reCharkha - The EcoSocial Tribe
Founder & CEO
Amita has worked extensively in Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility since the past 14 years. An IT Engineer by basic education, she went on to do her Masters at Purdue University, USA with a focus on Sustainability. She worked with CSR teams of multinational corporations, consultancies, non-profits, and community-based organizations in the United States and India and eventually founded Aarohana EcoSocial Developments with the rich experience she has gathered. After leading Aarohana for 7 years, she went on to found reCharkha. With her EcoSocial vision and boundless energy, Amita designs our EcoSocial projects, heads our communication and awareness generation efforts, and looks after overall management of reCharkha and My EcoSocial Planet. Amita’s long-standing dream is to develop a sustainable village and live in it herself, which she wishes to fulfill through reCharkha and My EcoSocial Planet.
Co-founder & COO
Abhishek comes with 8 years experience in Manufacturing operations. He holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering, specializing in Lean Operations Management, from Detroit, USA. He has worked in a variety of industries from foundry, forging and automobile. His strong experience in machining will help us enhance our traditional equipment and techniques of upcycling. In addition, he brings in new methods and systems to streamline our production processes. Abhishek has also worked in the field of Nutrition and Fitness, hence brings in a different expertise required for our rural community initiatives, which is a part of our non-profit entity "My EcoSocial Planet". We are thrilled to have him onboard and look forward towards our journey ahead.
Business Development Manager
Ashwini our Business Development Manager has been a huge support and strength for reCharkha. A ’97 batch- Post Graduate in Computer Science, she worked extensively in the field in both India and the U.S. before moving back to India and starting her own business for primary and pre-primary school products. She also, being a strong advocate for sustainable living and keeping the environment clean, started teaching the technique of waste segregation through awareness sessions and cleaning drives to the residents of the apartment complexes around her. “Today after 5 years, I see all my neighbors segregating waste at source and this gives me contentment” says Ashwini. Realizing that working towards a healthier environment is her true passion, she joined reCharkha. In the coming months, as we plan to expand our tribe, she will set base in Netherlands as our head representative in Europe.
Bhagyashree is one of the volunteers for reCharkha. She holds a PhD in microbiology. Currently, she is working as a post-doctoral researcher in University of Amsterdam. She is a believer of reduce, reuse and recycle policy. The idea behind the reCharkha products inspired her to work with the organization and to take a step towards sustainability.
Wishwas (PhD microbiology) lives in The Netherlands for more than 10 years and he supports sustainable living. He is currently working in the field of authorization of biocides and plant protection products. The motto behind reCharkha’s initiative is to enable livelihood of the tribal people, create conscious consumers and reduce plastic waste inspires him to volunteer.
Naresh is an Army Veteran and has recently joined reCharkha. He has served extensively for 26 years in Army’s Logistic Department. During his military career, he was close to nature in the mountainous terrain of Sikkim; Kashmir and he strongly believes that if we protect nature, nature will protect us. He is highly motivated by the steps undertaken by reCharkha towards conserving the environment and sustainable developments. Therefore he wants to be a part of the journey and choose reCharkha as his second career. At reCharkha he manages the day to day functions related to operations, administration and finance.
Pournima is our Production Head. “After joining reCharkha I realized we’re working for a noble cause and I’m glad to be a part of this small contribution to the environment.” says Pournima.
Customer Service Executive
After having worked for Crisil and Accenture, Sayli was looking for a break from the monotonous routine. She tried stitching clothes, open a boutique. But the idea of this work did not convince her much. She got to know about reCharkha and started getting involved with organization’s activities. Before joining reCharkha fulltime, she volunteered for our various events in Mumbai. “I find the concept of reCharkha very interesting” says our ever enthusiastic Sayli.
Kiran is a tribal youth, belonging to the Warli tribe of Western India. Due to the low educational standards of the local school, he dropped out of school after 9th grade. His 8 member-family is mostly dependent on rainfed agriculture, hence, being the eldest son, had to start earning to support the family income. Lack of employment options in his village, Kiran had to move his base to a nearby town in search of work, where he worked as a migrant laborer. When reCharkha came to his village with an opportunity to work, he immediately joined us and is now our lead weaver. While working with us, Kiran also gave his 10th and 11th grade exams. He is a bright and funny young man, who loves to crack jokes on his teammates. With him around, everyone laughs and has fun, while working equally hard for their living!
Vandana is a tribal youth, belonging to the Warli tribe of Western India. Due to the low educational standards of the local school, she dropped out of school after 9th grade. Being the eldest girl of her family, she started helping her mother with housework and stayed mostly at home in her village, with limited exposure to the outside world. When reCharkha came to her village with an opportunity to work, she immediately joined us. She joined as an assistant artisan and soon picked up weaving as well. She now does other processing work as well as weaves fabric. Despite her petite structure, she is a strong young woman and doesn’t get tired with an all day’s work. She is always cheerful and given a chance, loves to design her own patterns in the fabric.
Jitesh belongs to the Warli tribe and is mute and deaf by birth. Due to lack of special schools in the village, he remained illiterate, and hence never got a steady job. As he grew older, he started working as daily wage labor at construction sites in nearby towns. These jobs were never stable and sufficient to take care of his mute and deaf wife and two little daughters. He found reCharkha's work in his own village and was delighted to start working with us! He is very focused and rarely gets distracted from his work!
Sumitra is a Warli tribal, like all of her coworkers. She is a mother of four and lives with her eight-member family. Her family is engaged in rain fed agriculture and daily wage labor, which are both unreliable sources of consistent income. Hence, she is very proud to earn for her family and send all her four children to school. She works very hard and has learned the art of weaving quite quick to become one of our lead weavers in just 4 months.
Renuka is a Warli tribal living with her family of 5. Her father works in a nearby town to earn an income for their family, while her brothers are still studying. Renuka studied until 12th grade and now works with us to support her family’s income. She wants to pursue her further education, in parallel to working with us!
Kalpana has studied till the 8th Std and left school due to illness. Thus, was not able to go back to the school to study more. Kalpana stays with her parents and husband who works at the factory. Her motto is “better to get involved in any work instead of sitting ideal at home” and that was her reason to join reCharkha. Joined in the month of April 2019, Kalpana is involved in the cutting of plastic and is slowly trying to learn the art of weaving too.
Savita is a Warli tribal and is a mother of two smart children, one of them being our oldest employees Vandana. With children grown up now, Savita realized that she can start working to engage her time and hone her skills by learning our art of upcycling. She is very sincere and hardworking, and has already won the hearts of all other women in the team quickly!
Lalita stays with her joint family of 11 members, comes from a tribal family. Her father is a farmer and her mother helps in the fieldwork. Lalita has done her education till 8th Std. Being a newcomer to our team; she has been into cutting of plastic waste. She feels happy to work with reCharkha as the workplace is near to where she stays and does not have to go to other cities looking for a job.
Kapila recently completed her 12th grade and joined our team for upcycling plastic waste. She is a bright girl and has been able to pick up the craft very quickly. She has two younger siblings, who are still in school. Her father works on daily wages in a nearby town and her mother works as a sweeper at the village school. Kapila is proud that, now, she will be able to contribute to her family income.
Nikita's father is our electrician, who knew about our work for all these years. As Nikita completed her 12 grade studies, Vasant asked us if there was vacancy for his daughter. We happily got her in the team and found her to be a very talented. She likes to make innovative designs and patterns and is now an asset to our team. She is the eldest of 5 siblings, three brothers and sisters, and lives with her family of 9 members very close to our village unit.
Radha is a Warli tribal who lives in our village with her family of 4; her husband and 2 sons - 7 and 10 years old. Her husband is a daily wage labourer and does seasonal jobs.. However, since last 2 years, he hasnt got any work due to the prevailing Covid situation. Hence, Radha had to set outside to search for work, to feed her family. She found reCharkha's work in her village very interesting and decided to work with us. She now works with us, as well as takes care of her family!
Kunta is a Warli tribal, who lives in our village with her family of 6; her own parents, husband, 1 sons and one daughter. Her husband is an auto rickshaw driver but has lost his work due to Covid situation. Rest of the family is in agriculture. With rising expenses of the family, Kunta decided to take up the job at reCharkha, as it is close to her house as well as pays her decent wages to take care of her family, while being able to help with their family's agricultural activities.
Manjula is a bright young girl! She completed her 10th grade studies and had taken up a job in a nearby industrial town, which took about 2 hours travel time back-and-forth. Due to the Covid situation, she lost her job and had to stay home to work with her family on their farm. When the opportunity of working with reCharkha opened up, Manjula decided to take up the job and earn an additional income for her family of 4.
Sonal is a quiet young girl, who completed her studies upto 10th standard. She stayed home to take care of house work and seasonal farming activities. She has a large family with a 12 members; parents, three elder brothers and their families. Sonal is the youngest of all, and now has decided to work with us to supplement her family's income with some contribution from her end!
Kalpesh is a new member of reCharkha's tribal unit. He is a Warli tribal, and is mute and deaf by birth, just like our other colleague, Jitesh. Kalpesh went to a special school in a nearby town, and ompleted his education until 10th grade. He returned back to his village, and started helping his family with farming and house work. He understood about our work from Jitesh and approached us for a job. He now works with us as a helper with our weaving team. Kalpesh is married to a beautiful young girl, who is also mute and deaf. They have a 1-year old daughter and live with Kalpesh's parents and elder brother's family of four. Kalpesh's earning has added some additional income to their family of 9 and he's really happy that he is helping his family as well as his community!
Aalam who hails from Bihar has studied till 8th std. He was previously working in Hyderabad with a private tailor and learned to stitch. He has more than 5 years of experience in bag stitching and is very good at his skills. At reCharkha he is one among our tailors who makes our designed products to come alive. Now he lives in Pune with his joint family.
Imran, is our new tailor who has an experience of 14 years in the bag making industry. He lives with his wife and a cute 2year old daughter in Pune. He loves to play cricket and travel with his family. Initially, he thought it will be difficult to work as the fabric is different than what he was used to ie. the cloth. Now, he is loving the work because it's different. He said, "Mujhe bohot acha lag raha hai, kuch hatke kaam hai aur paryavaran ko bhi bacha raha hun" (I am liking the work, it's different than usual and I am protecting the environment with my work).
Mohammad is our upcycled-handwoven products manufacturing artisan.In the 2020 lockdown he lost his job at a bag manufacturing company, where he had been working for the last 15 years. Working with reCharkha makes him and his family delighted as he’s working for a cause and also supporting them financially.
20-year old Vrushali, who completed her education till 12th grade and aspires to continue her education in B.Com. But since her family needed some financial support, she joined reCharkha. She stays with her parents and 2 siblings in Pune. “I was in shock”, says Vrushali when she heard for the first time about reCharkha and how it makes beautiful products from waste plastic. She feels happy to continue her education and also be working with us in her free time. Here She mainly involves helping tailors at their work and quality check of the finished products.
Aniket a resident of Pune, dropped out of school after 10th std due to health issues. He then worked for Pune Metro but was left unemployed after the contract ended. With reCharkha now, he relishes his office life now as he assists the tailors in their work. He aspires to become a graphic designer in the future. He's always been closely associated with the eco-social cause.He goes to the Singhad Fort, 35 km southwest of the city of Pune as part of cleaning drive every weekend!