Insha-e-Noor is a women's enterprise associated with close to a 100 women from the Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti (they also sell online). These women create a range of products like notebooks, buntings and more, using traditional sanjhi, crochet, and aari embroidery techniques.
Started a few years ago with support from the Aga Khan Foundation and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (under the Nizamuddin Urban Renewal Initiative), Insha-e-Noor is everything that makes us happy. It's a venture that puts a lot of heart, time, and effort to offer accessories that are both beautiful and affordable.
We had the chance to visit their production centre in Nizamuddin. This centre, a massive room with sewing, cutting, binding equipment and raw materials, is where women from the basti are taught various skills, and where they come to make the products.
Insha-e-Noor's products, every single one of them, are handmade with utmost skill and precision, and go through various levels of quality checks. Which is why, it's no surprise that they've received orders from brands like Fabindia (among many others), and why people can't get enough of their sanjhi (art of paper-cutting) diaries, and their crochet coasters and toys at various exhibitions too.
To give you an idea, their stationery is priced between INR 60 to 350, accessories (bangles, embroidered stoles, bags etc.) between INR 120 to 1,500 and you can get their lovely cushions, lamps, trays and more for anything between INR 150 to 1,500. They also offer a conference range (bags, folders) starting at INR 30 and packaging material (paper bags, boxes etc.) starting at INR 10 (depending on quantity), but these are usually sold in bulk.
Now, the part that makes us even more happy—all the money from sales goes directly to the women, or is used for operational expenses. Just FYI, Insha-e-Noor's women have also formed small self-help groups where a part of their earnings can be used for inter-lending purposes.