This 15th August, India celebrated its 68th Independence Day. It is a day of celebration and to realize how fortunate we are as a nation to be free. Thousands of our freedom fighters sacrificed their lives and millions of them struggled in order that we could be free and constituted a system of democracy centered on us, its citizens. This is a day to commit to ensuring that we proudly participate in our democracy and see our nation moves in the right direction.
Annual Producer Group Meeting 2015
In August, we had the most important and awaited event of the year. We are proud to share that our three-day long, 37th Annual Producer Group Meeting was held at Ramakrishna Mission, Narendrapur, in Kolkata from 28-30, August.
This year’s theme was “Working Together” Swami Vasabananda ji, Assistant Secretary of Ram Krishna Mission, Narendrapur graced the occasion and lighted the lamp together with Mrs. Roopa Mehta, CEO, Ms. Swagata Ghosh (Sasha), Mr. Pankaj Mendiratta (Consultant), MS. Sagarica Das (Producer partner). During the opening session, Sasha CEO warmly welcomed all our Producer partners and requested each one to participate wholeheartedly in the deliberations. The Annual Reports 2014-2015 of SASHA & SSA were shared by Roopa Mehta, CEO Sasha & Sujata Goswami, ED, SSA respectively.
Day two started with the customary business sessions, by the Domestic and Export managers and the Operation Head. Two of our main producer partners shared their views also. The rest of the day was both filled with fun activities and of joyful learning. Mr. Pankaj Mendiratta was invited from New Delhi to facilitate. The takeaway from the day was how to have a “HAPPY CUSTOMER & a HAPPY ARTISAN”. We also celebrated “Rakshabandhan” on the day by tying threads in each other’s wrists!
On day three, the recapitulation of the previous day’s sessions was followed by an open session facilitated by Sambuddha Ghosh, Sasha and Mousumi Mukherjee, SSA. The main purpose of these sessions is to encourage producers and the Sasha team to think on a larger canvas and grow together in a sustainable manner. A compilation of the Subhashini Kohli awards that completed 10 years in 2014 was presented and a review of the present status of producers who received the award from 2005 to 2014 was done. The award was instituted in the memory of the late founder-president Shabbi Kohli and to reward not only performance, but also the spirit of cooperation and partnership. Mrs. Mehta mentioned that it is time to review the same and present the award in a different manner from next year.
Team from Oxfam Australia
We had Chrisanta Muli, Research Team Lead at Oxfam Australia and Sara Pelvin, National Marketing Manager, Oxfam Australia on a visit to Sasha as part of the research being conducted across 4 countries (India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Australia). The research is a valuable opportunity for Oxfam Australia Trading to reflect and understand how our work in engaging with our producer partners. The team had extensive sessions with the business team as well as the development team. A half day session with Producers was also organized. We eagerly await the completion of the research and its dissemination.
News from the Shop
In the month of August Sasha Shop organized An exhibition and sale on Sital Pati products from Cooch Behar, Wooden Masks from Dakshin Dinajpur, Exquisite Kantha Embroidery from Nanoor, Birbhum, Exquisite Bengal Dokra figurines from Bikna and Dariyapur, Ethnic Character handmade dolls from Natungram village, Bardhaman with banglanatak.com from 10th to 16th August.
We also had a craft demonstration on Sital pati weaving, on 12th and 13th of August by Malati Dhar from Cooch Behar. She showed us how skillfully they make mats and small baskets from finely cut bamboo strips. The products were greatly appreciated by the customers especially the Dhokra, Sitalpati mats and bags and the wooden masks.
We had a Pre Raksha Bandhan exhibition of our products in Ernst and Young On 21st August and 25th August. We received a very good response on both the days of the display. Featured products were Leather, kantha and phulia stoles, stationery, Dhokra jewellery and figurines, soft toy hangings and water hyacinth products.