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Local Woman Entrepreneur showcases Uttarakhand

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By Alok Joshi

Dehradun, 10 Mar: In the midst of so much focus on “Nari Shakti” and celebrations of Women’s Day, I happened to meet a shy but determined entrepreneur in Dehradun who has been silently promoting Uttarakhand through her creativity.

She is Nandini Khanduri, who grew up in Dehradun and knows the pulse of our hill state.

Nandini’s creative products are known as Osla. The name Osla is derived from a small village in Har Ki Doon Valley of Uttarakhand. It is located in the Govind National Park in the Uttarkashi district.

The colourful catalogue of Osla products and its amazing variety is very impressive. There are coasters that depict Uttarakhand lifestyle and culture. Then there are 100% cotton block printed stoles, fridge magnets depicting towns, birds and temples of Uttarakhand. Our home fridges proudly display magnets of foreign cities that we travel to but we consider it below our status to stick magnets of our own rich heritage. What impressed me most were the miniature artworks on canvas with beautiful pictures of Badrinath, Kedarnath temples, local village ladies and wildlife. Then there is the Corbett tiger scarf, peacock butterfly scarf and Fyuli flower scarf. For those interested in home decor, we have cushion covers with digital prints of a pahari girl, scenic mountains and birds. The Brass Chardham stand, brass Badri-Kedar key chain and spiritual Chardham scarf were my absolute favourites. On top of it, there is a Pahari Pitara gift hamper. What impressed me most was the reasonable pricing of products, almost everything in the range of RS 100 to Rs 1000.

Nandini has been working silently on her own. She tried to join some women’s groups but failed. She approached the local bureaucracy to promote her products but did not succeed. She is a young, hardworking and very creative mind but prefers to pursue her work and mission without blowing the trumpet.

Incidentally, she also designs jewellery by the name of “ Ahim” but that is the subject of another article.

Prime Minister Modi has very recently recognised the contribution of content creators and urged them to start a “Create on India Movement” and share stories with the world on Indian culture, heritage and traditions. Uttarakhand authorities also need to identify and give a platform to silent workers like Nandini to showcase Uttarakhand to the outside world. All they deserve is some encouragement and a bit of appreciation and visibility.

My humble suggestion would be to at least find a way to display and market these local products in the tourist centres of Uttarakhand.

(Alok Joshi is an HR Advisor, motivational speaker, freelance writer and author of two books.)