[caption id="attachment_7580" align="aligncenter" width="730"] Women staff of GMF at reception of the event[/caption]The office of Gramalaya Microfin Foundation, a partner of Milaap in Tamil Nadu has been buzzing with excitement for weeks. This is thanks to an event for women entrepreneurs that was held on August 27 to welcome their new investing partner, Women Entrepreneur International (WEI). The event was to be held at GREAT Training Centre, Kolakudipatti.The invitation cards were given to Field Officers to be distributed in their respective areas among customers who were women entrepreneurs. And this had to be done within four days. In spite of their hectic schedules, each Officer managed to personally handover around 140 cards on time. There was no trace of stress or resentment in their eyes or words. Since, the staff members were asked to come on the evening of 26th August at the decided venue, all they were thinking, sharing and planning was how they would contribute to success of the event and enjoy each other’s company.On the mentioned evening, full of enthusiasm to explore and enjoy the event, the staff of the branch I was in set out for Kolakudipatti. Mehndi cones, hair-pins, fresh jasmine flowers, potato and banana wafers, peanuts, etc. were bagged to relish the event and make it memorable. When the staff reached, the ground opposite to building of the GREAT training centre was covered by a huge colorful tent, and a few stalls were set up. Within one hour, all the staff members arrived on the ground as an army of soldiers to manage all the set up with mutual help. The zealous spirit of each of them filled the air with energy. Standing atop a pile of chairs, the branch manager of Lalgudi was hanging up a banner while a field officer of Musiri was supporting the chairs to keep her steady. Some women were helping each other in hanging banners at the stalls. Some pairs of women were carrying piles of chairs and arranging them. At this point, I couldn’t resist myself anymore from giving them a helping hand. Geetha Jegan, the CEO of GMF was present all the time to cheer and help her staff at each step. At 3:00 AM, the staff finally finished all the arrangements on the ground and left.[caption id="attachment_7581" align="aligncenter" width="730"] Staff women registering details of women entrepreneurs[/caption]The next morning, when I stepped out at 7AM, the whole centre had resembled a nest of Indian roller birds as every staff member was wearing similar blue colored sarees with brown prints. A stunning, full-sized kolam had been made at the entrance. Once the event started, the hospitality of these women towards each guest won their hearts. The fragrance of jasmine lingered in the air. Within two hours the ground was packed with women entrepreneurs and the staff was managing every section from reception to registration, from stall management to lunch preparation, from serving delegates to taking care of their young children who had come to perform in the function. They showed that how significantly women can manage responsibilities in strenuous conditions with an affable attitude. I was amazed by their spirit and devotion, and to me, they were the heroes of the day.
The hardworking women who ran the show