Having trouble getting into a peaceful state of mind? Let this carved stone incense-stick holder give you a hand. Centuries ago, skilled stone workers were brought to Agra under Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to build the Taj Mahal. Today their descendants remain in the region, using the same tools and methods to achieve intricate soapstone carvings and inlay for beautiful sculptures and decorative pieces. Our fair trade partner Tara Projects has been working with stone carvers in Agra for nearly two decades, improving the health and safety of producers, ensuring fair prices and emphasizing the importance of education for children.
TARA Projects stands for "Trade Alternative Reform Action." Working in a 125-mile radius of Delhi, TARA is a fair trade program for community development and business. The organization enables hundreds of artisans who create some of the major handicraft lines of North India to sell their products internationally. TARA is one of the pioneering Indian organizations in the field of fair wages, non formal education programs for children and women, health and environmental awareness and further development for its member artisans. Artisan benefits from TARA include medical insurance, interest-free loans and advances, a savings program and skills training.