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Porghai: Community centric Design project

Upasana's creative team travelled to the Sittilingi Valley, a tribal village in Tamil Nadu to engage in a community-centric design project with Dr. Lalitha.

Visiting Tribal village in Sittilingi valley
Upasana’s creative team in discussion with Dr. Lalita

While serving the tribal community she discovered poor health is closely connected to their livelihood and unless she intervenes it will always be an issue. Their community migrating to city did not bring peace. Pressurized they left a holistic village life to earn a living in the hazardous concrete jungle which led to poor health.

Dr. Lalita discovered a couple of women who knew the lost traditional embroidery technique. Exchanging their traditional garments for Aluminum utensils they paved way to its extinction.
In Upasana, we follow a community-centric-design approach which not only takes services from the community, but also consciously helps achieve their goals and build a system of care.

Uma and Dr. Lalita in discussion at Lambada artisan’s house

Discovering the dying, age old tradition of Lambadi embroidery in 2 villages, Dr. Lalita with Dr. Regi George gave way to the birth of Porgai, which revived and empowered the traditional craft of Lambadi women. 'Porgai' mean 'pride' in Lambadi dialect. Today, Porgai artisans association is a society of 60 lambadi women artisans, because we value human effort over repetitive machine embroidery, which lacks soul.

Porgai Artisans association

Upasana had a community centric collaboration with Porgai which was instrumental in the revival of the languishing craft. Upasana made a collection using traditional embroidery techniques with the intention to promote true worth of the craft of intricate embroidery, carried through the generations. Upasana is paving way for them to reach a market that will fetch them round the year work and an alternate income which will prevent their migration. We firmly believe that the artisan community must be respected greatly and should get fair wages.

By making a new product line, Upasana is sharing Porgai’s pride with you.

Embroidered Upasana Logo in organic cotton
Showcasing the new collection launched in collaboration with Porgai


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