With over 25 years of experience in skill training and product development in the rural sector and among the marginalized sections of society, I set up Mon Ami foundation, an independent, not-for-profit Trust, registered in India, in 2015. We work closely with recipient communities across rural and urban India with support from corporates, domain experts, and service providers to ensure equal participation from all stakeholders for a sustainable future! Our projects are focused on sustainable livelihoods. I firmly believe in an integrated approach to product development, skills training, market access and eco-effective processes.
The possibility of projects that will positively impact society is endless and the needs of these people are real. My recent projects involve training migrant women in the rural urban pockets around Delhi – NCR region; and in and around Terai regions in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh to develop products from various wild grasses that are found in the region.
All the projects are design led and the focus is to build a sustainable eco system towards market led product development.
Moonj Grass development project in USN Dist. Uttarakhand involved working closely with the Tharu community women artisans, introducing them to modern designs and forms through multiple rounds of product development. They were given extensive market exposure with respect to modern designs, new colour palette and technical processes along with a comprehensive session on costing, market outreach, utility and product display.
Another Moonj craft development project in Sitapur district, Uttar Pradesh was done to provide the women artisans with much-needed design intervention, scaling-up and market linkages. The artisans were taught the importance of quality and production-oriented work where replication of designs was explained and implemented over several months. With the intent to empower these women artisans and provide a structure that supports them economically, the Foundation creates a meaningful impact on their livelihood wherein they can continue practicing their traditional craft in a sustainable manner.
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad.