Homegrown gifts and a Punya Box

Dastkar goes digital. Plus, a platform for merchandise created by NGOs


With bustling venues and platforms for the nation’s crafts going silent throughout the pandemic, Dastkar’s Instagram deal with has been eagerly tracked for updates on its new e-store: handsondastkar. When it lastly did go reside final weekend, the collection of handloom saris (woven, printed, embroidered, painted), material masks, Madhubani, Gond and different folks artwork, baggage and residence decor generated curiosity.

In three days, the platform had 2,155 digital guests and billed orders value ₹41,146, although founder Laila Tyabji guarantees “this is just the beginning”. In the previous, they’d determined in opposition to going digital as ‘touch’ is integral to purchasing craft. “There was the question of how Dastkar, without resources or a warehouse, could undertake such a vast venture. So we concentrated on selling craft through bazaars, exhibitions and other platforms, including other e-portals. Some worked, others didn’t. The pandemic and ensuing lockdown made it clear that it was necessary for us to have our own marketing platform,” says Tyabji, who made the location’s first sale: a Madhubani sari.

A snapshot of handsondastkar.com  

To the artisans, the web platform comes simply in time. “It is interesting that folk art, which doesn’t necessarily sell very well at bazaars [difficult to display], does very well online as it photographs well,” says Tyabji, including, “It is the exact opposite of a [offline] bazaar! There, people love to pick up little knick knacks and gift items, and only go for the more pricey things like saris later. Online, they feel it is not worth going through the hassle for smaller items.”

As for the preliminary glitches, consumers will should be forgiving. After all, the location was developed in-house, and sourcing clean-cut, e-commerce-ready photographs from craftspeople throughout a pandemic can’t be simple. For an outfit that has organised bazaars for 40 years, that is a complete new sport. With the craftspeople’s tales going reside, Tyabji hopes we perceive that “craft is more than just a product and that handsondastkar.com will be more than just a marketing device”.

₹550 – ₹41,000 at handsondastkar.com

Up subsequent: More selection, with masks, Madhubani work, woven mattress covers, kantha embroidered stoles, and many others.


We’ve had the quick trend digital gross sales, luxurious closets going surfing and help initiatives for India’s weaving communities. Now, homegrown initiatives by NGOs throughout the nation are within the limelight with Rohan Garg and Anant Kapoor’s new e-store, Punya. Unlike platforms like iTokri (handmade artisanal merchandise) and Shunya (recyclable stationery, tableware) which can be restricted to a explicit style, Punya options all the things from masalas to handwoven stoles.

What units the platform other than others is that every one the merchandise have been crafted by their NGO companions (who obtain 95.5% of the gross sales proceeds), together with Kilmora that helps makers in Uttarakhand’s Kumaon area, GranMade, that employs aged ladies who’re out-of-work, and Naz Foundation that works on HIV/AIDS and sexual well being.

(clockwise from top left) products retailed at Punya and co-founders Anant Kapoor and Rohan Garg

(clockwise from prime left) merchandise retailed at Punya and co-founders Anant Kapoor and Rohan Garg
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Launched in July, the neatly categorised e-store additionally options natural physique and residence care merchandise, and edibles like Himalayan jams. Don’t miss the stationery part, with gold-plated bookmarks and notebooks with shiny Madhubani covers.

Garg, 23, explains the way it began once they observed folks present one another kilos of sweets (which finally went to waste) each Diwali. Their Punya Box, launched in 2019, had sweets splendid for a household of 4. “We partnered with six NGOs, and the money saved went to a charity of the donor’s choice,” says Lucknow-based Garg. Realising how skilled advertising and after-sales help may assist NGO-made merchandise, they selected an unique market.

From ₹45 to ₹1,200.

Up subsequent: New partnerships and, in a few months, hyperlocal digital markets that can tie up with native NGOs in your metropolis.

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