Women from Westtown

Have you ever had the chance to meet a woman, face to face, who spent much of her time overseas in India working on agricultural reform while learning Hindi?

Neither have I.

That may have been a bit misleading because I have met a woman like the one I aforementioned, just not face to face.

Kathryn Metzker is a Westtown Alum who spent much of her time traveling India working with many women under the theme of agriculture. During her time in India, she learned Hindi and speaks it very well. She is currently in Hawaii working with human trafficking victims, writing her dissertation. I called her last week to talk out some of the ideas I had insofar as my business proposal.

india-political-map“India Map, Map Of India”.Mapsofindia.com. N. p., 2016. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.

We talked about many product ideas that I had, and how I could find natural resources from India to support those goods. One of the states she mentioned is Kerala, which is right below the state of Karnataka. She talked about how many organic materials are made there and how it has great agricultural districts like much of South India.

download“Agriculture In India”. En.wikipedia.org. N. p., 2016. Web. 18 Oct. 2016.
What I found particularly interesting is reaching out to local NGO’s to find environmentally friendly growers. It’s important to be to create a business where all aspects of it are socially responsible. 

Further, we talked more about the cottage industry model. What we talked about related to some of the questions I received on my last blog post. Many see cottage industries as a way for people to make money. In my version, it is not just about the money but the activity itself. I want the women to be proud in what they product and like what they do too. It teaches them skills and trade that they can use whether they are employed under my specific model or by themselves. There would be no inherent trade-off between their home life and work life because it would be mixed into their lives. Whether that means it is work they do in their free time or time they schedule to work it is ingrained in their schedule.

However, there are some constraints that we need to recognize that I do not have the full answer to yet. Some will be around this model being a lifestyle choice. Often times it won’t be easy to just pick up a second job for women with all the work that they have at home. I also have to think about how to persuade unions of women to want to join this business. For some, they have no intention of taking another job, regardless of the numerous benefits.

These are among some of the topics that Kathryn and I discussed. All of what we talked about was extremely insightful. I was able to address the questions that I still do not have the answer to and began to tackle them!

2 thoughts on “Women from Westtown

  1. ainsleybruton

    It’s so great that you were able to connect with an Alum doing some of the same work as you are! I’ve tried to connect with a few people, but my attempts have not been very productive. I can’t wait to hear more about your plans.

    Reply
  2. rickyyu1999

    This is really interesting that you got in contact with an Alumn who can help you with your independent project. I also love the statement “It’s important to be to create a business where all aspects of it are socially responsible” because I agree with it 100%.

    Reply

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