to create amazing patterns using plastic!
Kalpesh is a new member of reCharkha's tribal unit. He is a Warli tribal, and is mute and deaf by birth, just like our other colleague, Jitesh. Kalpesh went to a special school in a nearby town, and ompleted his education until 10th grade. He returned back to his village, and started helping his family with farming and house work. He understood about our work from Jitesh and approached us for a job. He now works with us as a helper with our weaving team. Kalpesh is married to a beautiful young girl, who is also mute and deaf. They have a 1-year old daughter and live with Kalpesh's parents and elder brother's family of four. Kalpesh's earning has added some additional income to their family of 9 and he's really happy that he is helping his family as well as his community!
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.
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).
Mohammad Bhaiya is one of reCharkha's team members from the Tailoring unit in Pune. He joined us in 2019. He came to Pune from his hometown Latur 22 years ago, for work. Having an experience of 15 years in the bag making field, he used to make backpacks and handbags at a Bag manufacturing company before coming to reCharkha. It was his brother that introduced him to reCharkha. Mohammad Bhaiya often comes early to work, before all of us and starts working on the machine. He is a very hardworking person and is the one who makes most of our bulk orders. His previous experience in stitching bags helps him bring new designs to life. He lives with his wife, and 3 children; 2 girls and a boy. Working with reCharkha makes him and his family delighted as he's working for a cause while also financially supporting his family.
Gudiya Didi is originally from Prayagraj, and is a recent member of our Pune unit. She shifted to Pune with her husband for work. Though her name is Gudiya, she is a mother of a 15year old. Earlier Gudiya Didi used to stitch Jute Bags and when she came to know about reCharkha she joined us. Now it's been 6 months. She says "She loves the work that reCharkha has been doing to conserve the Environment and she has learnt a lot many things from Aalam Bhaiya, Mohommad Bhaiya and Imran Bhaiya(tailors from our Pune Unit) As Gudiya Didi is helping conserve our environment, can you support Gudiya Didi earn livelihood? Do check out the products Gudiya Didi and other artisans at reCharkha have made!
Originally from Karnataka, Sushma didi came to Pune 6 years ago, when she got married to her now husband. She discovered reCharkha on Facebook and heard about it's work from a few people around. She found a good work opportunity here and joined us. Sushma first started as a helper, assisting the tailors by providing them with the required raw material. Just recently, she also started with the stitching work on machine and is getting better day by day. She likes to learn new tailoring skills everyday. Sushma didi finds the concept very unique. She says, "Instead of throwing your polythene bags away, send them to us. We are here to upcycle those. But that doesn't mean you can keep on creating more and more waste."
Assistant to Production Manager
Manisha's mom, Lata was a househelp at our founder, Amita's home. Manisha used to come along with her as a helping hand, during the 12th grade vacations. Amita then asked her if, instead of being a househelp, would she like to work at reCharkha. At that time, our production unit anyways needed support staff. She willingly joined us while also completing her Bcom. Manisha is a hardworking young girl who is now assistant to our Production manager. She manages most of the production unit on her own and has also mastered her Excel skills while making daily production reports. And not to forget, she makes amazing masala chai for all of us at the office!
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.
Aniket a resident of Pune, dropped out of school after 10th std due to health issues. He then worked for Pune Metro but was left unemployed after the contract ended. With reCharkha now, he relishes his office life now as he assists the tailors in their work. He aspires to become a graphic designer in the future. He's always been closely associated with the eco-social cause.He goes to the Singhad Fort, 35 km southwest of the city of Pune as part of cleaning drive every weekend!
Vedika started wandering out in the laps of nature since she was a child. Later, as a teen, she started conducting treks and wildlife camps across India. She also explored the underwater world while becoming a certified SCUBA diver. During all these outings, observing the beautiful natural surroundings getting destroyed by the humanity was heart-wrenching for her. That fueled her passion to 'do something good' for this planet and the society. She then decided to make a career in sustainability. Vedika first came to us as a customer and fell in love with the concept and ideologies of reCharkha. She was looking for a headstart in her career and upon finding an opportunity at reCharkha, She now handles reCharkha's Social Media Accounts and Communications with our customers.