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In June 2013, the clouds burst on one of India’s most sacred pilgrimage sights in Kedarnath Valley, Uttarakhand. 

Virtually the whole village in the upper valley was buried in a blanket of rubble. 30,000 people lost their lives. Leaving mainly the elderly, women and children to fend for themselves.

AOF in partnership WITH PANCHACHULI WOMEN WEAVERS is helping support a rehabilitation project to train the people left after the devastation to produce handspun, merino wool, cashmere and alpaca yarns suitable for the International market. 

These beautiful yarns are then woven into scarves and other products including throws, blankets and shawls by the well established cooperative, Panchachuli Women Weavers in the neighbouring state of Uttaranchal.

Artisans of Fashion’s role is to help develop products suitable for the International market and assist with sales and distribution.

This project has been established as an NGO called the MANDAKINI WOMEN WEAVERS OF GARHWAL under the guidance of Mukti Datta, founder of Panchachuli Women Weavers; an organisation with a long standing track record through their work with the village women from remotes areas around Almora.

The elected president of Mandakini Women Weavers of Garhwal, Kusumlata Bagwari, leads a seven member board and a three hundred member strong organisation which is following the footsteps of Panchachuli Women Weavers of Kumaon, whose founding member, Munni Mehta is actively involved in guiding the ladies of the Kedarnath Valley.

Currently eight handlooms have been provided on which sixteen women are learning how to weave using yarn which has been spun by the hundred and eighty spinners training to spin fine yarns on traditional Bageshwari Charkhas. Thirty women are also learning to knit using the same spun yarn.

The involvement of elders adds a deeper social meaning to the project.



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