HELP means “Himalayan Empowerment and Livelihood Promotion” is a legal entity group of women from Haldwani, with the mission to preserve the cultural and traditional heritage of the region by economically empowering the women. With this mission we are using the devotional art form of Uttarakhand called “AIPAN” for creating the handcrafted beautiful and luxurious lifestyle products. Our vision is to provide marketing support to our artisans through a sustainable global market and help them to revive this traditional art form.
Derived from the word aipan (dedication), the act of creating an aipan, a traditional art form associated with fortune and fertility, is akin to making an oﬀering to god. The background is prepared with red clay, called geru, and the designs are created with a white paste made from rice ﬂour.
To provide sustainable means of livelihood to underprivileged women of hilly region by enhancing their skills of traditional art and bring them into the mainstream of the society.
To empower the young generation with this traditional art skills by providing them skill development training and abilities in making luxurious lifestyle products by using AIPAN art so that our cultural heritage will be spread around the globe. It is our sincere efforts to encourage women to be the part of this skilful journey of tradition.
The Inspirations of our work are coming from our artisans whose skilled hands have given life to our ideas & created our designs into beautiful products. Traditionally, aipan making is the domain of women, who use it to decorate places of worship, house entrances and front yards. Auspicious occasions are considered incomplete without the drawing of fresh aipan and diﬀerent motifs are used on speciﬁc occasions. Some bring good fortune; others seek blessings from the lord, or pray for fertility. Patterns are often handed down through families, from mother to daughter. However, with the wind of modernization blowing, this art is depleting fast. Our younger generation, born and brought up in cities outside Uttarakhand might not be familiar with it.
As a humble attempt to spread awareness of our cultural heritage does not get eliminated in the wind of modernization, we are encouraging women to be the part of this skilful journey of tradition.
The HELP Team
Working in an NGO requires considerable commitment and we are proud that our working environment allows us to put all the advantages of teamwork to the service of promoting art and culture of Uttarakhand. Our passionate and devoted team is key in creating new and innovative lifestyle products. Read more about the role each team member plays by pointing the cursor to them in the rogues' gallery bellow!
Through teamwork, trained professionals come from a variety of fields to create the best environment for the women to flourish the art by creating new and innovative products. Women group creation in different areas allows us the opportunity to identify the potential artisans and motivate them to participate in income generating activities. Regular training enables them to develop their skills and abilities.
The Program Manager coordinates the activities related to the artisans and monitors the project.
The Executive Director, the Administrative Team, the Volunteer Workers and the Designer and Communications team add their skills to HELP teamwork and participate in the overall development of all the products.