Champa Gali is a temporary refuge from Delhi’s chaos and we love it for bringing together gigs, good coffee and tiny stores full of quaint odds and ends. One of our favourite haunts is Jugaad. This nook is full to the brim with paper products, bags, clothes, accessories and more and all the money goes to a cause.
What started as a modest care home on Karm Marg for disadvantaged kids and teenagers, grew with them over the years. In the beginning, the idea was to just engage the group in something meaningful and skill-based. So, children – who were ragpickers around the railway station – started going back home and turning all the newspaper they found into paper bags. This was back when they had just started, in the year 1997.
As the good-hearted venture evolved, they took six years to develop a new name for their business. It came to be known as Jugaad. With a little retail push from People Tree, they now make tonnes of products (and not just bags). They now compete in the competitive market and have taken to tying up with NGOs, craftsmen and other brands who take pride in showcasing Jugaad’s many beautiful, handmade things.
Soon as you set foot inside Juggad, you’re hit by the sense of calm and colour. The bare, white walls provide just the backdrop for these funky products that range from kurtas to stationery. The cart in the middle, loaded with bookmarks, wallets and scarves, was our favourite. Followed closely by the board full of necklaces, hair accessories and earrings.
There’s a special counter dedicated to Haathi Chaap products. For the uninitiated, these are stationery and paper things made from elephant poop. You’ll find a cassette-shaped diary for quick notes and scribbles. They also have board games and wall clocks. And, we think you should totally get the Haalbharo cigarette box that’s actually a small dairy for that friend who pretends to quit smoking every few hours.
If you’re anything like us, you probably have at least that one friend who loves boho bags and jewellery. Jugaad is a great place to shop for her. The earrings start from INR 150, and, even if your budget is embarrassingly small, you can get an assortment of things including bookmarks, a patchwork wallet, cloth earrings and a hand-painted dairy, perhaps – and you’re sorted.
If the story isn’t of much interest to you, you just need to know that the profits continue to go to underprivileged children and rural women. So, consider shopping for trinkets here, because you’d be doing a good deed if nothing else.