NEW DELHI: Shabnam Shakir (40), a resident of Nizamuddin Basti, has been working on a project, one which is a symbol of religious harmony. Her project sees Muslim women make and sell rakhis for the celebration of the Hindu festival of Rakshabandhan. She says the ongoing project like others, undertaken by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) in the slum, is “fulfilling” and “full of fun”.
“The number of orders that were placed was quite high. We kept getting calls. We would finish working on one design and there would be another design waiting for us to take up. It kept us busy and we enjoyed the pressure of meeting the deadline,” Shakir said.
In the initiative started by AKTC, under Insha-e-Noor, their women’s enterprise at the slum, products are handcrafted and the revenue from sales goes directly to the artisans.
“I really want all of the rakhis we have made to be sold and that we can get even more to make,” Shakir said. The products are available for as cheap as Rs 50 to Rs 60 per piece for thread and zari collections respectively. People can also place an order via Insha-e-Noor’s Facebook or Instagram accounts. At present, there are around 80 women practising the craft forms of zari embroidery, hand embroidery, tailoring and crochet.
According to Ratna, their crochet instructor, the women are quick at picking up. “We started on this project about a month ago and most of them picked up really fast,” she said.“We delivered many rakhis to the customers’ brothers and others were sent to them by courier,” she added.The rakhis will be available for sale at Sunder nursery’s organic market from 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday and at Humayun’s Tomb at AKTC’s stall till August 14.