- Social Innovation Fellowship
Urban India and Katni, Madhya Pradesh
The Panika Project looks to create commercially viable products such as shoe bags, headphone covers and laptop sleeves, using a unique hand-woven cloth crafted in a village called Katni in rural India. The products are designed with handmade art, ranging from pop culture caricatures to Indian cultural art. The Panika people, local to Katni, have been struggling with poverty over the past decade due to their inability to market this cloth, which has hindered both income and living standards. I founded The Panika Project two years ago to solve this problem using innovative marketing and design and selling the resulting products at exhibitions and trade shows. Feeding off initial success from previous exhibitions, I plan on attending shows across India this summer and ultimately approaching hotels that currently lack corporate social responsibility projects to purchase these products as part of special services packages in high-end suites. I hope for these efforts to drive the Panika people to a future of self-sustenance.