Why before What
Read the View by Sakshi Kanojia
Even though life throws you into uncharted waters, the beauty is in swimming through and believing in yourself.
Clicked by Sakshi
So, when I talk about my work- I’d like to talk about the why before we talk about the what. Because in my opinion that’s a big piece of my journey that I took to arrive at my job.
I have always found communication interesting, after all, all life on earth communicates in one way or another. From the very beginning, I have been trying to explore different mediums that help us do that. First it was poetry, stories, fiction novels, for me; basically a variety of written communication which eventually drew me to English Literature as my major. Then I started drifting towards visual communication as a medium through my passion for photography and knack for design, specifically within the development sector. COVID derailed my plans for Master’s, only for the better. There were a lot of lessons in the uncertainties the pandemic brought with it, especially with how life will always surprise you.
I began re-exploring my passions from scratch with internships. And here, I am- employed, after three internships and opportunities to learn. I had never thought I’d start working at 21 but it has now been 4 months since I started. It has been quite a journey, with lots to un-learn and explore, about myself, my passions and life. Even though it throws you into uncharted waters, the beauty is in swimming through and believing in yourself.
What I finally landed upon as a job is a form of storytelling only, I never really landed out of that box. As a Communication Associate for SEWA Bharat (Self-Employed Women’s Association), I now support self-employed women and women-led & managed collective social enterprises at the grassroots, in telling their stories.
This association is a galaxy, as one of my colleagues describes it; with a 50 year long history of providing economic and social support to women in the informal sector. As I joined its pursuit to organize women workers to achieve full employment and self-reliance, I also became part of this network of behens (as we call the women of SEWA) who believe in lifting each other up. This space not only provided me with chances to develop my designing and communication skills specifically for the development sector, but also get access to live stories of resilience.
The intersection of communication and design is intriguing. Recognizing and reducing gaps in communication that prevent information from penetrating the grassroots- is an active exercise that we automatically end up doing while working with and for our behens. We get to analyze and attempt to overcome challenges of context, language, mediums and channels through our designs; it keeps me curious, open to questions and practice empathy regularly. Visiting the field in remote areas in which our collective social enterprises work from- is another way that the door to fresh ideas remains open for me. I do not attribute as much importance to institutional learning as I would have a couple of years ago- and I see that as a major change in my way of thinking. And it has only changed for the better. The growth I see in myself through experiential learning is much greater and satisfying. With the new start in my career, I am also in the process of moving to and creating a life for myself in a different city! Even though Delhi was home at some point of time for me, I am coming back to it to begin a life here as a working women; learning the nitty-gritties of spending-saving, negotiating a 9-5 with setting up a space and household for myself, making new friends, reconnecting with old; and all this while managing a long-distance relationship!
I believe I have come a long way in my journey of storytelling, design and as a human. I definitely look forward to the challenges life throws at me from here-on, in terms of work, friends, family or love. It won’t be easy but I am still excited to see what kind of woman emerges on the other side of it. Having an army of women at work and in life, my family and my partner, to fall back on for support- fills me with a sense of relief.
Hey, thanks for reading. If Sakshi's why & what interests you, you gotta get in touch with her!