March heralds the spring season in India. It is also the month of the festival of colours – Holi! The activity at the producers’ end and at Sasha reaches a fervent pitch with the end of the financial year in site on 31st March. Everyone is keen to complete as many shipments and orders within the year to earn brownie points and start the new financial year on a positive note with a spring on our feet.
International Women’s day celebration
We celebrated International Women’s day with great joy and fervor. Sasha has already collaborated with Oxfam Belgium and other non-governmental organizations located across India, Bangladesh and Belgium, to initiate a global campaign on pressing Gender issues. This international day celebration was a step more to reinforce the campaign in its second and final year. The central theme of the campaign is to highlight the multiple subjective experiences of “women at work”. And we made this as the theme of the IWD 2016 to understand and expose the manifold discrimination that women are subjected to at their work places, at home and at society at large; with a specific focus on women artisans/craftswomen as ‘Agents of Change’ and their positive relation to Fair Trade.
On March 8th, 2016, Sasha organized film screening, poetry recitation and a sumptuous brunch at Sasha shop with its artisans and staffs as part of the overall campaign agenda with evocative tales of lives fraught with challenges and of indomitable spirits, moving narratives of women & men who have walked the talk. We were happy to have Natalia Leal, Chief Executive, WFTO with us during the event.
Sasha was happy and honoured to organize an interactive meet with WFTO member organizations in Kolkata. Women of grit & substance from Craft Resource Centre, Madhya Kalikata Shilpangan, Equitable marketing Association, SKVIS & Sasha shared their life’s struggle and the joy of victory of their spirits. Evocative docu-dramas, songs of the Patua and an award-winning film from Shyamal Karmakar set the tone of the Fair chances campaign on Gender Equality in 2016!
The Health Collective
Sasha Shop participated at the Health Collective presented by WOW at Horticulture Gardens, Alipore on 25th March. Sasha Shop was happy to participate in this event to promote wellness and well-being along with, Farmers’ Markets, Dieticians, Faintness experts, Holistic health Consultants, Pop-up restaurants galore.
An extensive orientation programme with the migrant communities in Delhi triggered off on 12th March and went through 13th and 14th March 2016 in Tata supported center at Karta Nagar Market. A group of one hundred and forty-seven women were assembled and the implementation team from Urjacons/Servihetey under their ongoing project. The recently formed and engaged self-help groups of women from the migrant community were introduced to the center. The groups were excited to visit the center and meet each other. It was for the first time that the groups came together collectively. The synergies among groups, women and center team were a good indicator of the progressive approach. The enthusiasm and approach for the community mobilization by the group leaders reflected in the groomed synergies. Skill mapping, Geographical mapping between the groups, Skill scaling exercise, Identification of potential livelihood options, Identification of skill-based product ranges, Resource material explorations with the groups, Identifying and leadership grooming were done during the programme. This programme was conducted and facilitated by the designer Meghna Ajit and Sayanti Banerjee from Sarba Shanti Ayog.
Women Empowerment Project at Sagardweep
SSA visited a community at Sagardweep, at the tip of Bay of Bengal in September 2015, to explore the livelihood opportunities for the village women and conducted a Focused Group Discussion for occupational ranking. On the basis of that SSA and Switzerland based organization, India School Project planned for a Women Empowerment Project. Ms. Sujata Goswami and Roshni Mukherjee from SSA conducted two days Enterprise Orientation Workshop at Sagardweep on 30th and 31st March 2016. Tailoring and embroidery skill audit was conducted by the consultant designer Mr. Mrityunjay Kumar and Ms. Rita Naskar, Sasha respectively. Thereafter a detailed way forward was drawn up.