Meet Kalpana, a talented embroidery artisan working at I was a Sari.
Kalpana worked her way up to Supervisor, leading a team of 25 artisans. She always had a dream of exploring the world, beyond the boundaries of her daily life in Mumbai. In May 2023, this dream became a reality when Kalpana was selected to travel to Italy and speak at the Oxfam Annual Festival. This journey marked her first international trip and first experience of flying on an airplane.
Kalpana had always been a dreamer, harboring a deep desire to broaden her horizons. Balancing the responsibilities of being a wife and mother in Mumbai, she had stayed home. As the date for her trip got closer, anticipation swelled. The grandeur and vastness of the airport amazed her, and she eagerly captured every moment, determined to preserve these memories forever.
As Kalpana boarded the plane, she was instantly captivated by the sight of clouds and sun outside her window. The air hostesses’ warm demeanor made her feel cherished during her first flight, despite initial challenges like fastening her seatbelt. With their attentive service leaving a lasting impression, Kalpana quickly grew comfortable with the journey.
Arriving in Italy, Kalpana found herself immersed in a world she had only dreamt of before. The main purpose of their visit was the conference, where she and two others from I was a Sari had been invited to share their work and experiences. She didn’t know it but the event was also being livecast! Overcoming her initial nervousness, Kalpana’s determination fueled her strength to share her personal story. In her speech, delivered in Hindi, she passionately conveyed her journey, her work, and her humble beginnings, highlighting the support provided by I was a Sari in empowering women.
During her stay in Italy, Kalpana seized the opportunity to explore various tourist attractions, indulge in Italian food, and immerse herself in the exquisite architecture. The picturesque gardens and churches left an unforgettable impression on her heart.
Kalpana’s journey to Italy not only fulfilled her long-held dream of traveling the world but also catalyzed significant personal growth. She developed confidence in her communication skills and gained a deeper understanding of different lifestyles and cultures.
Watch Kalpana, Stefano and Manali at the Oxfam Festival, May 2023