The Team

Ahimsa Eri Silk Project is co-founded by Narmohan Das of Das Handloom & Handicrafts and Ritika Mittal of Mora Collective.

Naturenomics™ Awardee Narmohan Das from Kamrup district of Assam is an environmental steward who has pushed the boundaries of sustainability by propagating the production of Eri Silk and creating a circular economy within the silk industry for more than two decades.

Narmohan Das has been a pioneer of many innovations in Eri silk bringing livelihood to more than 750 households in rural Assam. The making of Ahimsa Eri Silk is a matter of ethically altering a part of his already existing network of community work. The makers carry out the art of spinning and weaving production under his expert mentorship as the production-in-charge. He also acts as a mentor for the rearing to maintain segregation between the two groups – Ahimsa Eri Silk and general Eri Silk.

Cosmopolitan and Femina Awardee Ritika Mittal engages closely with natural fabrics, yarns and dyes representing her own initiative, Mora Collective, est. 2009. She creates one of a kind wearable textiles celebrating the heritage of indigenous communities of North East India and India-Nepal Himalayan regions. In 2014, she founded Thebvo Project in Nagaland that is dedicated to the revival of stinging nettle textiles of Chakhesang Nagas. She also comes with an experience of decade-long career in audio-visual communication with projects from BBC World & World Service Trust, United Nations Development Programme and Fremantlemedia India. She facilitates application of “Ahimsa”, documented-research and communication of the project.

The third important link and a partner of the project is Ajit Medhi, the rearing-in-charge of the project who hails from a family lineage of Eri silk-rearers. He is a farmer living a rural life with his family, rearing millions of silkworms every year in the heart of his home. He was trained in rearing by his mother who was known for the generosity from her kitchen. Residing at a strategic border location between Assam and Meghalaya, the Medhi household has been a good host to travellers and traders for generations.

Collectively with this project, they were able to envision the success of producing a fine quality of Ahimsa Eri Silk. The mutual decision to keep the annual limit of production to 1000 metres for the first phase stems from their deeper sensitivity to nature and local culture. At the grassroots, the founders engage in transferring a thorough intention of Ahimsa in Eri Silk production to ripple out a sensitive community of makers. This facilitation addresses a community that is confident in their skill and resilient in their growth, delving for the first time in the questions of violence in silk production.

Documentation team for Phase 1

Macro & Timelapse photo and video: Ritika with Green Hub Fellowship fellows – Jahnu Baruah, Josi Kaipeng and Jayshree Borgohain under remote technical mentorship of Anurag Jaitley.

Host for rearing shoot: Medhi family and friends from Mataikhar, Assam

Host for spinning and weaving shoot: Das family and friends from Harapara (3rd) and artisan families of Saru Phulguri

Friends who joined to take photos of community: Adish Baruah, Kalai Vani (Nov 2019)

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