A Journey to Women's Empowerment: North India 2019

We are delighted to share with you our second customer trip A Journey to Women's Empowerment: North India In this trip, we will visit the state of West Bengal where we have three Maker Groups.

West Bengal is located between the Himalayas and the Bay of Bengal. It borders Bangladesh in the east, and Nepal and Bhutan in the north, as well as five other Indian states. Its capital is the formidable Kolkata. 

The trip will take place the week commencing the 25th November 2019, for nine days.

We welcome customers to book a place on this trip. Books are taken by our India company, Secret Pillow Project India and are paid in rupees. We use a company called Instamojo to help customers make this transaction, quickly and easily, using their credit card.

The trip costs are as follows:

It costs £1,750 to travel on this journey to women's empowerment. This covers hotels, all in-country travel, all meals (excluding drinks) and all other activities are built into the itineary.

Flights, travel insurance and visa is not included in this price.

How to book:

1. Email travel@secretprojects.org confirming you would like to reserve a place.

2.  Pay your deposit of 41,250 rupees (approx. £438), please click here to pay.

3. Wait for a confirmation of your booking from Secret Pillow Project India.

The balance for the trip will be requested 3 months before the trip around 1 August 2019.

A Rough Itinerary for the Trip...

Day 1 

Fly from London to Kolkata. That evening, Fritha will host the orientation dinner, giving you a detailed brief of the itinerary over a delicious meal.

Day 2 

We will travel to meet Fatima's Unit, one of our newest Maker Groups who have started doing embroidery for new products we have developed. 

That evening we will shop in the impressive markets of Kolkata, exploring the rich textiles and other delights that the city has to offer. 



Day 3

We will travel on the train south of Kolkata with our business partner Rahat to visit Molly's Sewing Unit. 

Day 4 

We will spend this day visiting important landmarks in and around Kolkata, including Mother Teresa's tomb, the Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Indian Botanical Garden famous for The Great Banyan which is reckoned to be the largest tree in the world and the book markets. We will finish the day in the Burrabazar neighbourhood: on of the largest wholesale markets in India. 

Day 5  

We will visit our partners Freeset in for a tour of their premises. Freeset exists for the many women who have never had the choice to be free. They focus on providing positive employment opportunities for women affected by sex trafficking in West Bengal. That evening, we will get the train to Berhampore and stay overnight in Hotel Fame. 


Day 6

We will visit the weaving unit to observe the weaving process, and another one of the Freeset Factories. 


Day 7 

We will take the train back from Berhampore to Kolkata.

Day 8 

We will take the train east from Kolkata to Hasnabad. Near here, Momataaj's unit is based. This maker group has recently started doing traditional Kantha embroidery for us on scarves. One of the oldest forms of Indian embroidery, Kantha originated in West Bengal. We will be able to observe the women at work, and try some Kantha stitching for ourselves. 

We will return to Kolkata for a delicious curry dinner. 


Day 9

Fly back to London

Bespoke Secret Sari Dress 

Over the course of the trip, you will have the opportunity to have a bespoke Secret Sari Dress made for you by one of our Makers. You will be able to choose and purchase the sari fabric at one of the many markets we will visit! 



* All photos taken from Fritha's trip to West Bengal in September 2018 * 

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