Yours, mine, ours — A happy Diwali for all
A glimmer of hope, a sparkle of happiness and twinkles of laughter - the little joys of life are what festivals entail. Celebrating Diwali in its true essence and espousing its true spirit, these industry pioneers are doing every bit to ensure that the people around have a truly happy Diwali. From an award-winning fashion designer supporting her weavers through the pandemic to a Michelin-star chef helping the less fortunate, here’s how the stalwarts are giving it back to society this year.
Designer Madhu Jain, who is known for her exemplary work in keeping Ikat alive is supporting her weavers through these times, with Diwali being no exception. “I am giving them work. It’s just that we are not working on the huge scale that we used to, but I will fight hammer and tong for what I believe in. It is a tough call in today’s time but that’s my philosophy,” she says.
Crafts revivalist Laila Tyabji has just wrapped up the annual 11-day Diwali Bazaar, the Festival of Lights at Dastkaar, which received good footfall despite the pandemic. “There were around 125 participants – weavers and crafts people from all over the country. Both the artisans and the customers were happy to have an event like this happening again,” she says, adding that Diwali for her would be sans any parties or celebrations.
Michelin-star chef Suvir Saran feels that it is now incumbent upon us that have a roof over our heads and gainful employment to help others less fortunate. He says, “My calling to action came as I saw loyal and hardworking employees lose their jobs and livelihood. I help where and as I can. Have also retained two of my chefs and we are working on R&D so as to be ready for the next chapter of the life of hospitality post Covid-19. Of course, there is the Blind School and we as a family make sure to keep them in our minds. It was where my mother always went to shop for Diwali and also give her time, and we kids carry on that tradition.”
The year has been a very tough one and any support that we can give others is much needed believes restaurateur AD Singh. He says, “Now that Olive is restarting its restaurants we have restarted our efforts to fight hunger in children which is an absolute crime. At many of our restaurants under the Kitchens Against Hunger initiative, we charge diners ten rupees extra on their bill and match the same from our side. This corpus will go this season to specific NGOs we support like the Jai Vakeel foundation, the OM foundation etc, to help them provide midday meals for children.”
Designer Nupur Kanoi feels that any small contribution towards the society makes a big difference. She says, “This year everybody’s helping each other in the maximum ways one can. We have been working at 30-40% capacity and we have ensured ‘corona-insurance’ for the safety of our workers. We are intentionally working with everything made in India to provide work to our karigars and artisans, and are concentrating more towards our own textiles.”
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