FT NEWS : The 'Promise of Hope' bracelet designed by Anita Dongre for CITTA is an initiative to support and sustain the education of students at the Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls' School in Jaisalmer, India. Inspired by the kindness, endurance, and gentle strength of the elephant, this bracelet is designed with the intention that young women have access to their heartfelt dreams and the ability to choose their path. ‘The Promise Of Hope’ is not just a piece of jewellery, but a promise to equip young women with the education to create their best lives.
The students of Rajkumari Ratnavati Girls’ School are children of weavers, embroiders and nomads from the Thar region of Rajasthan. This is a community that has believed for centuries that hope and dreams were the right of a boy, a man who would grow to support the family. With the founding of this school and the nurturing of this community, over 400 girls reclaim the right to have dreams and hope for a life of their choosing. The school is aimed to provide education and training in traditional skill sets such as artistry, weaving, and embroidery for women. The royal family of Jaisalmer has joined the directorship and Manvendra Singh Shekhawat donated the land for the school. Michael Daube, Founder of CITTA says, “Many of the students at the school are first-time learners from their family. Our goal is to provide not only education but confidence in the girls. This will definitely have a positive rippling effect on the treatment of women in both their family and community.”
Designer Anita Dongre firmly believes that empowering women is a prerequisite for a truly inclusive and progressive India. She extensively works with skilled artisans and weavers across the country to empower and with this artisanal community, bring economy back to the villages of India. ‘The Promise Of Hope’ is a tangible piece of the promise she sees in every young girl. She says, “The women of the Thar desert are ingenious and strong, finding joy in the face of some of the hardest living conditions. I partnered with CITTA because we share a strong belief that girls everywhere should be encouraged to have limitless imagination, passion, and ambition. In coming together to support the Rajkumari Ratnavati School we take one more step towards an equitable world, one in which women accept hope as default and work towards their dreams.”
Mickey Boardman, Editor of Paper Magazine who is closely associated with CITTA adds, “Working for Paper Magazine for 30 years and with CITTA for 15 years, I've seen the incredible philanthropic work that can be done when fashion people and non-profits work together. Anita Dongre is an internationally celebrated brand famous for making their clients gorgeous. CITTA is a respected charity famous for bringing education to underserved communities. Working together Anita Dongre and CITTA can multiply and complement the other’s work. It’s an amazing win-win situation.”
ABOUT ANITA DONGRE
A trailblazer, Anita Dongre has been at the forefront of Indian fashion for over 20 years, having created one of the most successful fashion houses in India which today employs over 2,500 people directly and thousands more in rural villages who depend on the House of Anita Dongre for their livelihoods. Anita Dongre Bridal Couture (offers luxury and artisanal bespoke bridal, couture and ready-to-wear) works extensively with the crafts of India. A connoisseur of craftsmanship, Anita Dongre’s designs showcase Indian aesthetics for the global woman of today, keeping comfort at its core. For Anita, the business of fashion should be conducted the way it was always meant to be—looking towards the future, practicing and building processes that are sustainable, respectful of the people involved and environmentally conscious.
CITTA is a New York State registered 501(c) 3 non-profit organization. We focus on both formulating methods and implementing ways that help build and support growth through health, education and economic development in some of the most economically challenged, geographically remote and/or marginalized communities in the world. Presently, CITTA is working in India and Nepal.