Aji's

Aji's is a social enterprise that empowers the elderly to live healthy and happy lives by providing a platform to showcase their skills and knowledge.

See our coverage on BBC Nepali, Nepali Times, Republica, and The Kathmandu Post.

Aji's makers

Meet the wonderful makers of the Aji's products. They put their passion and years of experience into every handcrafted product they make.

Click here to become an Aji's maker.

 

Champa Devi Tuladhar

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Champa Devi is 77 years old and is passionate about knitting. She has been making woolen wears for the past 50 years. It helps her to forget worldly issues and keeps her mind at peace. She has five grandchildren and she loves spending time with them. 

Products: Lumu Socks

 

Roop Keshari Bania

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86 year old Roop Keshari Bania started knitting to make a living after her husband’s passing. At 22 she learned mechanical knitting, took a loan to buy her first knitting machine and started a business to raise her three daughters. She now has six grandchildren who grew up wearing her creations. Even today, Roop Keshari takes great joy in knitting and crocheting woolen clothes for her great grandchildren. Everyday she sits in her balcony in Itumbahal, knitting and chatting with passersby.

Products: Coming Soon

 

Late Gyani Laxmi Manandhar (1927-2019)

Gyani Laxmi Manandhar loved making traditional Newari pouch called Mheecha. At 92, She had been making Mheechas for over 15 years and said that it was a type of medicine that kept her engaged and happy. Every year she used to gift 500 Mheechas to devotees at Basundhara Mela, an annual festival held in Kathmandu. She remains a true inspiration for the entire Aji’s community. 

Products: Mheecha Pouch

 

Dil Hera Tuladhar

Dil Hera has been making shawls and knitting woolen wears since she was 25 years old. She learned to craft while living in Kalimpong. Now at 84 she lives in the Ganabahal neighborhood of Kathmandu and loves to make outfits and blankets for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. When she is not knitting and sewing, Dil Hera loves to watch Bollywood movies and listen to old Hindi songs.

Products: Dhaka Baby Blanket

 

Juju Ratna Tamrakar

Juju Ratna is 70 years old and is a skilled painter and sculptor. He worked as the artist for the Nepal Rastra Bank (central bank of Nepal) for 25 years. He retired at the age of 45 but has never stopped making art. He has a small studio space in his terrace  where he spends most of his time. 

Products: Swayambhu Stupa and Dharma Chakra Magnet

 

Ram Kumari Shrestha

82 year old Ram Kumari was born in Hyumat (हयूमत) tole in Kathmandu. As a young girl she was not allowed to go to school but that did not stop Ram Kumari from pursuing her love for learning. She secretly learned to read and write using the Thulo Barnamala book and gora-slate boards. She is a skilled seamstress who also enjoys watching Bollywood movies and strolling in her neighborhood park. Her favourite actors are Jitendra and Rekha.

Products: Dhaka Handkerchief

 

Bal Kumari Shakya

Bal Kumari was born in Patan and raised in a family of tailors. She is 75 years old and sewing is her passion. She learnt how to sew by making "putu mheechas" (traditional Newari pouch) by gathering scraps of cloth from her family tailor shop. When she's not sewing, Bal Kumari loves to attend Gyanmala Bhajan (Buddhist devotional singing).

Products: Coming soon!

 

Menuka Shrestha

Menuka was born and raised in Thankot area of Kathmandu Valley. She has a son and two daughters. Her elder daughter and five-year-old grand daughter live in Pokhara and try to visit her every alternate month. Besides making bead jewelry, she also works in a hospital. In her free time she enjoys working in her vegetable garden.   

Products: Poh Bracelet

 

Sushila Sthapit

Sushila is 73 year old. She  worked as a housekeeper supervisor for many years. She is now retired but is continuing her interest of knitting which she learned knitting from observing her mother during childhood days. She strongly believes in not staying idle. She has three children and three grandchildren for whom she knits various products. In addition to knitting she also has a melodious voice and loves to sing old songs. 

Products: Tapu headwarmer

 

Necklace Devi Sthapit

Necklace Devi is 71 years old and enjoys cooking, especially traditional Newari food. She has four grandchildren and loves to cook for them. She also enjoys inviting friends and family for elaborate meals. She also regularly attends religious gatherings and likes to perform rituals both at temples and monasteries.

Products: Tara Puja Set 

 

Ram Maya Maharjan

Ram Maya is 66 years old and lives in Sano Gaon in the outskirts of Kathmandu. She learned to make the traditional Nepali stools and mats made of straw from her mother when she was 20 years old. This skill has been passed down from mother to daughter in the Maharjan family for several generations. When she’s not working in her rice field, Ram Maya stays home to make beautiful straw stools and mats.

Products: Muda Stool, Suku Mat, Pata Coaster

 

Shiro Moktan

Shiro is a 68 years old resident of Kathmandu. She graduated with honors in English from Loreto College in Darjeeling. She started the first Cambridge GCE and A levels school in Nepal and worked in the education sector for three decades. After retirement she is following her passion for crafting. She likes to knit, sew, bake, and make macrame products, a recently revived craft that originated in the 13th century.

Products: Dori Plant Hanger

 

Pragya Shakya

Pragya is 71 years old and lives in the Shree Bahal neighborhood of Patan with four generations of her family. She was professionally trained to be a tailor at the age of 18 and has been sewing clothes for over half a century. She inherited her grandfather's sewing machine which she still uses today. She lives with two of her grandchildren and recently visited her 3rd grandchild in Arkansas, USA.

Products: Dhaka Baby Bhoto Set

 

Anita Joshi

Anita was born and brought up in Jyatha, an old neighborhood of Kathmandu where she was raised by a single mother along with her five siblings who she also helped to raise. Though she had a difficult childhood, at 62 she is a proud homemaker and grandmother of two adorable young boys. Anita is popular among her relatives for her homemade beauty products which she learned to make from her mother. She is keen on sharing their benefits of with the world.

Products: Kon Organic Scrub

 

Siddhi Laxmi Bajracharya

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72 years old Siddhi Laxmi Bajracharya is passionate about environment and travel. In her younger days, she travelled frequently to domestic and international destinations with her late husband who worked at Lumbini University. These days she spends her time making creative recycled products with old magazines and newspapers. She believes she's making positive contribution to the environment through her work. She has four children and seven grandchildren that she loves spending time with.

Products: Coming soon!

 

Usha Shakya

Usha is 59 years old and lives in the Chaunni neighborhood of Kathmandu. Her passion for knitting and sewing started during her school days when she studied Home Science. She spent her life as a homemaker which kept her busy and with little time to spend on her craft. Now that her kids are grown up, she has rekindled her passion for crafting. She now spends her days knitting, crocheting, sewing, and cross-stitching.

Products: Coming soon!

 

Rita Moktan

Rita is affectionately referred to as “Boju Ma’am” by the children of the montessori she runs in Dhumbarahi neighborhood of Kathmandu. “Boju” means grandmother in Nepalese language. Rita has dedicated the past 30 years of her life to education. Now at 58 years old, she loves knitting socks and sweaters for her 16 month old grandson who lives in Dubai.

Products: Button Cowl

 

Meghranjani Rai

Meghranjani Rai is 63 years old and currently lives in the Sanepa in Kathmandu. She is an emergency responder and reconstruction engineer for disaster relief projects. She also loves to knit and crochet. She also enjoys traveling to new places and reading books. Her favourite authors are Khalil Gibran, Haruki Murakami and Ernest Hemingway. Single mother and a grandmother of three, Megh believes you are never too old to be young!

Products: Coming soon!

 

Shakuntala Rana

Shakuntala Rana was born in Khadakpur, India where her father served in the Army. At 58, she is now retired and lives with her husband in Pattipa Chowk in Lalitpur. Growing up, she learned to knit and crochet through her mother’s knitting club within the Army Officers’ Wives Association. She spent her professional life working as a school teacher. She enjoys oil painting and making variety of knitwear for her two-year-old granddaughter.

Products: Punté Poncho

 

Anju Pant

Anju Pant is 58 years old and lives in Thaiba with her son, daughter-in-law and twin granddaughters. She started knitting and sewing when she was a young mother to make school dresses for her children. Later she opened her own tailoring shop at Thamel where she trained and employed 25 young SLC graduates. Though she no longer runs the shop, she continues to make new designs seeking inspiration from YouTube and Pinterest.

Products: Nyano Frock

 

Meena Niraula

Meena is 70 years old and lives in the Chauni neighborhood of Kathmandu. She loves knitting variety of woolen wears that she gifts to her family and friends. She has four children who are spread across the world in Canada, UK, Germany, and USA. She has five adorable grandchildren. Meena plans to donate her income from Aji's to support the education of orphan children in Nepal.

Products: Coming soon!