Geeta Kale, a housemaid from Pune has been swamped with calls for the last few days. The calls, mostly job offers, come from all parts of the country.
Unfortunately, Kale, who's called Geeta Maushi by her employers, has to say no to most of them as some of the callers are from areas like Mumbai, which would mean travelling for three hours to reach her employers residence every day.
The story began earlier this week when Kale walked into her employers house in a rather foul mood. Her employer, Dhanashree Shinde, a senior brand manager with a realty company, could sense that all was not well. "I could easily sense it. I thought it might be related to something that has happened in her home. So I asked her what is wrong?," says Shinde.
Kale replied that she had lost one of her jobs the day before for no fault of hers. (Maid servants like Kale typically do several jobs from cooking to cleaning in multiple households to make their ends meet.) After consoling her, Shinde asked her what was she going to do now. Kale responded, “I don’t know what to do next, but I will start looking for a new job.”
Shinde, who was earlier the digital head for an ad agency recalled visiting a website where one could make visiting cards. "I quickly opened my MacBook and started designing her cards. I called her from the kitchen and asked her to sit besides me to note down the rates of her household chores. In the next ten minutes the card design was ready," says Shinde.
Shinde added a small line in the card that the maid was Aadhar Card verified (the UID in India) to let people gain confidence in her.
"I placed the order for 100 cards and they were delivered to my place in the next 2 days. I gave her the cards and asked her to distribute it to few watchmen of nearby societies in Bavdhan, Pune. I also told her to give a bunch of 10 cards to each watchman, so that they can give it to society members as and when required. She got excited, took the cards and went home," says Shinde.
(L-R Geeta Kale with her employer Dhanashree Shinde)
Shinde clicked a picture of one of the cards, as she was happy with the way it turned out and sent it to a friend of hers on WhatsApp. He liked the idea of someone making a card for the Kaamwali Maushi (maidservant in Marathi), so he sent it to couple of WhatsApp groups on the evening of Nov 5, 2019.
On the morning of Nov 6, 2019, Geeta Maushi came to work on her usual time to the Shinde household. Everything was normal and while working she got a couple of calls asking about her services. "Part confused and partly surprised, she spoke to them. One call was from Mumbai and I was listening to the conversation. She had not distributed the cards yet. So we both were wondering how come she got calls from Mumbai," recalls Shinde.
That's when Shinde realised that the card was going viral through WhatsApp! "By noon, I noticed the picture of the card in my hands all over WhatsApp and Social Media. So, I called her to check if she was getting calls. And I just couldn’t reach her as she had to shut down her phone as she was literally swamped with calls," says Shinde.
"I genuinely wanted her to get a new job through the cards and instead it ended up getting viral. Of course, she did receive calls from the neighbourhood and has started meeting people in the adjacent societies," says Shinde and adds, "Isn’t this the power of good intentions?"