We want to send encouragement and love for everyone as we engage together with the daily changing realities of COVID-19.
Times are challenging, and the uncertainty can be scary and even painful. We hold on to hope for all of us as we experience, possibly in a more real way than ever, just how connected we all are — recognizing our need to press on together.
Sari Bari has always committed to providing a safe place for employment for our artisans, and our commitments have not changed. We also want you to continue enjoying the products made by the women of Sari Bari, safely. Our USA team is committed to safety as we fulfill your orders. We are sanitizing our space and our hands, and we will safely pack your items and send them on their way so you can enjoy them.
As the world adjusts to the reality of a global pandemic, Sari Bari in India is also adjusting and taking steps to protect our artisans in India. Our COVID-19 plan went into action this week as the first Coronavirus case arrived in Kolkata. As of Friday, any artisans over 55, and those with underlying health conditions, will be working from home.
We are preparing for all of our artisans to be able to work from home as we expect the inevitable reality of closure in the coming weeks as new directives come from the central government. At most, we can prepare a week to two weeks of work for our artisans, after which, with offices closed down and with new orders on pause, we will not be able to provide additional work. We are prepared to cover two weeks of wages to our artisans and are searching for ways to be able to provide income to our artisans for basics like food and rent in the weeks, and possibly months, that follow.
The impact of the virus will be felt profoundly by the most vulnerable in India who live in densely populated areas. The main red-light area in Kolkata, one of the largest in Asia, has been closed, and many of the women are being sent back to their villages if they can go. The women from the area (much like the women of Sari Bari) are primary breadwinners for their families and will be deeply impacted by the inability to earn an income to support and feed their families.
We will provide additional information on the situation in India as it develops, but we would like to be honest to say the impact is real, as is the threat. Many of the women of Sari Bari are vulnerable, and the virus will make it difficult for us to continue manufacturing products as we prepare to close down our India offices to protect our Artisans. Because of this, we need your help to support our work for freedom throughout this challenging season.
Here are some ways you can help
Purchase a Gift Card. We would like to invite you to continue partnering with us with the purchase of a gift card to support the employment of women in Kolkata. You’ll provide resources that are needed through this time with the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful item in the future.
Make a Donation. A gift, or committing to a monthly donation, to Sari Bari helps to support the platform on which a woman can choose to stand as she continues in her freedom journey. This will be particularly valuable at this time.
Shop and Enjoy. An easy way to partner with us is by shopping from the beautiful products made by the women of Sari Bari.
We will continue to monitor any developments and adjust to continue journeying with you every step of the way.
Thank you for joining us in our commitment to freedom.
Wishing health and freedom to all.