For the last 3 months, India along with the rest of the world has been under a strict lock-down, and just like that, our daily lives came to a sudden halt. It’s been a time of uncertainty, worry and confusion, yet one that also made us realise how lucky we are. Never before have we been forced to appreciate the basic essentials in life; a roof over our heads, access to food and water, support of friends and family and a business to come back to. There are hundreds of thousands of people around the world who have seen a struggle like never before due to the Covid-19 pandemic, including those who are the backbone and driving force behind the embroideries that we create everyday.
Mumbai’s economy is powered by the labour of migrant workers from all over India, many of whom found themselves without an income overnight. With no trains or buses in operation, thousands felt they had no option but to begin the gruelling and dangerous journey home to their native villages on foot – hundreds of whom devastatingly never made it.
Since the slight easing of lock-down began, and the government decided to arrange buses and trains to transport migrants back to their native homes, Mumbai has been left with a severe labour shortage; whereby only time will tell how long these people will take to return – and whether Mumbai has seen a huge shift in the number of migrant workers that could change the dynamics of the city forever.
Since we started our company 6 years ago, we have been passionate about preserving the ancient art of embroidery that is such a unique part of our culture, heritage and country. The embroiderers whom we employ have an un-matchable talent, eye for colour, and an attention to detail that makes each and every embroidery that we create so beautifully special and rich. Without these artists under our wing, we simply wouldn’t be able to operate as we do. When lock-down was enforced in Mumbai, we made it a priority to ensure our workers were safe and supported. Offering them their full salaries throughout these 2 and a half months has meant they were able to continue to support themselves and their families, and persevere during this time no matter how challenging it has been both mentally and emotionally. Aside from financial worries, the affect of Covid-19 on our daily routines and mental well-being has also been huge. Keeping in regular contact with everyone at work has provided a sense of togetherness and support, and helped to keep spirits up in a time where boredom and loneliness could easily creep in.
As India, along with the rest of the world looks forward and we enter “Mission Begin Again”, we are humbled by the support and strength of our staff whose dedication to the company has meant we have been able to rebuild and open our offices this week. We know the transition back to normality will take a bit of time and keeping everyone safe is our utmost priority right now. Currently our staff are all travelling to work in private vehicles rather than public transport in order to maintain social distancing and wherever possible are working from home. We have also put strict sanitising procedures in place.
We are so thankful to be able to return to work and to have our team with us to resume operations. We’d also like to thank all our clients world over for being so patient and understanding during these times. We look forward to the second half of the year with a positive outlook, gratitude for life and lessons learnt from this year that we will carry with us forever.