Skills in the hills: What’s it like running a social enterprise in Nepal?
More and more people are moving away from their homelands to seek viable employment, skills are being forgotten and the artistic traditions of the Himalaya are fading. Not if Jyoti Upadhyay has anything to do with it. Elissa James from Iris Lillian, goes to meet her.
As a Welsh-Nepali, Jyoti Upadhyay has married her background in anthropology with the need to revive the rich cultural treasures of her beloved Nepal by launching Kaligarh: a jewellery brand based in Nepal and the U.K.
Kaligarh, which means ‘artisan’ in Nepali, works with small-scale craftsmen and women in the Kathmandu Valley to bring their handmade creations, and the traditions of their ancestors, to the rest of the world.
Devastating earthquakes in 2015, a monsoon and a trade blockade threatened to stymie this budding social enterprise. However, these challenges only served to strengthen the resolve of Upadhyay. The survival of Kaligarh through such political and environmental turmoil is testament to her commitment to change.