Ohrna is an enterprise launched with the philosophy of providing employment to unskilled rural Indian women. The women are equipped with skills to make artifacts at home, that then generate a source of income for them. Our profits will be used to better the lives of their families.
We seek to create opportunities
At Ohrna, women are trained free of cost, provided with materials and paid to work from home while balancing their domestic demands, once their work has been quality approved.
Opportunities to earn are limited by opportunities at education for women, moreso in rural areas. And earning is about dignity and empowerment.
We facilitate creative liberation
Being engaged in a creative endeavor shows the way also, of using their spare time productively and evolving their creative abilities through it. And earning while creating something of beauty is enriching, joyful and adds color to life.
We strive to preserve a craft
Ohrna was in the making for several years, with a desire to preserve rich but dwindling craft traditions while generating earning opportunities among home based rural women. A passion for applied Crafts along with Experience and Product Design expertise forms the backbone of this initiative.
Ohrna takes pride in introducing embroidered jute to western markets and patronizes jute because it is a natural vegetable fiber, biodegradable, naturally decomposable and strong and durable. The expired fiber is recyclable more than once.
Ohrna was born out of a dream to conserve the beauty of handmade cultural traditions of India while creating work to benefit struggling artisans and home based rural women.
It is therefore a story about people through products...
Conceptualized by Jhumkee Sengupta Iyengar in an effort to preserve some of the craft traditions of her roots in Bengal, a land known for its richness in arts, crafts, poetry and culture, Ohrna attempts to showcase these beyond.
She has thoughtfully designed each of these unique products using natural and local fabrics and her experiences in people centered design. They are thus a confluence of convenience, creativity, craft, design and tradition.
Her artistic flair, imagination and love for colors have made this her passion project for the past several years. And thus brings her full circle to span a cultural bridge between India and USA, the two places she considers home.
A people centered product & experience designer, Jhumkee is also a teacher, writer and presenter. She is passionate about innovating modern day products by applying traditional arts and crafts to them and then turning over profits to support artisans. Her passion is to generate profits through Ohrna, for the benefit of rural home based women who find it difficult to get work without leaving their village.
Ohrna is inspired by Sharmila Sen, a Fine Arts graduate who worked with these philosophies to run a home-based enterprise with tribal women for 24 years and then sold these products locally.
The results were apparent over the years, when many a woman came back with recounts of how the income helped educate their children or solved some of their basic monetary problems.
Ohrna products are currently being made by women of Mann Deshi Foundation, an organization focused on empowering women entrepreneurs. The Foundation and Mann Deshi Bank, a bank run by and for women, work together to equip women in rural India with knowledge, courage, and capital.
We are now in 2 Locations and 17 women are on their empowerment journey