Guwahati: Striving to strengthen the community of women entrepreneurs, Amit Jain, a native of Pune in Maharashtra, and Rithika Baruah of Guwahati kick-started a 40-day backpacking trip across Northeast India, with Guwahati being their first city, where 27 women attended the boot camp recently.
Jain, founder of Mitti Ke Rang, a social venture working with single and widowed women, was already on a six-month backbacking trip across the country when he met Baruah, the founder of Freebirds.co, a platform for experiential learning, about a month ago in Bangalore.
Speaking with EastMojo, Baruah said that she attended one of the women’s entrepreneur sessions there and had this idea of joining Jain for the Northeast leg of his journey. “Both our organisations stand for the same thing, and that’s how this entire concept came together. To get women to help each other not just in a story telling way, but also practically, and that’s how the idea of the workshop came,” she said.
In Guwahati’s session, women from all walks of life came together and discussed about themselves and their work. Then an activity was undertaken where each participant shared the skills they can assist other with and help they require, followed by open house for networking. This same model will be followed in its subsequent meet ups as well.
Jain said that everywhere he went, he was advised against visiting Northeast. He said, “People told me to not visit here, it is unsafe, but I wanted to come here because there is so much art, craft and talent which I want to bring to the mainstream media.”
On what the plan on doing with this trip, Baruah, explained, “We are going to more than 15 cities, if we can gather this entire community of women and have all of their profiles; we want to bring all these women to mainstream.”
She explained, “Freebirds is a platform for experiences and service, whereas Mitti Ke Rang can help the women as a market place for goods. Our entire goal is after this trip, if we can gather at least 100 entrepreneurs, supporting each other, growing together, doing these meet ups every single month, then it’s only a matter of time that this region booms and the entrepreneurs here boom.”
On a concluding note, she remarked, “Women don’t need empowerment, they need to support each other, that’s what feminism is all about. The future is not about competition but about collaboration.”