In 1969, Chanda Shroff visited Dhaneti village in Kutch to help in drought relief work. There she saw, in the exquisite hand embroidery displayed on the clothing of the village women, a way to enable them to earn a sustainable and dignified livelihood. Later that year, she founded Shrujan.
Long before the term ‘social entrepreneur’ became part of everyday discourse, Chanda Shroff had quietly and almost single-handedly initiated what was to become a grassroots movement of rural craftswomen across Kutch. Chanda Shroff’s vision has also helped revitalize and safeguard the ancient craft of hand embroidery.
The craftspeople of Kutch considered Chanda Shroff to be one of their own and affectionately called her ‘Kaki’. In 2006, when she received the prestigious Rolex Award for Enterprise, becoming the first Indian Laureate, all of Kutch rejoiced.
It was Chanda Shroff’s vision that guided Shrujan’s ambitious new effort, the establishment of the Living and Learning Design Centre (LLDC), a multi-dimensional crafts education and resource centre that was inaugurated in January 2016.
In August 2016 – Chanda Shroff passed away.