The women and instructors of Nari Dana have been making good use of their time under lockdown by producing face masks.
CRS Director, Rig David, travelled to the homes of members the Nari Dana team to deliver batches of cotton material. They are making masks for members of their family and local community, as well as taking orders.
Larsen & Toubro, the Indian multinational, that has supported CRS activities including Nari Dana over recent years, placed an order for 500 masks. Meanwhile the Diocese of Kolkata ordered 200 and another customer ordered 300.
This is a great opportunity for Nari Dana women to maintain their livelihoods during this very difficult time.
You can also support Nari Dana by purchasing brooches made by the women from recycled fabrics. These are on sale via the Tabitha Living online boutique: https://tabithaliving.com/product-category/brooches/ 100% of the proceeds will go towards the Nari Dana women.
There’s a new production manager at Nari Dana, CRS social enterprise: Mr Sankar Das.
Sankar is a Master Weaver who ran a small family weaving business for ten years before being appointed as the production manager of a business unit set up in Murshidabad to manufacture woven and sewn products for export. It employed 48 women, many of whom were trafficked into prostitution in Kolkata.
The Murshidabad centre closed in 2019 as part of a business restructuring but Janet Roberts, who originally set up the venture, recommended Sankar to CRS.
Currently the CRS skills training programme for women and the production of items at Nari Dana focuses on sewing and embroidery, but there are plans for Sankar to introduce weaving training and a new line of woven products. To this end, we are going to purchase some of the looms and equipment from the Murshidabad business.
The photo shows Sankar (left) and Janet (third from left) with some of the women from Nari Dana.
On 08 September 2019, CRS was greatly honoured by a visit from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, who was in Kolkata during a tour of India.
After giving a message during the Sunday service at St Paul’s Cathedral, the Archbishop and his wife, Caroline, toured the cathedral grounds where the educational and social service activities of the diocese were on show.
It was a great privilege for the CRS Director, Rig David, to be personally introduced to the Archbishop and his wife.
It was a wonderful opportunity to explain the work of CRS and Nari Dana. He presented them with stoles embroidered by women from Nari Dana.
The Archbishop also blessed the new Nari Dana sales outlet, recently created in Bishop’s House.
At 51 Chowringhee Road, just across from St Paul’s Cathedral, stands a spectacular colonial building. This is Bishop’s House, the official residence of the Bishop of Kolkata.
The Right Reverend Paritosh Canning, who was installed as the new Bishop in June 2019, was introduced to the work of CRS at the start of his tenure.
He was very impressed by the Nari Dana project and has generously made space in Bishop’s House for a sales outlet for Nari Dana.
A small area has been fitted out with shelves where products can be displayed. With many national and international visitors and dignitaries passing through Bishop’s House this is a great way to showcase the skills of the women of Nari Dana.
Kolkata has a new Bishop: the Right Reverend Paritosh Canning. His role includes acting as Chairman of CRS.
Bishop Canning began his tenure with a visit to the projects at G B Lane and Hastings, as well as the Nari Dana production centre.