I have been working in the field of rural development for the past 26 years in India in the states of Uttarakhand and Orissa. I co-founded Avani, a voluntary organization, in the Central Himalayas in India, 20 years ago. I have worked in the field of education, community health, natural resource management, strategic planning and creation of sustainable livelihood in remote rural areas.
I have been living and working in a small village in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand for the past 20 years. I have founded a sustainable rural enterprise that revives the traditional skill of hand spinning, hand weaving and the art of natural dyeing in this area. This enterprise is now established as an artisan owned cooperative that produces and markets hand made natural textiles and lifestyle products that are eco-friendly, fair trade, zero waste and low carbon footprint. The products include hand made, naturally dyed silk and wool textiles, natural dye powders and natural crayons.

I have worked extensively on the science, use and cultivation of natural dyes with the local farmers for the past 10 years and we are now producing indigo cakes - AVANI Himalayan Blue - from three varieties of indigo grown in the Himalayas.

My work brings together the concept of creativity, sustainability and design thinking that integrates people and natural resources in one contiguous whole. It is a holistic and integrated manner of design thinking that creates eco systems that are self sustaining and inclusive…