Sayesha Saxena, a young Indian entrepreneur with an undying love for dying arts: In a time when reading is critically limited and imaginations are going dull, a 13-year-old entrepreneur Sayesha Saxena has taken it upon herself to revive the lost art of cultural storytelling.
Girls are dreaming big today, converting ideas to action that is heavy with meaning. They are standing symbols of hope that a new world awaits on the horizon, one that gives equal space to young women who seek to bring change around them, where women are deemed even players, and that regards women’s businesses with the gravity they deserve.
Among many such young entrepreneurs is Sayesha. An eighth-grader, she seeks to revive the history of Indian festivals and retain traditional culture through her startup ‘Pitara.’ The name of her business alludes to a box with precious treasures inside, which is what her creations look like with story booklets and other novelties that contain information about festivals.
“Our hamper is a collection of many things – a booklet with stories, recipes of sweets you can make on these festivals, ideas to celebrate in an eco-friendly and fun way,” she says.
How did the idea come to her? She says, “As a tradition, my parents and grandmother recite the story of different festivals and dates. Last year on Diwali, while listening to those stories, I thought of how they’re dying a natural death. I personally wouldn’t know them otherwise and probably the generation after me too wouldn’t. I realised we need to preserve this rich cultural heritage of our country.”
A Young Indian Entrepreneur With Big Ideas
From the beginning, this young Indian entrepreneur was conscientious about doing her bit for the environment through her venture, she says. “There was a report I read that by 2030 the population will double and over 40 per cent will have no access to clean water. I was set on the fact that everything has to be eco-friendly in the hamper. For instance, our Lohri hamper had a small symbolic bonfire and Holi hamper has organic colours and methods to make dry colour at home.”
Sayesha says her young peers have given a nod to ‘Pitara’ and the ideas it stands for. “My friends agreed with my ideas, they said it was very beautifully put together with booklets, stories and illustrations.”
Perhaps an indication that the youth may, after all, be interested in knowing about age-old traditions but is often curbed by the lack of proper resources to obtain that knowledge.
For Sayesha, were there any self-doubts or hesitations on starting out as a young Indian entrepreneur, that too as a girl in a space that values males more? She says taking an optimistic approach with a never-say-never spirit helped. “My mother always tells me, ‘Fail fast and learn.’ She said you’re obviously going to face challenges on the way and if you fail, you draw learnings from it and start over. That helped me overcome a lot of apprehensions and motivated me to try.”
“Now it’s going pretty well and I feel good about it working out.”
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