‘Mashi’ in Bengali is a term of love and respect used for elderly women. They are a vulnerable group, often overlooked in society. Many are living alone and without family. Until now, they have not been reached by community transformation business initiatives in India, such as Freeset and Common Good.
But this year, mashis have been given an opportunity to be part of a project that gives them a sense of vocation, support, and belonging. The “Merry Mashis” in Kolkata, India, have been producing hand-made Christmas decorations, allowing elderly women to come together, nurture friendships, and carry out meaningful work.
The decorations are being offered in limited places this year as the scheme is trialled. There are no direct sales to individual customers, but organisations, businesses, and churches are invited to order and distribute them. They make great Christmas giveaways for customers, volunteers, neighbours or supporters.
Orders can be made at www.merrymashi.com, the sooner the better to ensure on-time delivery.