ANCHAL /ON-CHAL/ NOUN
1. THE DECORATIVE EDGE OF A SARI USED TO PROVIDE COMFORT & PROTECTION TO LOVED ONES 2. SHELTER
Anchal’s co-founders met at the Rhode Island School of Design during a graduate seminar that explored design in the developing world. Inspired by the shared belief that design can be a catalyst for social and environmental innovation, the four women traveled to India and met with local leader, Urmi Basu of the New Light Foundation. It was here in the narrow alleyways of the Kalighat red light district, Urmi shared the extreme oppression women faced and the tangible void in economic alternatives available to this marginalized community.
“We felt compelled to take the project beyond the classroom with the conviction that our design training in collaboration with local leadership could address seemingly intractable social and environmental systems. The women we met became our sisters, sisters we had to fight for.” - Colleen Clines, Co-Founder & CEO
Shortly following the class trip to India, the co-founders raised $400 by selling handmade notebooks and notecards. These humble beginnings facilitated the purchase of a sewing machine, sewing instruction, materials, and a stipend for the artisans. During 2010, Anchal officially received 501(c)3 non-profit status in the United States and expanded the project by partnering with a second NGO, Vatsalya, in Ajmer, India.
Anchal had officially launched!