Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Earthinking happening!

emma: 6
Originally uploaded by dalbhat
Thanks to everyone who has submitted their eco-tote designs so far. Since Earth Day is every day we plan to allow another week or so before we announce any winners! Keep them coming, folks!

Ayonika's Earth Message:

Dear Earth,
I am so happy you give us all the things like water, oxygen, and so many other things. I say thank you. All the other animals and humans say the same thing. And we will all try to save animals and trees that you have given us.
Thank you, Earth!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A WEE Little Update

I just wanted to inform you that the women selected at Jeevika have started their course and are really enjoying it. I was told they were really impressed with the facilities there. Thanks to everyone who worked quickly to make this happen...especially the Batesville, Arkansas Calcutta 100 Club contingent and Shara Alexander!

Here is a note I received from Jeevika Development Society:

Dear Maura di,

Thanks for your help in organizing so many production orders and the fund for the tailoring training. The training will be conducted through the Bhowanipore Education Society.

The training will be of three months duration and will be held twice in a week. 10 girls will benefit from this training. We thank you once again for organizing 10 thousand rupees that enabled us to participate in the training. We also request you to convey our sincere thanks to our well wishers

Thanks for your sustained cooperation.

Jeevika Development Society

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Join our 2008 Eco-Design Contest

2008 eco-design contest
Originally uploaded by dalbhat
We are getting ready for Earth Day on April 22nd at Mustard Seeds Library. Yesterday the kids who came had a great time helping me with the clay I had let sit a bit to long get moist again so that we can mold it. A few managed to make it soft enough to work with and form little people and fruits. We all enjoyed getting covered in Earth and it was a nice way to start the month of April which we decided will be dedicated to eco-awareness in many fun shapes and forms.

Two years back we had a great time desiging some excellent eco-Tshirts at Mustard Seeds Library and these were hung up in the library for a long time inspiring us and visitors to do more for the planet (or do less). The winning shirt designs were presented with handcrafted, eco-friendly prizes. This year we are asking you to design your own cloth tote bag so that you can say, "No thanks!" to plastic bags when you are out marketing.

We invite anyone to enter -- from anywhere on the planet. Just email me at so I can send you the PDF file to print, design and mail to us -- as soon as possible!

We look forward to getting entries from all over -- so spread the word and ask your friends to join too!

Send your entry to:
Mustard Seeds Library
A5 Vidyasagar Niketan
Block EA / Sector One
Salt Lake, Kolkata 700 064 INDIA

Here are some links on this topic sent in by friends:

Make every day Earth day...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Calcutta 100 Club swings into action for JEEVIKA Development Society

Jeevika stitching
Originally uploaded by dalbhat
It has been a while since the Calcutta 100 Club jumped into action but I recently received an urgent request for help with raising some funds for an organization I have been working with for more than eight years here in Kolkata.

Women in the Jeevika Development Society tailoring and embroidery-based income-generation program in Joka have the opportunity to attend a 25-day fashion design course at the Bhawanipur Educational Institute here in Kolkata. It starts this month! A very reasonable rate (10 women for Rs. 10,000/approx. US$260) has been offered to the group to participate, but lack of funds is holding them back. Women will learn about colors & designing, how to make patterns, and running an electric sewing machine (they are only familiar with manual models): skills that could lead to further empowerment for these women who mainly come from rural backgrounds.

I am sending around information to all the members in our Calcutta 100 Club, a small effort by friends and family of Mustard Seeds to raise money when it is specifically needed for a certain project. The idea is simply that we gather just 100 friends who are willing to give at least $10.00 at a time. If we get 100 people involved, the amount will eventually come to $1000 each time, a significant amount to make a difference on a specific “mustard-size” project in Kolkata. We are not at 100 people yet but...some examples of what we have been able to do so far include buying school books for children participating in Dr. Jack Preger’s Calcutta Rescue street children education project; build a house for a village artist and her family; provide money to Sangeeta Mondal who had a very successful leg operation and is now walking.

If you would like to make a small financial contribution just this once, or want to join our tribe of me and I will tell you how. In the event that we go beyond our goal, I'd like to set the money aside as a fund for when courses such as this are available in the future. Please be in touch! Thanks always