It is not rare to see young, doting mothers waiting eagerly outside their kids’ schools for several hours to take them back home when school is over. But, it’s definitely unusual to see them come together every day and engage in some work and earn while they wait for their little ones.
The women drop their kids at Balmohan Vidyamandir and then go to the footpark near Shivaji Park, where they make and sell the items. Pics/Datta Kumbhar
A group of 15 women who meet every day to drop their children at Balmohan Vidyamandir in Shivaji Park, have been making wall hangings, tablecloths, decorative showpieces and other knick-knacks to sell them to passers-by while they wait.
Priyanka Patil said she is glad to do something while she waits and earn money also
The women, who sell the items for anywhere between Rs 300 and Rs 1,000, have also begun to develop a loyal clientele. Some of them come from places like Kalyan, Dombivli and Mankhurd to drop their children at Balmohan and say going home and coming back in three hours is not feasible.
One of them, Dipti Dalvi, said, “Earlier, we used to sit idly and wait for our kids to finish school. But then we decided to do something worthwhile and started learning and making different decorative items. We have been selling them for nearly three months now and I must say it is a great way for us to spend our time and also earn a little in the process.”
Priyanka Patil, another member of the group said, “My son is 5-and-a-half-years-old and has a slight problem with his hearing. So, I can’t let him go to school alone. I thought I should utilise my time better. So, I started making small things from wool and now we sell such items regularly Suman Patil, who left her job to take care of her child, said, “My son needs me all the time. So I am happy I can use this time to do something and earn money.”
Most of the women come from places far away from Shivaji Park and, hence, going home and returning to school in a few hours is impossible. One of them, Sheetal Karde, said, “The school timings are from 1 pm to 4 pm and since I stay at Mankhurd, I don’t have enough time to return home and then come back to pick my kid up.” Siddhi Borwankar, who lives in Kalyan, agreed.
Asked about their future plans, the women said they will continue with their craft at least until the kids get old enough to travel by themselves. “We will continue to do this until our children learn to travel alone. Our kids are studying in Sr KG and will be promoted to Std I in June,” said Patil.