About Us

Our Mission

Tamasha products are handmade by women from Fatepurah, a village just outside of the bustling capital of Gujarat. These women have learned how to use the traditional craft of handloom weaving to transform the plastic that litters our streets and chokes our ecosystems into beautiful, durable, ecologically friendly products. Yet the transformation involved in each Tamasha product goes beyond the material realm: the women who make these products themselves have transformed their way of life since learning how to make these crafts. The creation of Tamasha was a part of a larger effort by to bring a new definition of development to rural India: one that actually empowered villagers, and one that was grounded in the concepts of environmental stewardship and sustainability. For many of the women that make Tamasha products, this has been their first opportunity to participate in the modern economy in a way that served their own interests of personal empowerment and enrichment.

Who We Are

The story of Fatepurah, until just a few years ago, had been the story of so many villages of rural India: left to scrape together a living on the outskirts of the rapidly growing urban areas of “modern” India. Before 2004, Fatepurah, like many villages today, lacked basic amenities such as toilets, health care, education, and means to access to government resources. There was little else besides agriculture to generate income for the village.

In 2004, Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, director of the Darpana Academy of the Performing Arts and Darpana for Development, listened to the villagers and learned about their needs, and brought her performing arts company to bring some of these issues alive in the form of theatre and dance.

After listening to the villagers and their responses to these performances Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, decided to spearhead a collaborative effort to bring about real and meaningful change to the villagers. Dr. Sarabhai collaborated with other NGOs such as the Rotary Club Metro, Chetna, and the Center for Environmental Education as well as local government to build toilets, bring in literacy and health training, teach villagers about biogas and the use of natural fertilizers, start women’s savings groups, start a successful dairy run by the women of the village, and teach the women the craft of wickmaking and weaving with plastic bags. From this effort, Tamasha ™ was born.

The word “Tamasha” refers to a kind of festive folk drama found today in rural India. For the villagers for whom life is often very hard, Tamasha signifies a way of bringing fun, creativity, and balance to an otherwise very strenuous and difficult life. By employing the traditional craft of handloom weaving, Tamasha products embody this idea and are expressions of the artistry of these villagers.

What We Do

Tamasha products are handmade by women in. These women have learned how to use the traditional craft of handloom weaving to transform the plastic that litters our streets and chokes our ecosystems into beautiful, durable, ecologically friendly products. Yet the transformation involved in each Tamasha product goes beyond the material realm: the women who make these products themselves have transformed their way of life since learning how to make these crafts. The creation of Tamasha was a part of a larger effort by to bring a new definition of development to rural India: one that actually empowered villagers, and one that was grounded in the concepts of environmental stewardship and sustainability. For many of the women that make Tamasha products, this has been their first opportunity to participate in the modern economy in a way that served their own interests of personal empowerment and enrichment.

Our Vision

Tamasha is more than just a line of products; it represents a vision for how development can be environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. By creating a market for traditional skills, projects such as Tamasha prevent the rural-to-urban migration that breaks up families and erodes India’s kaleidoscopic array of rural customs and craftsmanship – all while paying a good salary to women who would otherwise be working as manual laborers, and promoting environmental sustainability by using recycled materials.

Fatepurah: a Model Village

The story of Fatepurah, until just a few years ago, had been the story of so many villages of rural India: left to scrape together a living on the outskirts of the rapidly growing urban areas of “modern” India. Before 2004, Fatepurah, like many villages today, lacked basic amenities such as toilets, health care, education, and means to access to government resources. There was little else besides agriculture to generate income for the village.

In 2004, Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, director of the Darpana Academy of the Performing Arts and Darpana for Development, listened to the villagers and learned about their needs, and brought her performing arts company to bring some of these issues alive in the form of theatre and dance.

After listening to the villagers and their responses to these performances Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, decided to spearhead a collaborative effort to bring about real and meaningful change to the villagers. Dr. Sarabhai collaborated with other NGOs such as the Rotary Club Metro, Chetna, and the Center for Environmental Education as well as local government to build toilets, bring in literacy and health training, teach villagers about biogas and the use of natural fertilizers, start women’s savings groups, start a successful dairy run by the women of the village, and teach the women the craft of wickmaking and weaving with plastic bags. From this effort, Tamasha ™ was born.

The word “Tamasha” refers to a kind of festive folk drama found today in rural India. For the villagers for whom life is often very hard, Tamasha signifies a way of bringing fun, creativity, and balance to an otherwise very strenuous and difficult life. By employing the traditional craft of handloom weaving, Tamasha products embody this idea and are expressions of the artistry of these villagers.

By supporting Tamasha, you are helping the villagers and their children enjoy productive, creative lives; you are helping the planet address the question of what to do with plastic trash that is a problem worldwide; and you are helping to turn the idea that “Tamasha” represents — that creativity is essential to life — into a reality.

Dr. Sarabhai markets the eco-friendly recycled products in India and around the world. Tamasha™ products are distributed in the United States by Jay Dehejia, a social entrepreneur dedicated to developing and implementing innovative solutions to bringing poorer disadvantaged people into the mainstream of India’s economic spectrum.

World Economic Forum awarded its prestigious 2009 Crystal Award to Dr. Mallika Sarabhai, for social entrepreneurship. In 2010 the government of India awarded Mallika Sarabhai “Padma Bhushan”, the third highest civilian award of the country.