Often you come across people who are passionate about where they come from—the place where they grew up—and sometimes it is this passion that probably drives them to come back to their region and start things, that they think, might benefit people, even if it is in a small way.
Alisha Kaisar, who grew up in Assam most of her life is one such example. After graduating in English Literature from Cotton College, Alisha moved to Hyderabad and then to Mumbai. She has been living in Mumbai for over five years now. Over the years, she has specialized in blogging and event management. So, keeping her interests in mind, she has started a one-of-a-kind event here in Guwahati which she thinks could be useful for people here.
What is it all about?
‘The Gypsy Caravan’, as she names it, is her baby. She, along with her husband, plans to have events that will bring in brands from the rest of the country to the northeast region. Alisha says, ‘We’ll bring brands from everywhere to exhibit here. We will also be traveling and taking some of our brands to other parts of the country.’
This brainchild of Alisha has been trying to work with sustainable products, and now the main event is scheduled for January. Through today’s teaser event, they wanted to show people what kind of brands they will be featuring in the future. ‘But it’s not going to be like a trade fair or an exhibition,’ she says.
The main event in January will also have people who will make handmade food and chocolates. ‘We will have pop ups as well and I will curate them myself. There will be food from people who make and sell packaged and organic food.’
The Gypsy Caravan’s vision is to bring in brands that promote sustainable products to the people of Northeast. ‘Our first event was in Mumbai and we had brands from everywhere. We plan to do the same here.’
Alisha talks about the problem with organizing events in Guwahati. She says that most people do not have a clear idea of events here. ‘They think that anybody who is into décor or plan weddings are into events. Every event has a theme, and in our case we will also do branding for our clients, if they want us to.’
Some of the brands that were present today were: ‘Soul works’ and ‘Elrhino’. Soul works is from Mumbai that makes dream catchers and jewelry. The founder of ‘Soul Works’ supports a small community of women residing in Mumbai, who work from home to make these products.
‘El Rhino’ makes paper out of rhino and elephant dung. Founded by father-daughter duo of Mahesh and Nisha Bora, they set up Elrhino in Guwahati that converts elephant and rhino poop into paper, and manufacture beautiful products such as notebooks and more. Their initiative also promotes wildlife conservation.
The schedule also witnessed a music and poetry session, followed by the screening of a documentary film called ‘True Cost’. The film is on the ill effects of fast fashion. ‘Brands such as Zara or HnM, they bring you cheap clothing at a low cost, but somebody has to pay for it and the ones who are paying are the workers, they don’t have proper working conditions or they are not paid well.’
When I asked her, what her vision was, she said, ‘We have people in the Northeast who are always looking for unique brands from the rest of the country. If we bring them here, they won’t have to go out anymore. That’s what I am focusing on.’
By Sanskrita Bharadwaj