ROOHI is not just a clothing line, it is a social enterprise to empower artisans from Haflong to become independent entrepreneurs. Avantika Haflongbar, who hails from Haflong, is the brains behind the NGO called TRYST NETWORK & ROOHI Social Enterprise.
Avantika lived in Delhi for around 12 years and has a lot of experience in the social service sector. She returned home a year ago to establish her own NGO.
She shares, ‘I have always had a knack for clothes, colours, and textures, and reconstructing from my mother’s sarees and father’s oversized shirts. From what I can recall, I was into designing since school days.’
ROOHI clothes incorporate traditional designs of different ethnic communities namely Dimasa, Naga, Kuki etc. ROOHI accessories are simple but bright and colourful. Presently, you can buy ROOHI items through their Facebook page; they also plan to open their very first store by May 2016.
When it comes to inspiration, Avantika says, ‘Everything around me is inspiring, the local people and the way they dress differently distinguishing them from each other. Predominantly, I seek refuge in colours. Bright colours around me help me make clothes.’ She hopes to continue designing colourful clothing and accessories. She adds, ‘What’s life without colours anyway?’
Words: Payel Bhattacharjee