While the various faiths and races composing India’s melting pot are often at odds, fashion designer Perveez Aggarwal seeks national unity through her clothing venture My Beautiful Embroideries. Aggarwal, a member of the small and wealthy Parsee community, helps India’s underclass by employing rural Muslim craftsmen "to recreate ancient Persian designs on embroidered clothing she sells worldwide," AFP reports. It all started when Aggarwal, who comes from a well-off family of antique dealers, witnessed Muslim squatters in her neighbourhood being attacked during sectarian riots in the early nineties.
Indian Muslims account for 13 percent of the country’s 1.1 billion people, and are the most impoverished of all the land. But through "word-of-mouth sales to Indian royalty, New York socialites, and ladies who lunch from London to Hong Kong," My Beautiful Embroideries rings in 85,000 dollars annually to support poor families of embroiderers in Calcutta (Eastern India’s largest city), and whole villages in the country’s poorest state of Bihar. Read the full story at afp.com.