After 17 years, the shareholders of Sari Bari voted yesterday to end regular operations. And even though the places of Sari Bari will be coming to an end, the work of Sari Bari in the lives of the people, the women and children that it has touched and whose lives have been forever changed will continue. It has been 17+ years of a beautiful journey full of hope and restoration. The investments you and many others have made transformed futures and restored dignity to the women at Sari Bari. And we have prepared well for this eventuality with reserves in India set aside to provide for the women of Sari Bari well as we make this transition.
You may ask, how can this be happening? Well, Sari Bari has been running beautifully in India for the last few years with a great but small team. And with such a small team, when one critical member leaves, it is challenging to continue. A significant contributing leader has decided to step down to pursue other options to support his family. Plus, more significantly, order sales volume has decreased, and we are struggling to rebuild after the pandemic. Sari Bari USA has been sustained through the pandemic by some amazing volunteers who have given their everything to fulfill orders. Like many businesses, we have not been able to keep someone in the customer service position that we can afford to pay and who will stay! We have been pushing and pressing to keep Sari Bari afloat for the last several years, and it feels like the time has come to bring things to a close. And to close at a time when we still have the capacity to ensure that the women in India are well taken care of and can be launched into other businesses or retirement.
The plan is that each of the women will receive gratuity which is 8% of their annual pay x the number of years employed (for most this will be 6-12 months of equivalent salary) plus an additional two months wages. The women who are shareholders will receive a payout of their share value. And all employees of Sari Bari will be the beneficiaries of the sale of Sari Bari buildings in India.
Sari Bari in India will continue to function through March of 2023 filling final orders. Sari Bari USA will wind up operations by the end of January 2023.
All of us at Sari Bari appreciate your faithful support through the years and share with you in the great joy that work that has begun is not ended, rather it continues in the lives of the more than 200 women who were touched by Sari Bari and the untold numbers of friends, partners and customers who made FREEDOM possible with each purchase! Freedom continues and will be reborn in the hearts of the generations to come!
With hope and always for Freedom,
Sari Bari Co-founder