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From Dubai to Dehli - Fair Trade Travels with Sabeena Ahmed

From Dubai to Dehli - Fair Trade Travels with Sabeena Ahmed

From Dubai to Dehli

April 2019

It was a dream come true to finally travel to the native country of my parents, India.

I arrived in Dehli and was greeted by a beautiful warm evening.

What followed was one of the most memorable weeks of my life.

Despite recovering from two shoulder surgeries and enduring a terrible bout of Dehli belly I proceeded with my magical tour.

I met distant relatives and visited Historical Dehli including Nizamuddin Auylia's shrine, Humayoun's Tomb, and Lal Qilla.

I was humbled and privileged to visit two World Fair Trade Certified Organizations, M.E.S.H and Tara Projects.

Many thanks to Mathew K and Ms Moon Sharma for their time, care and hospitality.

 

Dehli Gallery - April 2019

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine - Dehli

 

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India, April 2019

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine

 

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India visited April 2019

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India 

 

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India Women are prohibited to enter sign -  April 2019

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India

 

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India visited April 2019

Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India 

 

Mosque located next to the Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India visited April 2019

Mosque located next to the Nizamuddin Auliya's shrine, Dehli, India

 

About Nizamuddin Auylia

Syed Muhammad Nizaumuddin Auylia is one of the most prominent sufi saints of the Indian sub continent born in the city of Badayun, Uttar Pradesh, India,1238 – 3 April 1325.

He is also known as Hasrat Nizamuddin and Mehboob e Iahi (Beloved of God).

At the age of 5, after the death of his father, Syed Abdullah bin Ahmad AlHussaini Badayuni he moved to Dehli with his mother Bibi Zulekha. 

He was 20 years old when he travelled to Ajodhan now Pakistan and became a disciple of sufi saint Fariduddin Ganjshakar (Baba Farid).

He did not take up residence in Ajodhan but continued with his theological studies in Delhi while simultaneously starting the Sufi devotional practices and the prescribed litanies.

Many of his disciples achieved spiritual prominence, including Shaikh Nasiruddin Chirag Dellhavi and Amir Khusro. noted scholar and musician, and the royal poet of the Dehli Sutanate.

He died on the morning of 3 April 1325. His shrine, is located in old Delhi and the present structure was built in 1562.

The (dargah) shrine is visited by people of all faiths, through the year, though it becomes a place for special congregation during the death anniversaries, of Nizamuddin Auliya and Amir Khusro who is also buried at the Nizāmuddīn Dargāh.

I'd heard about the sufi saint Nizaumuddin Auylia from my beloved father and wanted to visit the shrine for myself.

Nestled in the old part of Dehli, a long way from the hotel, the street one must walk down is rather down trodden and disheveled. Once near the entrance to shrine, market vendors invited me to pay a small fee of 50 rupees to safeguard our shoes. 

I removed my shoes and walked through several dark narrow passage ways where homeless individuals waited for donations and small stall holders beckoned us to purchase rose platters and green embroidered materials to place over Nizaumuddin Auyliya's shrine.

I politely declined and continued to walk towards the shrine's entrance.

The shrine was bustling with people of all faiths.

A small building, embossed with chapters of the noble Quran and a separate women's section where I sat a while watching people.

I observed many individuals offering rose petals, green embroidered coverings and prayers.

Women were strictly forbidden to enter the shrine which I thought was rather unfair.

I recorded a few videos and am pleased I visited.

I particularly enjoyed this rendition of Chaap Tilak performed by two singers at the shrine.

Hope you enjoy it too!

 

 

Humayun's Tomb - Dehli

 

Humayun's Tomb, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb, Dehli

 

Humayun's Tomb, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb Grounds, Dehli

 

Humayun's Tomb, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb Grounds, Dehli

 

Humayun Tomb's Ground, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb Ground, Dehli

 

Humayun Tomb's Ground, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb Grounds and Buildings, Dehli

 

Humayun Tomb's Ground, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb Grounds , Dehli

 

Humayun Tomb's Information, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb Information, Dehli

 

Humayun's Tomb from afar, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb from afar, Dehli

 

Humayun's Tomb from afar, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb from afar, Dehli

 

Humayun's Tomb a close up view, Dehli, visited April 2019

Humayun's Tomb a close up view, Dehli

 

 

 

About Humayun's Tomb

Beautiful and breath taking!

I knew very little about this world heritage site.

Walking through the vast park and gardens it was astonishing to see the buildings in such terrible condition.

The opulent tomb from afar was a miniature version of the Taj Mahal.

 

Lal Qilla (Red Fort) - Dehli

Lal Qilla Red Fort Dehli, India at sunset visited April 2019

Lal Qilla (Red Fort), Dehli, India at sunset 

 

Lal Qilla Red Fort Dehli, India at sunset visited April 2019

Lal Qilla (Red Fort) Dehli, India at sunset

 

Diwan E Aam Building at the Lal Qilla Red Fort Dehli, India at sunset visited April 2019

Diwan E Aam Building at the Lal Qilla (Red Fort) Dehli, India

at sunset 

 

Diwan E Aam Building at the Lal Qilla Red Fort Dehli, India at sunset visited April 2019

Diwan E Aam Building at the Lal Qilla (Red Fort) Dehli, India

at sunset 

 

The Lal Qilla Red Fort Dehli, from afar at sunset visited April 2019

The Lal Qilla (Red Fort) Dehli, India from afar

at night 

 

The Lal Qilla Red Fort Dehli, from afar at sunset visited April 2019

The Lal Qilla Red Fort Dehli, from afar at night visited April 2019

 

 

About Lal Qilla

This magnificent architectural vision is nestled near Chandni Chawk and Jama Masjid. I spent a lovely evening walking around the grounds.

I hope to write more once my shoulder heals.

 

Visit to M.E.S.H

Maximising Employment to Serve the Handicapped, Dehli

 

M.E.S.H Gallery

Fairtrade Travels visit to M.E.S.H Dehli India, the lovely Tina modelling handwoven scarves April 2019

M.E.S.H, Dehli India,

the lovely Tina modelling handwoven scarves 

 

Fairtrade Travels visit to M.E.S.H Dehli India, hand embroidered Kashmiri bags April 2019

M.E.S.H Dehli India, hand embroidered Kashmiri bags 

 

Fairtrade Travels visit to M.E.S.H Dehli India, hand embroidered towels napkins aprons April 2019

M.E.S.H Dehli India, hand embroidered towels napkins aprons

 

 

M.E.S.H Dehli India, fairtrade hand made toy elephants visited April 2019

M.E.S.H Dehli India, fairtrade hand made toy elephants 

 

 

M.E.S.H Shop Dehli India, fairtrade hand made toys visited April 2019

M.E.S.H Shop, Dehli India, fairtrade hand made toys

 

 

M.E.S.H Shop Dehli India, fairtrade hand made accessories the lovely Tina modelling a frog cushion visited April 2019

M.E.S.H Shop Dehli India, fairtrade hand made accessories.

the lovely Tina modelling a fairtrade frog cushion

 

 

M.E.S.H Shop Dehli India, THE AMAZING M.E.S.H TEAM visited April 2019

M.E.S.H Shop Dehli India, 'THE AMAZING M.E.S.H TEAM.'

 

M.E.S.H Shop Dehli India, THE AMAZING M.E.S.H TEAM and Sabeena Ahmed visited April 2019

M.E.S.H Shop Dehli India, THE AMAZING M.E.S.H TEAM

and Sabeena Ahmed

 

From Dubai to Dehli - Visit to M.E.S.H Dehli India April 2019 by Sabeena Ahmed Guest comments

Mathew's coments in my guest book

 

From Dubai to Dehli - Visit to M.E.S.H Dehli India April 2019 by Sabeena Ahmed Guest comments

Mathew's comments

 

 

About M.E.SH 

Maximising Employment to Serve the Handicapped (MESH) is an Indian organisation practicing Fair Trade principles with disabled and leprosy affected artisans, for their rehabilitation.

I finally planned my visit to their shop in New Delhi and recorded several videos promoting the work of disabled artisans from all over India.

The shop was a treasure trove of hand embroidered bespoke home accessories, children's toys and bags.

If you happen to travel to Dehli the M.E.S.H shop is one fairtrade organisation you must visit and support.

What a gem of shop!

Address:

Delhi 
MESH
5, Local Shopping Centre,
Uday Park,
New Delhi 110 049
Tel. +91 11 41661499
email: contact@mesh.org.in

 

M.E.S.H:

Mission, Vision and Goals

MISSION
To provide opportunities for disabled people and people affected by leprosy to achieve social and economic integration by trading.

VISION
Self-sufficiency for our partners.

GOALS
To provide opportunities for disabled people and their dependents, especially those affected by leprosy, to be rehabilitated in order to become self-sufficient

To train disabled people to produce goods suited to their capabilities

To serve as a guide in the selection of what will sell best

To assist in obtaining raw materials

To ensure prompt payment for goods to provide constant cash flow and working capital for continued production

To maintain quality control

To provide guidance to village industries in developing cost sheets which include fair wages for the artisans as well as overheads and profits

To secure orders with the aim of providing full-time employment for disabled people

To secure orders with the aim of providing full-time employment for disabled people.

Courtesy of the M.E.S.H webstie

 

I had the pleasure of welcoming CEO Ms Jackie Bonney now resident consultant and Manager Mathew to Dubai when they visited 2012.

Ms Jacky Bonnie MBE and Mathew of M.E.S.H Dehli India visiting Sabeena Ahmed in Dubai, UAE November 2012 (Custom)

Ms Jacky Bonnie MBE and Mathew K of M.E.S.H Dehli, India

visiting Sabeena Ahmed in Dubai, UAE November 2012

 

 

Interview with Moon Sharma of Tara Projects

It was an absolute pleasure and honour to meet with Moon Sharma of Tara Projects.

Apa (Big Sister) as she is lovingly known spent an evening talking about her travels around the world, fairtrade and sharing stories of Gateshead and Newcastle.

Apa! Thank you so much for your kindness, time and beautiful gifts.

Interview with  Ms Moon Sharma of Tara Projects visit by Sabeena Ahmed of The Little Fair Trade Shop April 2019

Interview with the inspirational Moon Sharma of Tara Projects

visit by Sabeena Ahmed of The Little Fair Trade Shop - April 2019

 

 From Dubai to Dehli - Visit by Moon Sharma of Tara Projects Dehli India April 2019 by Sabeena Ahmed Guest comments

Apa's Comments in my guest book

 

Dear Sabeena,

So happy to meet you at last specially in Dehli.

 

 Fairtrade Gifts 

 Fairtrade Gifts Flower box produced by Tara Projects  my visit to Dehli, India April 2019

 Fairtrade flower box closed

 

Tara projects fairtrade flower box gift - Sabeena Ahmed

Fairtrade flower box open

 

Tara projects fairtrade white and gold earrings gift - Sabeena Ahmed

Beautiful fairtrade white gold earrings

 

Tara projects fairtrade gold leaf earrings gift - Sabeena Ahmed

 Fairtrade gold leaf earrings

 

 

INTERVIEWS

Interview with Moon Sharma - short version

 

Interview with Moon Sharma extended version

 

Interview with Moon Sharma - What does fairtrade mean to you?

 

 How to purchase ethical fairtrade products

 

What is Fairtrade, Fairtrade Kya Hai? Hindi/Urdu

About Tara Projects

TARA (Trade Alternative Reform Action) Projects made its humble beginning in early seventies with the objective of creating avenues of economic growth for economically disadvantaged artisans and craftsmen of Delhi and its surrounding areas in the un organized home-based sector. Encouraged by its initial success the project gradually extended its socio/economic and trade reform activities to the adjoining states, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Rajasthan in Northern India.

Since its inception Tara actively engaged in providing support services to the production and marketing of handicrafts on Fair Trade Principles, while addressing community developmental needs of the grassroots craft persons by imparting, general awareness, Human Rights, vocational and informal education for the human dignity.

Tara Projects, the Association has constantly remained an active catalyst in eradicating poverty, by fighting against exploitation and illiteracy of the producers and its working communities who are deprived of dignified identity and remained constantly subject to social injustice at the total disposal of Unfair Trade and middle men practices. “Make Trade Fair” has always been a principle goal for ushering into social and economic transformation at Tara.

A Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army, later joined as Officer of the Army Wing of the National Cadet Corp at Jamia Millia Islamia University. Prof. Shyam S. Sharma achieved top ranking positions throughout his school and university and excelled as a student leader, event organizer and innovator. He was awarded many prestigious awards in curricular and extra-curricular disciplines. He honed up his leadership traits and became a leading intellectual.

As Professor, he initiated Department of Hindi, Comparative Literature & Print Journalism at Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi. His career at the prestigious Jamia Millia Islamia University as a teacher catapulted him to achieve greater heights in life, ushering in a pinch of professionalism and excellence in teaching career in India. He has been an active catalyst in bringing substantial improvements in the quality of education by making it purpose driven and wholesome. He founded ‘World Family’, an organization that believes and practices human solidarity through benevolence and later set up Tara Projects in 1966 to assist the marginalized communities living around his university and neighborhood in Delhi. He also founded Asia Fair Trade Forum (AFTF) as the first Founding Member of AFTF and served on the AFTF Board in several capacities. He was also the Founding member of Fair Trade Forum-India and served as its President for two terms.

Courtesy of the Tara Projects website

 

 Interview with  Ms Moon Sharma of Tara Projects visit by Sabeena Ahmed of The Little Fair Trade Shop April 2019

Interview with the inspirational Moon Sharma of Tara Projects

visit by Sabeena Ahmed of The Little Fair Trade Shop - April 2019

Thank you Apa for your time, patience and love.

I fell in love with India and its inspirational fairtrade movement.

I can't wait to return soon.

Thank you to everyone who supported my visit.

 




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