Posted by: pgprm08 | November 16, 2009

Medhavi Gandhi – Happy Hands Foundation

Social Entrepreneur उवाच –

“I am entrepreneur because I prefer to initiate good things rather than waiting for them to happen.”

My Story


India, which is the largest handicraft producing country in the world, offers a range of crafts and products that is almost unlimited. However all these products of lasting beauty and value are often produced in conditions of abject poverty wherein the craftsmen often live in bondage to local money – lenders. Medhavi founded Happy Hands Foundation to uphold the Indian arts and crafts in the growing modern society.

About Me

After completing my graduation in English Literature from Kamala Nehru College, New Delhi, I moved to Pune to complete my further education. I did my MBA in Communication Management – and the years spent studying, were perhaps the best! I have been involved with theatre a lot, so that spelt most of my life in undergrad, and eating comes naturally to me, so postgrad was a lot about that. Besides that, I love reading, traveling, and catching up with friends!

I love honest, simple people – and for me, things are either black or white.

I have always believed that dreams keep us going – people thought I was going cuckoo when I said that I wanted to start my own social venture – but I was onvinced… I am hugely passionate about the sector, and I just had to follow my dream. Being all of 22, I realized that my generation was just not into Indian handmade products, or the culture we pride ourselves over – and thus began Happy Hands Foundation. I am hugely thankful to my friend, Suneera, for believing in my dream and hopping alongside on the journey..

I can sum up in a line borrowed from Robert Frost: “I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: two roads diverged in a wood, and i— i took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

My Venture

Happy Hands Foundation is a not-for-profit organization working towards the development of arts and crafts of India. We not only work with artisans and craftsmen across the country, but also aid other communities in learning the crafts for an alternative survival.

Through our innovative events we market these handmade products (jewellery, bags, home décor items, pen stands, etc) into urban spheres and have been engaging the youth for the cause. We believe in reviving the traditional crafts and culture (such as puppetry) through contemporary ways and thus create various avenues for different audiences to interact with India’s rich heritage.

We feel that it is important to educate the artisan not in terms of his skills, but in terms of design. Our interactions with the artisans have led us to believe that their will and determination is guided by principles of dignity. To empower them, we therefore feel it necessary to open them to design interventions where they learn and develop a designer’s perspective and hone their skills appropriately.
Our artisan clusters and work expanse ranges from Uttarakhand to Orissa and Andhra Pradesh and even the Andamans. In all, we cover about 10 states and 16 clusters affecting hundreds of artisans and their families. We also work for a womens’ group in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa and aid them in learning local crafts through workshops every month.

Happy Hands Foundation also plans to hold an Arts Management course under its Red Earth programme, allowing young people to develop expertise in the field.

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  1. Hi,
    Its quite interesting reading .I have a foundation i.e Rajbala Foundation(not for profit) for creating awareness about issues,social,economic,psychological & health care for termical patients but alongwith that we are also trying to do something on education and training &Innovation (usage of IT) for this area. I myself work at a senior position in an IT company but my passion is training on softskill in this foundation.I will appreciate if you can share ,if any ideas or products in this field. I stay in Gurgaon and can be reached at 09891387888.

  2. Respected ma’am,
    I simply loved the concept of the madhubani scroll to celebrate 100years of Delhi.
    I head the Art Dept of a reputed school in Gurgaon. I along with my students are eager to take part in your upcoming projects. Please do consider .

    Madhumita Nandi

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