Exploring art and heritage through design and awareness- The story of Sanchali

24th Jul 2013
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Dakshayini Gowda is a student of design who has taken formal education in Fine Arts (sculpture) from Bangalore and also a Masters in Museology from MS University, Gujarat. She went on to work with various NGOs in places like Bangalore, Auroville and Varanasi in the capacity of a designer.


Workshop

During her travels, she came across many women working and making beautiful creative products without any design background. “I got the idea here to create an opportunity for these women to design and explore their creativity,” says Dakshayini. `SANCHALI` is an old Sankrit expression which means ‘To travel’ and she considered the name to be apt for her project.

The project aims at exploring Art and Heritage through design and awareness. “We design and create unique pieces of jewelry out of old traditional textile as part of a re-cycle concept. This project is created to support a women’s empowerment program in India, by which women receive skills that provide them with confidence and opportunities for a sustainable livelihood,” says Dakshayini.


Workshop

Sanchali conducts workshops in rural schools on history and heritage by a ‘travelling museum’ format- using interactive tools and hands-on experience. “We aim at encourage the younger generation to appreciate their rich culture and heritage. During the workshops, we also talk to them about various social problems and issues. We try to create a platform for discussions where they are heard,” adds Dakshayini. She started off in 2007 by putting in her own savings to buy material for the replica museum products. She trained women in designing jewelry out of left-overs or old textile to make beautiful jewelry which are then sold in shops and design exhibitions.

Dakshayini faced huge challenges initially to convince the women and their families to come out and work. She has managed to train 60 women till date but the mindset is a hard thing to change for these women have gone through many things like domestic violence and one needs to spend a lot of time with them to win their faith.


Workshop

A social organisation in Vienna is now sponsoring health camps for 50 women in this village. Dakshayini has tried to introduce natural healing, Yoga, Free Cancer screening and street play on women’s issues as well.

Read more about the project here and their Facebook page here.

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