I remember the day clearly 14th September 2020, my first day at ETASHA. As I stepped into this new phase of my professional journey, my heart and mind were a whirlwind of thoughts, anxiety, and excitement.
My name is Shweta, and I live in Delhi. My academic path took me from science to a post-graduation in Master of Arts. After finishing my 12th grade, driven by the desire for financial independence, I embarked on my professional career journey. I started in customer care at Xiaomi India, a role I secured through references and my basic command of English. The job involved daily interactions with customers, solving their problems. Working from 10 to 7, I soon became dissatisfied with the job as it didn’t offer anything new, and the repetitive nature of the work affected my enthusiasm, eventually leading me to leave the position.
In 2020, amidst the uncertainties of the pandemic, I discovered a ray of hope. an An acquaintance working at ETASHA informed me about – an opening for a female officer in the Women Entrepreneurship Program. Seizing this chance, I joined ETASHA, driven by the idea of contributing to social work, even though I was clueless about the process.
On my very first day, I was taken to the field to experience the ground realities of the community. I met a lady who was being supported by ETASHA but had stopped setting up her stall for a few days. Along with two other team members, we counseled her, set up her stall on the street with tables, masks, and lights, and motivated her to continue her business.
This experience amazed me, witnessing the dedication of the ETASHA mobilization team. They worked tirelessly, analyzing challenges, counseling women entrepreneurs, and motivating them to overcome obstacles.
My role evolved from a Program Officer to a Project Officer, during which I witnessed profound changes in the community. The change in mindsets, improved incomes, better childcare, fulfilling beauty needs, and the newfound freedom to make decisions were all part of the massive change in society and within families when a homemaker starts her own business.
Reflecting on my journey at ETASHA, I realize how unique and impactful it has been. Witnessing lives being impacted daily, the infectious nature of the positive changes spreading throughout the community. ETASHA’s intervention is now very close to my heart. I often think about how different my early career choices could have been if I had access to programs like the VTP during my school days. It might have guided me differently, preventing me from pursuing Arts after completing my science education, and possibly leading me to a different career path. But I always feel very happy and consider it my own success seeing a woman maximize her stall sales, communicating confidently, and earning independently. These moments are a testament to the impact of our work and serve as a daily source of inspiration, motivating me to strive for more and continue making a positive impact.
For me, ETASHA, as an organization stands out for its focus on building the capacities of its existing team through online sessions on team management and enhancing technical and interpersonal skills. I have participated in various training sessions, including anger management, creating effective PowerPoint presentations, conducting communication sessions, social media strategies, and graphic designing software. These training opportunities has not only contributed to my growth but also opened up new avenues in my career.
Discovering the CANVA Learning and Managing Center’s social media page led me to join the Communication and Design team at ETASHA. This new perspective has opened doors for me to lead, providing opportunities to interact with CSR teams, collaborate and contribute to the organization’s growth in unique ways.
The appreciation I receive for my work serves as a constant inspiration, motivating me to think innovatively and steadfastly support the organization. I look forward to a long association with ETASHA, witnessing and contributing to the impactful lives of community members alongside my own professional growth. My journey from a novice in the NGO sector to someone deeply understanding and advocating our work is a source of immense pride for me.
Author: This blog has been written by Shweta Sethi.