Being a part of Sari Bari is a privilege. I am honored to share freedom and to be welcomed into this community. Since I was young, I prayed to be a part of a work like Sari Bari. Now I am encouraged to be a part what is happening through Sari Bari. I feel deeply honored being around the women and journeying with them as a freedom fighter. Yes, I do believe that I did start a beautiful journey in this life-changing place seven years back.
Sari Bari is stepping into a new era with young leadership. Some fresh recruits along with long-time staff are stepping into new positions. Each has lots of dreams, hope and promises. Most are 30 or under, and I believe that young leadership will bring us new ideas and innovations. I have so much hope and I dream with the senior staff for what the future will bring. We already see this team opening up and bringing new ideas to the table. They are encouraged to share thoughts and express feelings which will ultimately lead Sari Bari to a better position.
As the new General Manager of Sari Bari Private Limited, I am encouraging all the staff to take ownership as I seek to model servant leadership. I want to be a support system for my staff and encourage them to rejuvenate the culture and values of Sari Bari, especially as we want to give more freedom to more women this year and fill out the spaces that we have in the production units.
We are working to ensure that all the production units are self-sustainable so that, in the future, we will be able to plant new Sari Bari facilities all over West Bengal and create more Freedom jobs for women in India. Being a part of the Freedom Encounter, a course provided by Freeset focusing on developing freedom businesses in West Bengal, taught me that many things have been done, but still there is so much more to be done. The most encouraging part for me is that I can see Indians are taking initiative to serve their own community, which is so awe-inspiring. Sari Bari can be better by building better work places and ensuring the environment is safe and empowering.
This past year I have watched a particular young woman growing up in Sari Bari. She is young and very courageous. When she started with Sari Bari, she was so vulnerable, and still she chose her own freedom and joined us. She had a choice and she chose freedom. Now she doesn’t need to go back to the trade and can work to support her daughter’s education and earn her living in a dignified way. I love to see her smile and the pride on her face when she gets paid at the end of each month.
I feel the world has lost its smile, but I can assure you that if you visit us at Sari Bari, you will start smiling again (as that’s the only international language understood by the whole universe). Thank you so much to our Sari Bari family and friends, for the immense love and support from all of you. Wishing you a great year ahead!
John Joel Das
General Manager, Sari Bari Private Limited