Giving life to dying arts
Pitara focuses on connecting children back to the heritage and increasing the knowledge on festivals
A 13-year-old entrepreneur Sayesha Saxena has taken it upon herself to revive the lost art of cultural storytelling. She seeks to revive the history of Indian festivals and retain the traditional culture through her startup 'Pitara.' The name of her startup 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.
The 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.
"Last year on Diwali my parents and grandmother were reciting the story of Diwali as a typical tradition, it occurred how these stories were dying a natural death and this generation had very little knowledge of the reason behind why these festivals are celebrated, and perhaps the generation after this one would not know about them at all, unlike our grandparents or parents. This is what gave birth to the idea of Pitara.
Sayesha has been strongly motivated by the need to make the society a happier, inclusive place always loved to celebrate each and every event – birthdays of friends and family, festivals in an absolutely perfect and creative way, sharing gifts on these special occasions with the lesser privileged. With the launch of Pitara, she hopes to spread the joy and essence of the rich Indian traditions amongst others of her generation, by rekindling the interest and understanding of the significance of Indian festivals in a fun and eco-friendly manner.
Pitara focuses on connecting children back to their heritage and increasing their knowledge about the festivals. Sayesha did the first hamper prototype for Christmas for her immediate circle of friends, and encouraged by the response and feedback, went ahead with her first proper launch of Lohri.
"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, Lohri hamper has a small symbolic bonfire and Holi hamper has organic colours and methods to make dry colour at home." says Sayesha
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 helper. "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."
She drew a lot of inspiration from the real-life stories of successful entrepreneurs that she's been exposing herself to, and an enthusiastic next Gen sharpener likes the challenges and the opportunities that this journey lays out for her.
Pitara hopes to pot 1500 plants through its sales and plans to cover all the major festivals across the country over the next couple of years. She dreams of taking the idea of Pitara in other areas beyond festivals, and taking the product vernacular and online to appeal to a larger audience.