Promoting crafts and textiles as a process of market-oriented sustainable livelihood

Sasha, a not-for-profit organisation, working with more than a hundred artisans and craft communities all over India has completed their 40 years journey. To celebrate their 40th anniversary Sasha has lined up numerous year-long activities.


The first day of the two-day inaugural session witnessed the launch of ‘The Story Of Sasha’, a book on the 40 years journey of Sasha. The book was launched by Ms Ruby Pal Chowdhury, Honorary General Secretary Of The Crafts Council Of West Bengal, Mr Paul Myers, Former President and CEO, Ten Thousand Villages USA, Mr Rudi Dalvai, President of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), Mr K Panshakshram, Founder and CEO, SIPA, Chennai, Mr Pritam Singh Chawla, Founder Member and Present President Of The Board Of Sasha Ms Roopa Mehta, CEO, Sasha.


The book launch was followed by the inauguration of a weeklong archival exhibition of the four decades of Sasha and a musical performance by noted Baul singer and musician, Shri Paban Das Baul. The exhibition was inaugurated by Dr Indira Chowdhury, Founder-Director, Centre for Public History, Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru, Ms Naga Nandini Dasgupta, Product Designer from NID, Ahmedabad and Design Teacher at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru and Ms Anshu Arora, noted Interior Designer and Couturier.


“Our work has been a movement. It is movement of makers, of appreciators, of shoppers, of admirers – of anyone whose values match our values of heritage, creativity, tradition, authenticity and socially relevant entrepreneurship. After four decades of engagement with crafts and textiles, fair trade and facilitating meaningful partnerships, we have many milestones and stories to share. We are commemorating by celebrating Sasha’s 40th anniversary where each day, will reveal another piece of nostalgia in the form of a compelling archives, fascinating snippets and moving images. To mark the occasion we have also launched a book which captures forty years of Sasha. Forty years is a moment to look back, take stock and with renewed passion and commitment to realise our vision and mission which has stayed consistent through the four decades as we move forward.” said Ms Roopa Mehta, CEO, Sasha.


The book, “The Story of Sasha” is a collection of memories of the four decades of eventful and organic journey of an organization, the vision of the founder and the cumulative efforts of producers as partners.


The archival exhibition at ICCR highlights Sasha’s journey of four decades in promoting crafts and textiles as a process of market-oriented sustainable livelihood. The exhibition features Sasha’s journey archived over the years which includes Sasha’s work in craft communities, dokra, kantha, bamboo, leather, contemporary craft, the first letter written, Sasha’s founder’s work table and more in various mediums like visual, print, fabric, old artifacts and product.


The second day of the celebration will witness an international seminar on “Fair Trade: Sustaining Craft Traditions and Livelihoods” which will bring together eminent people from the development sector, each committed in their own manner of promoting and preserving the crafts and cultural industry; Fair Trade practices, not only in India but globally. To conclude the two-day inaugural program there was a Fashion Show which was aimed to promote Fair and Sustainable Fashion and Sasha’s ongoing collaboration with local artisans which impacts their livelihood.