A Journey to Women's Empowerment: North India 2019
We are delighted to share with you our second customer trip A Journey to Women's Empowerment: North India In this trip, we will visit the state of West Bengal where we have three Maker Groups.
West Bengal is located between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. It borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north, as well as five other Indian states. Its capital is the formidable Kolkata.
The trip will take place the week commencing the 25th November 2019, for nine days.
Day 1 - Monday 25 November
Arrive in Kolkata. An airport pick will be arranged for you and make your way to our hotel, The Senator. For those that arrive early on this day, your host, Nirmala Rani, will be there to greet you and give you some ideas for a afternoon of shopping and getting into the vibe of beautiful Kolkata.
That evening, Nirmala will host the orientation dinner, giving you a detailed brief of the itinerary over a delicious meal at the hotel.
Day 2 - Tuesday 26 November
Breakfast at the hotel for an early start to meet Momataaj's Unit. You will travel in 2 taxis to and from the unit which is 4km from the border of Bangladesh. Rahat, from Rahlene Enterprises will host this visit. This unit is on of our newest Maker Groups who have started doing embroidery for new products we are developing. We visit Momataaj in her newly constructed house. We lunch in the community in the neighbouring hotel.
When we reach back to our hotel we will have a rest and then hit one of the most exciting markets in the world, Barabazar Market. This is a sari market. Please take some cash to buy yourself a sari which you can have made into a Secret Sari Dress by Molly's Sewing Unit. Dinner will be taken back at the hotel.
Day 3 - Wednesday 27 November
Have an early breakfast at the hotel.
We will travel 2 hours on the train south of Kolkata to a town where Molly's Sewing Unit is based. You will spend the day with Molly and the Makers and understand their daily life at the unit and the training course that is being run. The Makers will be excited to see what saris you have bought and measure you up to have your own dresses made.
Travel back to Kolkata and decide to have dinner in or out depending how everyone feels.
Day 4 - Thursday 28 November
Have breakfast at the hotel and enjoy a little lie in.
We will visit our partners Freeset in for a tour of their premises. Freeset exists for the many women who have never had the choice to be free. They focus on providing positive employment opportunities for women affected by sex trafficking in West Bengal. Freeset is a hero company to Secret Projects. We are greatly inspired by everything they do.
After lunch we are hoping there is time to visit a famous place in Kolkata. More details to follow.....
Over a drink at night Kolkata's jewel in the crown hotel The Taj, enjoy a briefing session by Whitney Ribbons on the Secret Sari Dress Campaign; what it is, what has happened so far and what is next.
Dinner will take place in a near by restaurant.
Day 5 - Friday 29 November
Have an early breakfast at the hotel. We will travel with small weekends bags back on the train to the town where Molly's Sewing Unit is based. You will meet Molly at the station who will bring your Secret Sari Dresses to you.
We will make a visit to local NGO who are doing similar work to Secret Projects to prevent trafficking. You will have lunch locally and then travel in taxis to the Sundarbans.
We will be staying at the Sundarban Resort.
We will have dinner at the hotel and enjoy a briefing by the NGO who gave the visit earlier.
Day 6 - Saturday 30 November
We will enjoy a boat trip around the Sundarbans and enjoy its beauty but also learn about the challenges of living there.
Day 7 - Sunday 1 December
You will enjoy a rest day.
Day 8 - Monday 2 December
You will have an early breafast at the hotel and travel back to Kolkata.
You will stay back at the same hotel, where you will have left your main luggage.
There might be time to visit another landmark in Kolkata or do a bit of last minute shopping.
Enjoy a final dinner together and a briefing from Nirmala's contacts who are very involved in the fight againist trafficking.
Day 9 - Tuesday 3 December
The trip ends on this day, but if you are staying on, please consider the following activities:
- Mother Teresa's tomb
- Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden famous for The Great Banyan which is reckoned to be the largest tree in the world and the book markets
* All photos taken from Fritha's trip to West Bengal in September 2018 *