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July is the month when the monsoon is at its paramount. But it is also the time when the monsoon weaves its own magic on the city. “Kolkata, as it's often said, is not a city, it is an emotion. Those who stay there, or have visited the city, can go on endlessly about the place, and about its rich heritage and its food. Kolkata breeds nostalgia, and once you are there, you never really leave the city. You may not be physically present, but a part of you always stays back, in some alley in the city.” What better time than to celebrate monsoon and the essence of Kolkata.
Our July Shop event – Kolkata calling celebrated both monsoon and the love and passion for the city. City lovers, historians and people from all walks of life attended an interestingly curated and thoughtfully planned event with the famous photographer Manjeet Singh Hoonjan of Calcutta Photo Tours. The evening began with the inauguration of an exhibition which displayed reflections of Kolkata through varied products display followed by an Adda with Manjit Singh Hoonjan of Calcutta Photo Tours. Manjit played the perfect animator and took everyone down memory lane, turning nostalgic about the bygone era of Kolkata, his experiences as a photographer, his love for the city, it’s by lanes, the charms and the chaos, the Joy, everybody present also shared their memories, of the Old Calcutta and the Kolkata now. It was a fun filled evening with Chai, Tele-bhajas and nonstop chit-chat; people sharing anecdotes about their city...
The exhibition which was on display has been was meticulously curated. On display were hand-pulled and cycle rickshaws made in cane , terracotta khullars, Chai kettles from Anjali, stationery items depicting Kolkata, Gamcha clothes, sarees and accessories , Kolkata themed books and stationeries, bags, candles in bhars & cutting glasses with aroma of Green tea & Masala chai and more.
The collection was extensively worked upon and developed not only from Kolkata but also from various parts of Bengal like Midnapore, Baruipur, and Howrah from various handicraft artisans.
The event garnered a lot of interest and curiosity. We are happy to be featured on Window on Travel about the event. Here is the link -
And to add to our joy, the Little Black Book, Kolkata featured the Sasha Shop as one of the ‘go to’ Store for stylish, creative and affordable fashion. Read on....
Being a guaranteed member of WFTO, Sasha Association for Craft Producers was due for the peer review visit. We were privileged to have Mr. Sunil Chitrakar, Secretary & board member of Fair Trade Group, Nepal & CEO of Mahaguthi Craft With Conscience as our PEER. He was with us for three days & visited four of our producer groups. We were enriched through his inputs.
JEEVIKA (Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society- State Rural Livelihood Mission-Bihar) BRLPS is the implementing agency for the State of Bihar for Livelihood Mission, under National Rural Livelihood Mission of Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. They need a Training Cum Exposure Visit program based on product development, marketing of handicraft product, value chain and financial management on the practical background. We, at SSA have facilitated the exposure visit from 12th July to 15th July 2017. We had an orientation session at Sasha Shop with the team. The following day, the team visited Phulia and gathered practical experience about the cluster and Sasha’s work with the weaver-entrepreneurs. This was followed by a visit to Ushagram get an insight into community-driven holistic approach supported by SSA and Sasha. On day three a workshop was organized on the possible association with the primary objective of linking existing Self Help Groups, Producer Groups and other federated structure of SHG members, strengthening them through mobilization, linkages with formal banking system, microfinance and sustainable livelihoods.
Our long time buyer partner Magasin Du Monde wanted to know the impact of their association on Sasha’s producer groups & a team of three people came for a review visit & interviewed some of the artisans to know about the impact of their work.
Come August, we are looking forward to hosting the Annual Producer Group Meeting and we are all excited!
Check this space in the coming months for all the exciting details of our producer partners, buyers and other stakeholders.