“Look at things around from a positive point of view — life is full of good-times and bad-times, but finding a way out of the bad-times is an art — no matter what the difficulty, this attitude will open up new paths,” -Minakshi Walke – an entrepreneur, a mother and popularly known as ‘Bamboo Lady of Maharashtra’ today.
Industrious, Minakshi Walke — a woman born and brought-up in Savargaon, village of Chandrapur district in Maharashtra- a bright girl – Minakshi, completed her higher secondary education in her village — for further junior college studies she had to cycle everyday to a nearby town — after that for two-academic years she pursued her graduation in Science from a college in Sindewahi Taluka, Maharashtra (approx 16 kms away from her home). Though she studied in the Science stream, Minakshi was fond of art and handicrafts from the very beginning – she had started creating beautiful handcrafted thread Jewellery, Pooja-Thali, and ‘Haldi-Kumkum Karande’ at a young age. Minakshi got married during her second-year studies and had to discontinue her education — her husband, Mukesh Walke motivated her a lot to continue her further studies, but she prioritised her marital home responsibilities — a year later she gave birth to a baby boy.
When Minakshi’s son was three years old, she got pregnant with her second child — but, during the seventh-month of her pregnancy, some complications developed and unfortunately she had to undergo a termination procedure for her pregnancy — this ill fated incident impacted her both ways, emotionally and psychologically. During this hard-time, one of her friends counselled her to come out of this depressed phase and looking at her crafts-skills encouraged her to enroll for a training session at the Bamboo Research and Training Centre, ‘BRTC’. Minakshi gathered all her courage and got enrolled for training — she learnt the skill of making different artefacts, and utility items out of bamboo — the new learnings were challenging and strenuous for her, but the process was very satisfying.
In the year 2017, Minakshi formed her organisation ’Abhisar Innovatives’ — initially it was a one-woman-show -creating and making: trays, lamps, lampshades, baskets, rakhis, jewellery and many innovative things out of bamboo, but today, ‘Abhisar Innovatives’ has turned into a learning centre for young talent and provides employment for other native women around. Minakshi, through her ‘Abhisar Innovatives’ reaches out to business-to-business, and business-to-consumer segments both – she supplies her products to cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, Chennai and places in Gujarat, Bihar, and Jharkhand. Minakshi travels and participates in various exhibitions to promote her ‘Abhisar Innovatives’ products — her facebook wall, and facebook messenger are great sources for her business leads.
Today, it is Minakshi’s relentless pursuit of her passion, and tireless efforts that have fructified into achieving many awards — ‘Nari Shakti Sammaan Puraskar’ -she received on Woman’s Day in the year 2019; she also was felicitated at the ‘Miss Climate Show’ for creating a crown completely out of bamboo. Minakshi’s novel work in art and craft has been covered in many magazines and news dailies. Those days have passed, when neighbours ridiculed her work, where she heard them saying, “Why do you litter your home with all this bamboo and stuff! This all is just a waste,” — now, people look up to her and her remarkable work. For all this career success, she mentions her husband’s complete support — and she dedicates all her achievements to that heart wrenching incident- she remembers and says, “I was totally devastated by the unforeseen termination of my second pregnancy, I lost my baby girl —— I wanted to do something to remember her always — my work is my tribute to my beautiful daughter.”
And, lastly in her signing off message, Minakshi says, “Look at things around from a positive point of view — life is full of good-times and bad-times, but finding a way out of the bad-times is an art — no matter what the difficulty, this attitude will open up new paths,”.