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Delhi Agra and Jaipur Shopping Highlights for Travellers

Here is information about Delhi Agra and Jaipur Anokhi Shopping Highlights for Travellers - What distinguishes Anokhi the firm, however, is not just its classic prints and designs, but its commitment to encouraging traditional craft skills.

Among the shopping highlights for a visitor to Jaipur is the fabric and furnishings store called Anokhi, meaning "unique". On Tilak Marg, opposite Udyog Bhawan is an unpretentious low building — behind the simple white door are the garments, furnishings and accessories sold under the Anokhi label, that are handsome, comfort-able and innovative enough to have created a worldwide clientele. With outlets in major cities all over the world, Anokhi is a business enterprise which helps craftsmen to use their skills in the creation of contemporary products of high utility and aesthetic value.

The story of the creators of Anokhi is also singular. Jitendra Pal (John) Singh met Faith Hardy in the swimming pool of the Rambagh Palace in the summer of 1968. John, educated at the Doon School, Delhi University and Oxford, was setting up a poultry farm in Jaipur after quitting his job on a tea plantation. Faith, the daughter of a quondam Bishop of Nagpur, had come to India from England to learn and work with traditional textile crafts. They married and started a discotheque which they optimistically named "The Fertile Egg".

In 1970, they came under the influence of a spiritual mentor and their lifestyle underwent a transformation. They turned vegetarian and John sold his hunting guns, chicken farm and discotheque. He decided to supply his energy and attention to creating an organized and stable business based on the work Faith was doing in a small way with block-printers and tailors.

A firm called Registan was registered in June 1970 and its label chosen. Over time, the firm evolved its policy: to provide craftspeople with design input, finance, quality control and marketing, blending modern management with traditional skills, without disrupting their autonomy and way of life. In Faith's words, "Anokhi has consistently sought to create an environment, a relationship between the market and the design product, skill and tradition. In this, traditional textiles have their place and value. But they must be supported by contemporary prints and designs which can create excitement and hold interest in a demanding and fast-moving world market".

The discreet image of the Anokhi shops and the absence of "hard-sell" enhances Anokhi's image. Beginning with garments, Faith and John added furnishings and accessories to their range so that their printers, weavers and dyers could be kept in work all year round. Anokhi's commercial expansion has gone hand in hand with the increase in the company's other activities. It set up the Digantar Trust which runs a free school, a health centre, a free veterinary clinic, and sponsors activities ranging from cycle polo to motorcycle racing.

John Singh is deeply involved with the conservation of Rajasthan's cultural and natural heritage. His experience on his farm outside Jaipur has led him to an involvement with propagating sustainable agriculture and the greening of barren lands. In addition to ensuring their goods are ethically sourced, the couple has also used their business to help during humanitarian crises. For instance, in 1988 they organised a sale of goods for one of the most effective relief projects in Barmer District, during the worst drought of the century. Note: Anokhi's garments and furnishings are sold at shops in JaipurArticle Search, Delhi and in Mumbai.

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