Avani Patel | avani.14.patel@gmail.com

Aie: The Threads for Peace

Guide Amit Sinha
Sponsor Aagor Daagra Afad
Keywords Bodo women;Kantha embroidery;minimalistic designs;women’s empowerment

This project was carried out at Aagor Daagra Afad, a part of the Northeastern NGO, Action Northeast Trust (ANTS) at their facility at Rowmari, Assam. This area has seen political turmoil in the recent past with demands for a separate state motivated by regional sentiments. The problem has been partially solved by establishing an autonomous regional body called the Bodoland Development Council. However, the friction between the Bodo Hindus and Bangladeshi Muslim migrants continues.

A project to educate, train, and provide Bengali Muslim women of the region with a proper source of income was proposed. The idea was to help them refine their traditional skills. Selection and implementation of skills for these uneducated and conservative Muslim women was imperative as they had little knowledge of the commercial use of craft-based products. The chosen work had to be simple, easy to learn, and a leisure time activity acceptable within their context. Kantha embroidery which is their traditional craft, was perfect to complement the fabrics made by the Bodo women.

The process involved going to various villages and inviting women to this project and identifying the traditional embroidery and typical motifs in order to train them to commercially apply them for the new range of Aagor products. Workshops were organised to train them in aspects of production and skill refinement, both qualitative and quantitative. Contemporary minimalistic designs were added to the traditional repertoire to enhance market acceptability. A new label called, Aie came to life, representing the identity of the Muslim women while keeping the Aagor image alive.

This project used design for a humanitarian cause; it helped understand the social and entrepreneurial aspects of design, besides contributing to women’s empowerment. This project was humbling and insightful, in addition to being a great learning experience.
Communication Design
ED (6)
AFD (22)
GD (28)
FVC (13)
IID (14)
PHD (6)
I.T. Integrated Design
NMD (12)
DDE (11)
Interdisciplinary Design
SDM (11)
DRE (15)
Industrial Design
CGD (7)
FID (13)
TAD (10)
TGD (8)
PD (28)
Textile Design
ADM (10)
LAD (13)
TD (23)