"It feels good when your work becomes your identity and I have always been taught to believe that. No work is small and if you think big, success can be realised," says Priya, as she gears up for her day. Before embarking on the journey to becoming the 'Chaiwali', she was managing events and doing odd jobs for 5 years, but none of them provided her with the satisfaction she was looking for. #OhMyRajasthan! spoke with her exclusively to discuss how she turned her passion into a successful business venture, becoming the beloved 'Chaiwali!'
I am a Tea addict and every now and then I used to go to a tea stall. However, I soon realised how the atmosphere at these stalls would make me uncomfortable with the presence if male gentry, making me the one odd female. It soon reached a point where keeping the current social temperature in mind, I would end up forgoing my 'chai at the thadi'. This made me realise that if I am facing this situation, so is every other girl. Hence, I launched a tea stall run by a woman and for women to make such situations better and empower women.
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE WOMAN BEHIND THE VENTURE?
I was born and bought up in Udaipur and belong to a middle class family, with an alcoholic father, where our financial conditions were not stellar. I started working back when I was in class 10th and have faced many ups and downs in my life. I was always an average student as studying never excited me much, but I knew I wanted to do something different! I wanted to break away from the mainstream professions of a lawyer, doctor and engineer, building a unique identity by doing something different. It was this very drive that pushed me to start my own business and go after my dreams.
WHAT OBSTACLES DID YOU ENCOUNTER ALONG THE WAY?
Well, this journey was not easy for me as in these 7 years, I have stumbled a lot, faced many rejections, but I always learned something new from them and kept moving forward. At first, when I started this, I faced difficulties wherein the society was not ready to accept a girl running a tea stall, that too a typical Rajasthani Chai Ki Thadi! I would hear comments like, "Is it honourable for a girl to run a tea stall?", "Is it good for girls to sit in open at such a place" and many more. Even some fake complaints were lodged against me to keep me away from the place I started 'Three Addictions' and I would receive threats from people as well, but I persisted.
And finally, after the hard work of 7 years, I am proud to be known as Udaipur's 'Chaiwali'!
WHAT IS NEXT?
Well, apart from being the 'Chaiwali', I love photography and graphic designing. My dream is to open a chain of tea stalls for women all over India where they will be run by women workers, so as to provide a safe environment, as well as recognition to women and I have already taken a step towards fulfilling this dream. I am going to be featured on MTV Dropout Pvt. Ltd., where my venture is profiled and story is shared!
A girl from the beloved Lake City, Udaipur, Priya Sachdev is breaking down barriers and setting a strong example for the young women in Rajasthan!