One step closer!
“All my dreams have been coming true” said an excited Chittranjan after he received his first flight ticket. He was reminiscing about the times, when all his father wanted to do was to sell Maniabandha Ikat outside of Odisha. Now that he is participating in exhibitions in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai; he has been successful in fulfilling his fathers’ desires. Chittranjan dreamt of opening a company named after his and his friend’s name. C.R.O carries the initials of his and his friend’s name. After a failed venture of Agarbatti (incense sticks) making, creating Ikat textiles gave his dream wings.
Eight months after joining Antaran (a Tata Trusts initiative) C.R.O stands on its own feet with a team of ten members. You can now swipe your card with C.R.O ‘s swipe machine. How do you distinguish C.R.O textiles amidst multiple other brands? All C.R.O textiles carry their labels and after you shop from C.R.O you carry their bags.
As Chittranjan establishes a successful profit sharing enterprise, I was intrigued by how he spends the extra income that he has earned from his enterprise. Much to my surprise, Chittranjan has spent most of his income buying tool that facilitate further beautification of the textiles at C.R.O. He proudly shows me the big aluminium box be bought to safely keep the stock which is often converted into an ironing table. Seeing two irons, I enquired if both of them were his and why was there a need to buy two of them? He replied, “Both irons serves different purposes; one is for stream iron and the other is regular one.”
Chittranjan’s mother in all her excitement participated in my stint of inspecting all his purchases post he started to do his business. I asked her if he has been responsibly managing his expenses. She said, “He has mostly bought all the useful things. I hope he keeps up his business.” My inquisitiveness made me question the rationale behind each of his purchases and Chittranjan had logical answers to all my questions. Next on he toured me around his recently set up work-sheds, yes sheds, not one but two work-sheds. Although there is still time for him to buy property, for now, both these properties are on rent. Delighted as I was all the looms had proper lights and in addition to that there was a shiny black music box. Weavers almost all around India seamlessly blend weaving with music, the older folks choice to sing. Keeping the tradition alive weaver’s team at C.R.O too listens to their favourite tracks in this recently bought boom box.
I insisted on knowing if he has bought anything for the family or has he only cared for his business. Apart from buying clothes for the family members, he has contributed towards a healthier lifestyle by buying a water purifier. He has also bought an electronic kettle and a room heater, while the heater also helps him in drying his yarns, in winters it serves the purpose of keeping the room warm and cosy enough.
All of C.R.O’s success is attributed to the force of the army of people working day in and day out to make it stronger and Chittranjan is committed to make this enterprise for everyone and by everyone working in it. With every success of C.R.O, Chittranjan wants to make the lives of everyone around more comfortable. “I am living my dream”, says Chittranjan. I believe with every step he takes, however tiny it is, he contributes towards making our collective dream a reality. Since Chittranjan and we share a same dream, all his successes brings us all one step closer to fulfilling it.
With a newer year, we are all invigorated with stronger force to make C.R.O a larger enterprise.
-Pallavi (Program officer, Antaran, Maniabandha)