How it started

The Nari Dana project was inspired by teaming up with Veronica, who had previously worked in the UK textile industry. She runs an online business called Tabitha Living, which sells high-quality products made by women from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds, who are employed and paid a fair wage.

When Veronica visited Kolkata in November 2014 to help set up Nari Dana, about 140 women from the slums came to the Cathedral to meet her, all of whom were eager to take part in the project. That was how Nari Dana was born.

Ritu Ghosh was recruited as Quality and Production Manager, and she worked with Veronica to develop products and designs for Nari Dana.

In 2020, Sankar Das was recruited as Co-ordinator to manage Nari Dana.  Sankar is a Master Weaver who had previously managed a freedom business in Marshidabad, which employed women to make handwoven and sewn products.  It is hoped to add woven products to the Nari Dana range.


During the pandemic, Nari Dana managed to keep going, and found a new market in making facemasks, receiving orders from some local companies.

Our story

Nari Dana is a social enterprise carrying on a “freedom trade” It exists to lift women out of a life trapped in poverty, by selling handmade products they have created.

Nari Dana means “women’s wings” in Bengali, and it describes how women are provided with wings which enable them to achieve their “freedom” (mukti).  This concept is embodied in the Nari Dana logo of the bird flying free from captivity.

Nari Dana arose from the work of the Cathedral Relief Service (CRS) which seeks to establish self-sufficient communities in Kolkata slums and surrounding impoverished villages.  CRS empowers women by teaching skills which they can use to provide them with an income, and Nari Dana was established as a business in which those skills could be used, thus providing the women with a regular and sustainable income.  It is a registered non-profit company called Nari Dana Home Accessories Ltd.

More information about the Cathedral Relief Service and its work can be found here http://www.cathedralreliefservice.net/

Objectives of Nari Dana

  • To develop a Freedom Trade, by which is meant a business to develop and sell products made by women trapped by poverty, prostitution and other social ills, in order to enable them to earn a decent and secure living.

    • To provide a secure income for women in slums and villages in which CRS is working.
    • To develop a wide range of attractive merchandise which will be marketable on the domestic and overseas (principally UK) markets.
    • To encourage members of the workforce to participate in the running of the business.


Cathedral Relief Service, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Cathedral Road, Kolkata 700 071, West Bengal, India

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+91 33 2223 3292