Grass entrepreneur and psychologist-farmer

An entrepreneur who built a business with wild grasses, a psychologist-farmer, an artist who fought clinical depression with theatre, and Maharashtra's 'Mini Kashmir' are part of our newsletter this week

Rashmi Pratap
New Update
Grass entrepreneur and psychologist-farmer

Grass entrepreneur and psychologist-farmer

Dear Reader,

Did you know that out of the 12 sub-species of grasses found in the world, ten grow in India? But more importantly, did you know that these grasses can generate business worth crores of rupees every year?

Payal Nath figured this out early on and is now reaping the benefits of her knowledge. Her enterprise, Kadam Haat Basketry Barn, provides sustainable livelihood to artisans in West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar, Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh.  These artisans hand-weave nine types of grasses into handmade bags and home décor products using their traditional crafts.

She told my colleague Aruna that Kadam Haat has clocked Rs2 crore in revenues in the first year of operations and is now targeting Rs 5 crore in FY24. These grasses grow wild and the products are sturdy and biodegradable. And yes, the brand is set to go global! 

Last week, my colleague Anu wrote a heart-warming story about an artist who fought depression through theatre. Chennai-based Rathy S now uses storytelling and puppetry to create awareness about social issues like colourism and gender discrimination. She not only spreads positivity through her performances but is also bringing about social change through her performances. 

When the second wave of Covid hit the country and there was a shortage of oxygen cylinders, many people lost their lives and many survived. One of the survivors is Amita Malik, a psychologist and counsellor in a Delhi government school. The virus changed the course of her life. She began to think about her contribution to oxygen generation and realised she had not planted a single sapling in her life.

She then began planting fruit trees on her in-laws’ family land and soon expanded to organic farming of wheat and paddy in Sonipat, Haryana. Amita told me people warned her against growing organic paddy because of the high rate of failure. But she had done her homework well by watching many YouTube videos. Today, Amita is a teacher on the weekdays and a farmer on the weekends. Do look up her story.

Our Sunday piece is on Tapola, the little Kashmir in Maharashtra where the Sahyadri Hills overlook the Shivsagar Lake near Mahabaleshwar. 

In the Money section, my colleague Karan has given tips to rejig your investment portfolio in 2024 amid interest rate cuts by central banks and easing geopolitical tensions.

Happy Reading!




How Payal Nath built a Rs 2 crore ecofriendly products business with grass; empowers artisans


This artist fought depression through theatre; now breaks social stigmas using puppetry and storytelling


How this psychologist began organic farming after contracting COVID