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This May, we at Sasha, joined hands with Agents for Change across five continents for Fair Trade and the Planet to celebrate World fair Trade Day on 13 May 2017. Fair traders in the supply chain, joined by consumers, policy makers and advocates, committed to form human chains in their celebrations to mark their commitment to Fair Trade and the Planet, our route to sustainable development. The 2017 celebration is the third in the series of ‘Be An Agent for Change’ campaign. We believe that Fair Trade is an Agent for Change, a solution to trade injustices and imbalances of power in the supply chain. People in the Fair Trade supply chain and the consumers supporting Fair Trade products are Agents for Change. It is our inherent power to make change. We believe that anyone can be an Agent for Change.
Together, hand in hand, we can work for a fairer world.
The World Fair Trade Day, started since 2001 by WFTO members, is an initiative of WFTO that falls on the second Saturday of May of each year. It is an inclusive worldwide festival of events celebrating Fair Trade!
This year SASHA and SSA began the celebrations with a hugely entertaining an interactive session with the artisans of our leading producer partner- Prachesta. The significance of #FairTradeDay celebration was shared with them followed by a Signature Campaign. We also played Dumb-charade based on FT principles and there was a lot of merry-making through mimes, songs and sharing of personal anecdotes added more fun to the event.
This was followed by a poetry session by Activist & poet - Jeeja Ghosh and book-reading by budding writer & RJ - Sayomdeb Mukherjee aka RJ Den at Sasha Shop. Both shared excerpts from their published books, now on shelves, available at the Sasha Shop. The WFTD also saw the opening of our “Summer Whites” exhibition, inaugurated by noted singer, writer & director - Anindya Chatterjee. While Anindya Chatterjee enthralled us with his singing, Den had all in splits with his witty repartee. Jeeja’s soulful poetry set a poignant tone to the evening.
“Summer Whites” - Sasha Shop offered a range of clothing, in fresh summer-friendly prints and cuts; Handloom sarees to keep you cool even when the mercury is soaring high; Home linen, Cushions, Bags, Decorative Hangings, Mats, Ceramics and Moorahs, Natural Body Care, Essential oils, Diffusers, Organic spices and much more for its May event. The Shop looked cool and energized in white dominated merchandize, curated specially for the summer months.
SSA was invited to participate in the partner’s meet of SOIR-IM’s country office. Two day training cum workshop was part of the network meeting of SOIR IM partners. The objective of the training was to build Partner organization’s capacity in, identifying feasible and viable Income generating activity (IGA) in their area of intervention, conducting subsector analysis to assist IGA identification, conducting Value Chain Analysis to enhance IGA sustainability, marketing, sales and distribution of products.
The training was held at the beautiful campus of Appropriate Technology India, one of the SOIR IM partners, in Guptkashi, Uttarakhand. The classroom sessions of the training were held on 2nd and 3rd May '17. These were followed by an exposure visit to the operations of the dairy IGA (supported by SOIR IM) and other IGAs of the NGO. The training was attended by 19 participants, including 5 SOIR IM staff. Ms Sayanti Banerjee participated from SSA.
Our in-house natural dye expert Karobi Choudhuri, worked closely with ASHA NIKETAN to develop candles with natural colour for this year’s World Environment Day at Sasha Shop. ASHA NIEKTAN has been involved with candle making for more than 10 – 15 years, which is used as a therapeutic and vocational engagement for specially abled persons. Initially, two colours were experimented- Indigo and Turmeric. Two more colours- Sapanwood and Tea were tried out, using Beeswax.
As part of our initiative of supporting partners with diversifying their skill sets and product lines, SSA planned an intervention to provide an alternative mode of income generation for the inmates of Asha Niketan. Training on ‘Block printing” on denim fabric was organized by SSA & Mr. Dhritiman Ghosh from Brindaban Prints was approached to train the inmates of Asha Niketan. Dhritiman explained the importance of preparing the printing table, fixing of colours and control over blocks. A hands on training was provided to the inmates, who were very enthusiastic to try the blocks on their own. The training was well appreciated. The printed denim shall be stitched by another producer group. We are extremely grateful to Dhritiman Ghosh for facilitating the training. Mousumi Mukherjee & Karobi Choudhuri from SSA facilitated the program.
A series of Eye check up camps were organized under our EYE CARE INITIATIVE Programme for warehouse for artisans and community members of Jeevika Development Society and Amader Swapna. SSA has partnered with MISSION FOR VISION (MFV), an NGO working to combat avoidable blindness. A total of 50 patients were diagnosed where 7 were women. Among all the diagnosed persons 12 were prescribed for spectacles, among them Mission for Vision provided spectacles at low cost. The initiative was well received by participants. They have appreciated the effort of the visiting team from Mission for Vision for their cordial behavior and service. Ms Mousumi Mukherjee from SSA facilitated this.
Sujata Goswami and Roshni Mukherjee visited Industree Foundation, Bangalore as part of an exposure visit, to get an insight into the two producer companies promoted by Industree. The due visited the apparels and the natural fibre centres, received first hand information on the operations and interacted with the managing team on the day-to-day functioning, challenges and structure of the producer companies. We are thankful to the Industree team for sharing the information. This was followed by visits to Rain Tree Lifestyle store, Small Shop and The Ants stores in Whitefield and Indiranagar to strengthen partnerships and explore potential areas for expanding domestic market for producers.
SSA was invited by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry, in association with Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India to a workshop on ‘Hazardous Waste Management’ on 30th May 2017 at The Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry. The workshop was structured to cover the policy, handling practices, treatment techniques and environmental aspects of developing hazardous waste management systems, including studying the sources and characteristics of hazardous waste, handling and transportation, legal framework and regulatory requirements, high performance hazardous waste recycling and treatment techniques. This workshop was very informative. Mousumi Mukherjee & Sayanti Banerjee from SSA attended the workshop.