Dr. Sonia Dhawan and Mala Dhawan
For a few years now, Sonia and Mala Dhawan who live off MG Road have been throwing open their garden to showcase the works of various artisans of handcrafted products. Whether it was the women farmers of Sirsi, HaseChitra artists from Sagar or groups from Kumaon to Kundapur, their home has slowly become a hub for small artists showcasing their work. Encouraged by this experience, the two sisters decided to formalize the initiative through A Hundred Hands, a not for profit trust whose primary focus is to provide a platform for artists involved in the creation of contemporary, handcrafted alternatives for our daily lives. It is a mission to help these artisans earn a fair and sustainable livelihood from their work.
Late Bindia Thapar
Bindia Thapar an architect by training and an illustrator by choice loved with her hands, whether drawing and painting or embroidering or cooking. Her association with A Hundred Hands started from her need to stretch her creative boundaries especially during her years of battling with cancer. Her dream was the world where every aspect of doing things by hand could find expression. If it wasn’t for her creating the logo and pinning down specifics, A Hundred Hands would have remained just another idea in the minds and hearts of two dreamers!
Prem has spent many years in the corporate world spanning from Engineering to Tourism and CSR, but the one common thread in his career is his incomparable ability to bring a creative perspective to every field he is involved in. A man of many interests, one of his biggest passions is photography. His own words capture his relationship with the camera Photography has helped me get up before the break of dawn and discover new vistas, connect with people and enjoy experiences over accumulating assets. It has helped in seeking elegance in simplicity, admire a sense of understatement and create an alternate visual world. In many ways “A Hundred Hands echoes these sentiments with no fuss, floss or gloss.”
Melissa’s exposure to the beauty and wonder of handcrafted products began early. In remote little towns and villages where her father’s career in ITC took the family and where even basic food and home supplies were limited, she watched as her mother worked magic with her hands. From simple baked to more exotic fare like cream and savoury-filled Profiteroles, Baked Alaska and Prawn Cocktails; from knitted sweaters with nursery rhyme design overlays (mine was a Mary, Mary Quite Contrary) to beautiful knife paintings, appliquéd hand towels and embroidered dresses, her mother excelled at various crafts. And Melissa’s love for handmade products grew…and endured. Although now a full-time public relations consultant, Melissa squeezes in time to dabble in all kinds – cooking and baking, bib necklaces, collages, cards – and watches with delight as her daughters now work magic with their hands. With her ten-year-old, she has just launched Flour Garden – classes to introduce little children to the joys of baking and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Born and brought up in Delhi, Rachna has now been living in Bangalore for the past 10 years, with her husband and two pre-teen children. She calls herself a community volunteer and enjoys helping her entrepreneurial friends with their initiatives, organizing school visits for children’s authors and “a million other exciting ventures”. Her personal interests are extremely varied from (NGOs, education and learning, children’s books and activities, environmental issues and travel) and she loves the title recently bestowed by a friend “Book Evangelist”! As a concerned mother of two, Rachna deeply believes in the need for Gen Next to work with their hands. for her vision of A Hundred Hands, touches a deep chord. Her young daughter delights the family with conjuring up quirky handmade fun stuff.
An architect by profession, Lilia is deeply fascinated by the immense depth of Indian craft & textiles. However, she has saddened that Indian craft is at a point where quality is more often than not, compromised in the name of commercial viability. She strongly believes that lovers of Indian art & craft need to do their bit to ensure that it does not reach a point of no return. Her association with A Hundred Hands is a small step in that direction. She loves Hindustani classical music, gardening, cooking & traveling.
Yellow Crest Media: Ajay Bhaskar
After many years in advertising and media in India and overseas, Ajay took the leap into photography a few years back. He enjoys all aspects of the medium, but tends to focus his commercial work on portraiture, architectural, product and stock. He is based out of Bangalore, India though travels wherever there’s an interesting shoot.
For A Hundred Hands, Ajay has done much of the photography and videography. His personal interest is in supporting the Non profit sector as well.
Shaila M Faleiro is an inbound marketing consultant whose talents know no bounds! She has a special interest in strategic storytelling for organisations that positively impact the world. If it wasn’t for Shaila’s sharp writing skills, much of A Hundred Hands would have been in scribbles and undocumented!