Recommended by Saraswathy Ganapathy, founder, Belaku Trust
“I’m jumping at the chance to recommend the women’s groups of Hosa Belaku. The groups make lovely recycled paper products as well as block-printed and embroidered textiles. They’re based in the villages of the Kanakapura taluk (in Bengaluru) and women are the main financial support of households. The recycle-paper aspect makes the group environmentally friendly, I guess. Full disclosure—the NGO I’m part of, Belaku, first set up these groups some years ago, and though we no longer assist with the production and sales, I hold a strong attachment!”
Email Kameshwari at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 09980540691. See product photos here. Search for Hosa Belaku Artisans Foundation on Facebook.
Indian Institute Of Cerebral Palsy
Recommended by Debashis Ghoshal, managing director and chief executive officer, Daiwik Hotels
“The IICP (Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy) has been doing some wonderful work over many years now, working closely with differently-abled and challenged children. The IICP was set up and mentored by the legendary Dr Sudha Kaul, who is both dedication and passion epitomized in person. The IICP trains children for different vocations and services and some of the products may be found on Iicpindia.org/products.php. Their cards and different gifting items are very artistic in nature and buying their products will immensely encourage students and the institute.”
Email Anshu Choudhury at email@example.com or call 09433561916, or contact N.K. Mahapatra at firstname.lastname@example.org 08981037194.
Child Rights And You
Recommended by Sabyasachi Mukherjee, fashion designer
“I would like to recommend Child Rights and You (CRY) to buy festive greetings cards and products by them. I feel children are the most vulnerable and it is the most vulnerable who need the maximum support.”
Khushboo Welfare Society
Recommended by Arundhati Ghosh, executive director, India Foundation for the Arts
“I would like to suggest the Khushboo Welfare Society in Gurugram (a centre for children with multiple disabilities). I am amazed by the work they do and the dedication with which they manage to run this initiative.”
For a catalogue of their products, email Sonali Savakoor at email@example.com or call 09632815493.
I Was A Sari
Recommended by Sudarshan Shetty, artist
“Stefano Funari works with underprivileged women, upcycling old saris into fabulous products. His selfless commitment to helping women in need also comes with a consolidated plan for the future of the brand I was a Sari.”
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact 09167723589. Visit Iwasasari.com or Facebook.com/iwasasari
Last Forest Enterprises, the marketing initiative of Keystone Foundation, which has been working in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve with indigenous communities on eco-development initiatives.
Email: Nandan at email@example.com or visit Lastforest.in.
Women’s Friendly Society and The Good Companions
Recommended by Gaurav Bhatia, managing director, Sotheby’s India
“I personally support the Women’s Friendly Society and The Good Companions in Kolkata. We buy all their crisp, hand-embroidered old-world linen for our home and they make for the chic-est gifts. They are the most elegant treasures. It’s a third-generation shop there so it’s very personal and we truly use them for festive gifting. They are also our best-kept secret. High-quality gorgeous linen this side of Belgium. They don’t have a website though.”
For the Women’s Friendly Society, call 033-22295285; and for The Good Companions, call 033-32929612.
Mesh, My Choices Foundation and Kriti
Recommended by Jayanti Rajagopalan, owner, Detours India, Hyderabad
“I know of three of them (all based in Hyderabad). MESH (Maximising Employment to Serve the Handicapped) sells bed linen, bags, stuffed toys, handmade paper items and other local handicrafts made by physically challenged persons (disabled/leprosy-affected craft artisans). Their market is in Germany, Sweden, the UK and the US, and in India via their online store www.mesh.org.in
My Choices Foundation has lovely scarves, stoles and bags, made by women dealing with domestic violence and human trafficking. They too market globally through their online store (see
the section ‘Shop’ on their website Mychoicesfoundation.org).
The third is an NGO called Kriti, which provides employment options for women from urban slums. Through their livelihoods programme, they sell handmade bedspreads, jute and newspaper bags, ethnic wear and Kalamkari purses.”
For Kriti, email Himani Gupta at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 09963577727. Visit www.kriti.org.in