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Last month we celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights. It is also a time when everyone is renovating - their homes, wardrobes and offices. A time to buy loads of gifts and share. The Sasha Shop was the perfect place. It had a varied selection of merchandise to satisfy each one’s shopping expectations.
Oxfam Magasins Du Monde (Belgium) has collaborated with Sasha, CORR-The Jute Works (Dhaka, Bangladesh), and Tara Projects (Delhi, India) to initiate a global campaign on Gender issues. Sasha had organized for a day long launch event on November 12th, 2015 at Indian Council of Cultural affairs, Kolkata. The central theme of the launch event was to highlight the multiple subjective experiences of "women at work". To better engage with the aforementioned central theme of the campaign two sets of panel discussions under the overarching theme of “Changing Perspectives - Introspecting Gender Equality”, were organized as a part of the morning session, The first panel comprised of eminent panellists from non government organizations and academia working or researching on women’s rights/issues; providing a space to bring about transformative action. Rimple Mehta, Anuradha Kapoor, Priyanka Biswas, Sayantani Roychowdhury and Sujata Goswami were in the first panel. Devasmita Sridhar was the moderator for this session. Sekhar Das, Ramanjit Kaur, Sumit Ray and Anjum Katyal were in the second panel. Shuchi Sen was the moderator of this session.
For the evening session we had invited ‘Creative Arts’ a leading theatre group to put together a play for the occasion. Accordingly they performed their national award winning play “Baawre Maan Ke Sapne” under the guidance of their director Ms. Ramanjit Kaur. The performance was inspired by a journey of self exploration and has been woven together through improvising, incidents and real life experiences. We are enthused and grateful for the overwhelming support that we have received for both the panel discussions and the play performance.
The annual Sasha Fair Trade Fair was inaugurated on November 15, 2015 at Ice Skating Rink at a glittering ceremony. To bring the focus back on the gifted artisans, Sasha’s Fair Trade friends Monica Hagen from Caritas, noted fashion designer Mrs Sharbari Dutta and Mrs Julie Sen formally opened the five-day long exhibition of Handicrafts & Textiles from across the country along with master craftspeople and grassroots entrepreneurs. Various other celebrities and Friends of Sasha were also present to lend support to the event.
Each year this exhibition is held to promote Fair Trade members and grassroots producers. It is held annually to promote the vibrant and diverse handcrafting traditions of the country and livelihoods supported through it; besides this, to enhance awareness about Fair Trade and the imperative role it plays in promoting self-sustainability for the marginalized artisans. The participant organizations were members of Sasha’s producer network, Fair Trade member organizations, grassroots development organizations, community based organizations and social businesses. Each product presented a slice of India, its rich repertoire of handcrafting traditions and grassroots sensibilities.
The Fair, which was on till November 19, 2015 showcased handicrafts and handloom products from all over the country - Freedom Fabric (Khadi) from Malkha, Textiles from Bagru, Ikkat sarees from Karghaa, Lambani textiles and embroidery from Sandur, Quilts from Purkal Stree Shakti & Ceramic & hand-crafted jewellery from Ochre, Dhokra from Odisha, Patachitra paintings, Benarasi from Varanasi, Kalamkari, Ajrakh, Mirror-work, Wood & Horn products, Metal & Tribal jewellery, Kumbaya, Itee Kritee, Kriti Sustaiable, Rangasutra displayed an array of clothes, bags & accessories, Sabai grass from Kadam haat and Sitapati and patachitra from Banglanatak.com, Basketry and lamps from ESAF, Asha Niketan Candles, Leather, Small stylised furniture, Murrahs, Kantha embroidered sarees & home textiles, Hand-woven stoles & sarees, Dhurries, Rasa Herbal body care, Gourmet spices, honey, organic speices and rice and much more were on display.
Seven FTF-I member organizations participated this year. Out of 41 stalls, 18 stalls has products from fair trade producers. In the words of a customer “Products are well selected, very fast billing systems, innovative interior decoration and we wait for this exhibition each year.”
CEO, Sasha Roopa Mehta was present in the Forty years celebration of EZA Fairer Handel at Austria. EZA is the pioneer of fair trade in Austria and Sasha is associated with EZA for a long time.
SSA was invited to facilitate workshop in Mesh network meet. Topic of the workshop was “Organizational Sustainability and Second Line Leadership”. Seven producer organization of Mesh participated in the meeting. The workshop was well appreciated by MESH and the participants.